Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesdays at Forty: Overwhelmed Into Inactivity

When I was in the 7th grade, back in middle school at Scandinavian Middle School, I had a class--I think it was History--in which the teacher would assign us essay questions every day.  We would get the list of all the questions at the beginning of the week, if I remember correctly, and we'd have to turn in each day's questions on the day that they were due. You couldn't just write, verbatim, what was in the book either.  You had to write it in your own words.  I was sick one day and didn't complete the questions for that day which meant that I had to do both that day and the following day's questions when I returned.  This caused me some anxiety and I ended up being sick the next day too.  So, then I had three day's worth of questions to complete when I returned.  This made my anxiety worse and I ended up being sick AGAIN.  I went back to school the following week, hoping that the responsibility from the previous week would be ignored or forgotten.  It wasn't.  My teacher told me that I needed to complete the questions for the previous week.  More anxiety ensued.  It was a terrible cycle.  I think, by the end, I had nearly two week's worth of questions that I needed to complete.

My mom couldn't figure out why I was so sick all of the sudden.  She asked me what was going on and I, with great reluctance because I knew she'd be mad that I wasn't actually *sick*, told her.  She asked to see the list of questions; asked if I had my book; then said: "Well, you better get started.  You're not coming out of this room until it's done."  Of course, I huffed and puffed and moaned and groaned about how unfair it was but I was actually quite glad that she had put her foot down.  That meant I could no longer put it off.  I DID get those questions done.  It took me two full evenings, after school, to do so but they were done and the burden was lifted.

Why do I share this?  Because I've been kind of going through something similar.  There's been so much that I need to do, that I was overwhelmed into inactivity.  The only things that I was doing was going to work and helping out at the bookstore.  I hadn't really done anything else.  I think part of the overwhelm was that, in order to do much of it, I needed to pay for various aspects for it to get done.  The reduction in my income has caused me some stress but these things need to get done so I need to do whatever I can to get the means to pay for them.  Ironically, doing what I need to do to increase my revenue streams is on that list of things to do which was put off because of being overwhelmed by all the things that I need to do.  Are you seeing the cycle here?

So, where do I start?  With the things that don't actually cost me money to complete.  And that is where I am now.

Have you ever been overwhelmed into inactivity?

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