Self Improvement | Mental Health
The Queen of Multitasking
Sometimes life tumbles us, polishing off our sharp edges and sanding our surfaces until we are a different person.
Sometimes it pushes us to the edge of the cliff and dangles us by our feet.
It’s only when we surrender when we cry ‘uncle’ and beg for mercy that it might consider releasing us into a new reality.
My job was full of variety and I loved it because it was never boring.
Being an accountant is one thing, but when you move into
management, people add the spice that keeps things interesting.
I loved the rush of working on several tasks at once and managing to move each one forward one step. Keeping track of systems, money,
people and students gave me the satisfaction of ticking multiple
things off the list at the end of the day.
When it came to getting things done, I have been known as the queen of multitasking.
I did the same at home. With four kids in lots of activities, there
was always something that needed doing or someone who needed
to be driven somewhere.
We had a large calendar to keep track of their schedules and both parents were needed as the four of them were not often in the same sport.
I made sure I had food in the car to fuel them between events and a home-cooked meal at the end of the day. Sometimes that involved cooking for several days at once, but I was happy to do it.
I made sure they each had downtime in their day but forgot to schedule time for myself.
Letting go of each of our kids as they graduated and moved away
from home was a struggle, although each one pulled at me in a
different way. You would think that I would get used to it, but it’s
taken a long time for me to detach.
I understand intellectually that they need to grow up and move away to each become their own person, but emotionally there is a tearing that leaves a hole that doesn’t quite heal.
I learned that if you don’t let go, they push back and not always in a
kind way. That is also normal, and eventually, it hurts enough that
you have to stop caring so much, at least overtly.
Things were changing at work as well.
A new boss who didn’t understand that I was a capable person made it difficult for me to continue in the same way as before. Because she was very familiar with my job, she felt comfortable telling me I was doing things
wrong, instead of relying on my abilities and reaching for her
I was reaching the limit of my endurance and started having panic attacks, waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. I eventually reached a breaking point and went on medical leave.
Like sea glass, sometimes life breaks us down so we have room to birth something new.
I had identified myself as a competent mother and a capable
manager for most of my life. Both of these roles were gone for me.
I felt as if I had failed and was consumed with guilt and intense feelings of inadequacy.
I slowly slipped into a depression, started drinking too much and that made the situation worse.
In the end, I had to break my give a damn.
Writing was a way to examine some of the things I had been telling
myself and I realized that so much of what I thought was important
was actually self-imposed.
I had created a situation that led to my own breakdown and the only way out was to let it all go.
I shattered my old life into pieces and threw them into the sea.
I had to break up with my ‘give a damn’, and focus on myself.
It is the most freeing choice that I’ve ever made.
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