I used to be productive. I had a professional job in IT, school-aged, active children, aging parents who needed help, a house and yard, and volunteer positions in my kid’s school, the community and my church. Oh, and a husband. All at the same time. And I got it done. No nanny, no cleaning service, no smartphones or apps to coordinate it all. But I got it done.
Remember (if you are of a certain age…) the 1970’s commercial for a perfume call Enjoli?
Yeah – that’s how I rolled in the 80’s and 90’s. Jack of all trades, master of none, but in my own way, I was awesome. I got it done. And, most of the time, in style and with a smile. Okay – some of the time.
But now something is wrong. Terribly, horribly, awfully wrong.
My kids are now grown and living successful lives of their own. My parents passed away in the early 2000’s. I no longer have a “real” job – I’m on hiatus remember? The community and school volunteer positions have long been filled by other parents who were themselves in high school when I was volunteering. I work couple of hours at my new church in my new city each week, but that’s about it.
Based on my past performance of successfully doing six things at once, you’d think that by this point I should have learned three languages, hiked the Appalachian trail twice, gotten another Master’s degree or two (maybe a PhD), started a tech company and become a 50 state marathon runner. And still had time left over to master the art of the French soufflé and blog five days a week.
But that’s not how things are now.
If my day starts out with three thank you notes to write (so old school…), a prescription receipt to submit to the insurance company, a couple of loads of laundry to do, two bills to pay, blog posts from some of my favorite bloggers to read and a hotel reservation to book, I start stressing. Too much to do. And it’s very likely I won’t get it done that day. Any of it. I might play on Facebook for a while, answer a few emails, run out for coffee, start a blog post (not finishing it mind you) and buy a new running visor.
Like Scarlett O’Hara said, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Fiddle dee dee…
How could I have fallen so far so fast and become so unproductive?
In the past two months I’ve restarted my little one person business and am working about ten hours a week. Now I’m having a hard to finding time to go to the grocery store.
This past weekend I went to a three day conference that started on Friday. On top of that, I had to run on Saturday morning and go to church Sunday morning to meet a commitment. By Sunday evening I was saying (to quote Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory”), “What fresh hell is this?”
How does one go from being ubertasker to being a slug? I’ve been trying to figure it out…
In the past, was it a matter of just gritting my teeth and mentally forcing myself to go non-stop to get it all done? It didn’t feel like that at the time. Because everything seemed so “important” back in the day, does everything now feel trivial in comparison and just not worth very much effort? Am I finally exhausted after all those years of non-stop activity and drama – a sort of PTSD response? Did I burned out my adrenals and am now incapable of producing the cortisol my body needs for coping with stress? Beginnings of dementia maybe? Oh – I really hope not… Have I gotten lazy? Or is it just the simple fact that I was younger, and had more stamina and energy?
I don’t have an answer. I wish I did.
I bought some bacon a few months ago. I finally had to put it in the freezer because I just couldn’t get around to “frying it up in a pan.”
Maybe I should see if they are still selling Enjoli…