Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All The Light We Cannot See


A prayer or some positive thoughts my way would be greatly appreciated. Lately, I've been feeling spread thin and anxious. I've been doing too much, saying yes too often. When I agreed to work at the boys' school, I did so thinking it would be good for me to get out of the house with the Mister traveling so much. It slipped my mind that working all day meant I wouldn't be able to fulfill the household responsibilities I had in the past--or at least not as well. I have always said that I hated the practice of law because it drove me to work too hard and sacrifice too much for too little reward. I'm realizing now that it wasn't law--it was me. It's still me.

I'm incapable of saying no and, therefore, I work until I'm overwhelmed and resentful. I don't talk to anyone unless I bump into them at school or on Facebook. I come home to a messy house, which I can't handle. Everyone has their weakness, and for me it's a disorganized, cluttered house. The stress of walking into a house with crap everywhere undoes me. Not enough for me to do much about it, mind you, but enough for me to make idle threats and glower. I also feel like I'm not devoting to the boys the time and attention they need from me. Homework, studying, signing the proper schoolwork...I can't keep up. I'm failing.

I'm not sure the school budget is there for me to return next year--it's something they can't know until enrollment numbers are in--and the idea the decision of returning might be made for me gives me a great sense of relief. It's not a decision I want to make because I don't know what I want. I love working with the kids and I love where I work, but I love my family more. 

I did tell them that no matter what, I want to continue my (volunteer) work in the library. 

Speaking of libraries, my library has available on epub All the Light We Cannot See, which recently won the Pulitzer. Yes, I'm shocked. I hadn't checked out the digital catalog for our library system in at least a year. They last time I did they had, I kid you not, maybe 10 books per category. Now the options are seemingly limitless; it looks like a true digital library. I'm excited!

I "borrowed" the book and it's sitting on my ipad waiting for me. I'm going to read it, and I hope you will join me. I don't want to say book club is back, but it's my goal to bring it back to life. To do that, I know I might have to change some stuff around here to making commenting easier, and know that I'm working on it whether I bring back book club or not. This time around, I'm going to schedule the discussion for the last Tuesday of the month. So the discussion for this book (the May book, IF I were bringing back the book club) is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26. See you there? 

16 comments:

  1. Hugs for you. I keep thinking about going back to work,but I can barely handle the life I have now, and can't really see where I am going to squeeze a forty hour a week job in there too. It sounds like you have already made a decision in your heart, so hang in there--the school year is only another six-ish weeks.

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  2. Yay! I started this book a month or so ago and then got distracted with. ..everything. It's waiting on my Kindle for me to finish it. So far I'm enjoying it. Looking forward to comparing notes!

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  3. Yay! I started this book a month or so ago and then got distracted with. ..everything. It's waiting on my Kindle for me to finish it. So far I'm enjoying it. Looking forward to comparing notes!

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  4. I loved this book - hope you will, too. Maybe it will break your string of Pulitzer-winning bad reads!

    I retired from teaching a few years ago, and am very familiar with that feeling of being overwhelmed and spread too thin. I will offer advice that, as a fellow type-A person, I didn't take myself, but I know people who did and were happier because of it - hire someone to come in and clean once a week or bi-weekly. (And, yes, I know all the arguments against doing that, especially if you're dealing with clutter rather than dirt ... but even coming home to a clean kitchen and clean bathrooms might alleviate some of the stress for the next few weeks.)

    And thank you for still keeping up with your on-line writing in the midst of all this - I always look forward to reading what you have to say!

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  5. I never found that magical home work balance. I either work too much and completely melt down when things go chaotic at home or I'm home and slightly bored as all three kids are in school. I wonder if that balance thing is just something you read about in a magazine. It sounds like God may be taking care of the problem for you. I love it when that happens.

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  6. I so hope that the problem is solved for you, I completely get the dread of having to make a choice where you truly don't know what the best option is. The book is a great pick, I'm glad for the reason to read it again! Hooray for (not really official) book club!

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  7. I don't think my earlier comment came through, so sorry if this is a duplicate -
    I loved reading this article: http://www.sortacrunchy.net/sortacrunchy/2014/06/survival-guide-for-the-highly-sensitive-parent-.html
    I was all, hey, that's me! Might be you too? And I'm trying to implement some of these things, especially the smells and touching.

    Put in a request for the book, but I'm number 53!

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  8. Oh, I loved that book and we had the BEST discussion about it at bookgroup. I'll likely re-read it since I read it so fast the first time. I'm betting you read this, but the author is a poet and the book is written like prose. Its really a stunner of a book.

    I so feel you & had a similar melt down this week. Too many projects/balls in the air right now and caught myself wishing I worked a "real" job and wouldn't have time to volunteer for so many things that stress me out. HA! What helped immensely was drinking a big tall glass of konmarie kookaid and picked one area to declutter. Something about dropping those four bags of clothes at goodwill & another garbage of clothes at the fabric drive helped me regain some focus. Maybe you'll find an hour this weekend to purge one area ~ even a small sense of order can help a lot. Hugs, Jules!

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  9. I will try to get the book out of the library either in real or ebook form.

    Sending good thoughts and prayers your way today!

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  10. Such a good book! I hope reading it will be a refreshing experience for you. Look forward to discussing it next month!

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  11. One of the reasons I haven't headed back to work (despite feeling a bit listless at times with both kids at school), is knowing my type-A-Midwest-work-ethic is going to kick in and home life will decidedly take a back burner. I just am not a very good balancer. I guess all that to say, I feel your pain. Sending thoughts and prayers that whatever will be best for you is how it all works out.

    And I'm glad your not-restarting-restarting the book club. This book has been on my TBR list for too long, this gives me an incentive to check it off. Also, yay! for a step in the right direction Jules's library.

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  12. Have you ever heard of the FlyLady? If not, give her a google and read a bit about her cleaning system. It overwhelms me as it's designed for someone who is at home all day, but she repeatedly says to make it work to your situation. Some of the things I've learned from her: 1) every morning while you're in the bathroom getting ready, wipe off the counter and give the toilet a swish with the brush. It takes only a few seconds and keeps it looking nice. 2) Work in 15 minute increments. One of her quotes is "You can do anything for 15 minutes!"

    Also - divvy up chores. I don't make my kids do a lot (though I really should), but every weekend, one has to give the dog a bath and clean the bathroom, and the other has to vacuum the house. Now I just have to get my husband to clean off the porches every weekend (height of pollen season, our porch looks like the trees sneezed all over them)...

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  13. I got it from my library two weeks ago, started it last week and I'm tearing through it (as fast as my limited time is allowing right now)! Can't wait to hear what you think of it.

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  14. I understand being pulled in so many directions and feeling the need to take a step back. I hate that work and home life are so stressful right now for you. Hope that you can find the time you need to take a breath and make the best choice for you.

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  15. Sounds like you just need to listen to yourself. Working all day is too much and stressful for how you want your life to be. Go back to volunteering and then the pressure will be gone and you can enjoy a more relaxed schedule. Just listen to that inner voice, it know what it wants. Best to you.

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  16. Kat in Canada/Prairie_KatApril 25, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    You just wrote my life. I take stuff on, stretch myself too thinly, get so overwhelmed I'm paralyzed, then pick up MORE stuff because maybe I'm just working on the wrong things (Spoiler: NOPE). So then I implode everything, clear my plate...and end up unhappy because I'm directionless, purposeless, and unvalidated. Rinse and repeat. Clearly, I have no advice, only empathy. :-(

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