When Enough Is Enough, But You Won’t Stop: How To Keep Going

Over the past couple weeks, I have had some very difficult moments. I have felt overburdened, under-appreciated, angry, lonely, sad, depressed, and even, for a fleeting moment, mildly suicidal. I tend to experience depths of despair like this three or four times a year, and, though I am sure that there are many people who might assign me the label of a mental disorder (which it’s always possible is true), what I think is closer to the truth is that I am just an extremely busy person, with an extremely busy life, who can’t sit still much, who hasn’t gotten enough sleep for almost the past year and a half, who either tries to, or feels they have to, do everything alone, and lacks the help that they really need. I have a hard time believing that anyone, thrown into a room with all of those things, would not come out feeling the way that I do at least as many times as I do in a year. And, most likely, someone else might think they had a mental disorder, too, when the truth is: no matter how on top of things you are, you can’t do everything, and when you try, you might be able to for a while, but it will catch up to you at some point.

Even though I only know about my own personal experience, and I don’t talk to many other mothers these days, I tend to think that this is definitely something mothers can relate to. People, even, in general. Modern life is convenient, but it’s full of appointments and numbers and plans and responsibilities, things that often make convenience look necessary just for the sake of being able to function and deal with it all. And, because life is then structured on top of all that convenience, it sometimes makes trying to live a simpler life much more complicated and stressful, because there isn’t a lot of room to do it in the way that we live.

I sometimes find myself battling this internally. Since becoming a mother, I have changed many aspects of my and my family’s lives drastically, from doing our laundry with a hand crank washer to cooking and making about 90% of everything that my family eats and uses from scratch (minus clothes, but I am still making some of those, too, and when I figure out how to have a 36-hour day instead of just 24, I will be doing that as well, don’t you worry). And it is a beautiful gift to be able to provide for yourself and the ones you love: giving them wholesome, healthy, clean lives, as much as possible. But I am still working on how to give myself and my family all of these things and not end up with dark moments where I am wondering how the hell I am even going to get out of bed the next day due to my stress from trying to do it all and being overloaded.

It isn’t that someone expects this of me, either; it is completely self-imposed, and therefore sometimes even harder to comprehend that I would continually choose to run myself all day long every day just to keep things going the way that I feel is best. This is the conundrum of knowledge, as I am discovering: the more you know, the more you want to do, and the more you do, the more insane you feel, but you know that knowing and doing nothing would leave you feeling more insane than doing something would, and so you keep doing it. What a weird choice to have to make.

Anyway, I have gotten myself out of my slump yet again, as of a couple days ago. This was the first time I have ever just responded by slowing down. Yes, that simple little phrase. Normally, I would just fight my way through it, throwing myself even harder into things and pushing out to the other side. exhausted but triumphant. But this time, I just didn’t have the energy. I could have mustered it from somewhere if I had to, but I decided not to try.

I decided to take some “time off”, which basically looked like this: I played with Sweetie. Not all day, but several different times during the day, for two days. And the things that I needed to get done? I still did them, but I just let them take longer than I usually would so that I could include him, or so that I could stop right in the middle and play with him some more.

My attitude started changing. Life looked less bleak. And the whole time, all I could think was: all I am doing is playing more. And moving more slowly.

This is the lesson that I want to leave you all with this week; the most recent lesson that I have learned. Don’t let life tell you that things have to be so linear. If the path you are traveling is a straight line, but it is full of thorny brambles, hungry bears, and devoid of water and sustenance, then maybe it’s better to take a few steps back to the meandering path, where there are roses and otters and clearings full of decadent five-course picnics, and live to travel another day.

 

Do you have any insights to add? How would your life be different if you chose to integrate more play, and to slow down your routine? Please leave a comment in the space below; we would love to hear from you! As always, thanks for reading!

 

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do

 

 

Mami

Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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