Skating On Thin Ice

Lately I’ve felt overwhelmed.

I’ve felt this way before, but it was usually one part of my life I could pause or get rid of. When I felt overwhelmed in college I scaled back the credit hours the next quarter. A decade ago I walked away from a job that was taking a toll on my relationships and making me sick. At times, I’ve reduced the number of church or school activities we commit to and stuck close to home for a while until the feeling subsided.

This is the first time I can recall where everything feels overwhelming to the point that I don’t feel I’m doing anything very well and some things quite poorly.

Work is the lone bright spot, and one that’s not entirely easy to control. So I don’t take this for granted.

But nearly every other area of my life feels like the first time I stood up on ice skates; I’m moving, but have no control over my speed or direction and I know eventually I’m going to crash into someone.

I listen to talks at church about what I’m expected to teach my children, provide for my family while maintaining  a strong bond with my spouse. But it often feels like the activities and meetings and then more meeting keep us from spending much time together on the one day of the week set aside to do so. Church is starting to feel like a weekly reminder of everything I’m not doing well.

But it’s not only church that provides a reminder.

Last week Anna forgot her lunch so I rode my bike to her school to drop it off. As I walked into her class, her teacher yelled across the room, “Hey, you forgot this morning was Donuts with your Daughter”.

Here I thought I was doing well to get up at 6 am to get my oldest daughter off to school, returning to make lunches for two more kids before getting our five-year old off to pre-school. And I have the easy part because I know Kim has been up several times throughout the night to feed and comfort our baby.

I used to stay up late to get things done I couldn’t get to during the day. And that worked well when I was single and was even passable before I married a night owl. But it doesn’t work well today, and without a Diet Coke run to the car between church meetings, I’d be fast asleep on the foyer couch by Priesthood.

I forgot I was supposed to help clean the church today. Maybe after I listen to this Mark Knopfler tune one more time. I dunno. 

I’d better learn to skate. Or stay off the ice.