Saturday, March 10, 2018

Getting overwhelmed

You’ll notice that the last blog post I wrote was on February 16th. This post today is March 10th. What happened in the almost last month that led me to not write? Simple. I got overwhelmed. With life. With everything. And it sucked. Big time! You see, I’m a church musician. It’s Lent. It’s a very hectic and busy time. We’re also looking for a house to buy. And so my life took on its own direction, spinning quickly out of control. Walking didn’t happen. Surviving the day became the goal. And it frustrated and angered me to no end, but I couldn’t really do anything to control it.

So what has changed? This week is spring break for my wife and girls. I don’t have as much going on over the week, outside of working ahead to get ready for Holy Week and Easter. And along with that, I’ve already been and will continue to figure out how better to get a hold of my schedule and my life. I’ve gained weight. I’ve been out of regular exercising for almost 3 weeks. I feel like my most productive thing I’ve done over the past 3 weeks is survive the day each and every day.

We all face those moments of being overwhelmed. How we respond is imperative. I could throw a pity party, say “woe is me”, but what good is it going to do? I’m blessed in so many ways. I can’t complain. And what I need to do is to figure out how to maneuver through the busyness of life and not just survive, but thrive. There are things I want (and need) to do like lose weight, pack up our house, get rid of stuff, write and arrange music and write books. That’s a lot to bite off, isn’t it? It’s overwhelming, but not impossible. Today, I’m not doing anything but intentionally resting. And it’s already been wonderful. Stepping back and breathing.

One of the most important things in all of this is to give yourself grace. While you may get overwhelmed, it’s a learning experience. Kind of like when you learn not to touch a hot stove, or are around sharp objects. If you touch them, they’ll hurt. So you learn what not to do. But more importantly, you learn what TO do. That’s called growth, and it’s something we need to be quite regularly doing!

So how do you cope when you get overwhelmed? Do you step back, reassess and strategize? Or do you push even harder? Or give up? Or do something else? Maybe curl up in the fetal position? What I have been reminded of in the past week is that work is hard, and nothing comes without work. And while sometimes that work can be overwhelming, it takes intentionality, focus, and support from others. You can do it!! And so can I!

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