Doing too much (again)

Candace, 13 January 2006, No comments
Categories: Blogging, Blogher, Family, Women's Studies

I don’t know how it happens. Last week I was enjoying a visit from my oldest and dearest friend and her son, cooking meals and eating them sitting down. I had clean laundry and exciting plans for the upcoming semester. Now it’s four days into classes, I’m overwhelmed by assignment due dates, already behind in the readings, falling asleep all over the place, giving up on a grant application, dropping plans everywhere, bailing on lunchdates with friends and just generally sinking into depression. Luckily the kids are still fed and mostly have clean things they can wear so I know it’s not that serious.

I drift between feeling great/wanting to do all the things I’ve ever dreamed of and wanting to hide and never come out. I keep surfing to the BlogHer site and dreaming about going to the 2006 conference. I imagine all the things I could learn, all the cool discussions that will take place, and all the amazing women I could meet. I even checked out the hotel site and the assorted cheap flight sites. I want to go. I do. But I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I can’t imagine the semester being over and it being July. I can’t imagine not being in school. I can’t imagine myself on a plane, going to San José. Ever since I started back to school I have been going full-time, around the calendar. I guess it will soon be 3 years. I had planned to be done at the end of summer 2006 but I dropped from 5 to 4 courses this year after I got some funding that will let me finish my program at a more leisurely pace. Why kill myself with overload I figured…? But did this lighter course load slow me down? Hell no. I started a campus club, got elected to the student association, signed my kids up for activities (aikido for my daughter, gymnastics for the boys), let my coach schedule me for another ballet teaching exam, started making websites for friends, not to mention the usual too-many-jobs-and-too-little-time story of the single parent.

I really want to go to sleep. I don’t want to finish this summer project grant that’s due tomorrow. I don’t want to write the abstracts for the conferences I thought maybe I’d apply to for the spring and summer. I don’t want to submit the papers I’ve written to anywhere. I’ve lost my confidence and enthusiasm. I want to crawl under the covers and not come out until it’s all over. Even though I’m not sure exactly what “it” really is.

If you haven’t already figured it out I’m quite the Type A. I feel this incredible pressure to try everything and I really do get excited about the projects I do. I’m good at getting other people motivated too. What I’m not good at is recognizing my physical limits. I don’t know what it is I should drop or how to drop. And later, after I drop things I regret what I did not do. Tonight I figure it’s the grant application. I’m supposed to meet with some potential sponsors tomorrow but tonight I feel like just forgetting the whole thing. I just can’t be positive anymore. I’ll just let it sit a year and try again next time. Of course this summer when I’m trying to survive without a student loan I’ll probably be feeling differently. And when I’m feeling confident again and thinking how nice it would be to take a plane to San José to go to the BlogHer conference I’ll be wishing I had that extra bit of cash.

But who can do everything? Why do I feel I need to do everything? I wish I had just one hobby, one place to focus instead of feeling torn in so many directions. I keep hoping that someday it will all roll into something reasonably lucrative that will take care of me and my family (hmm there may be an idea for a cool new Katamari level in this thought) but I haven’t yet figured out what that might be. Suggestions I’ve received like going to work in a factory, or becoming an elementary school teacher just make me more depressed.

If I was more confident tonight I would have booked a room for the conference. But instead I panic that I will have nothing to say, nothing to contribute, or everyone will see the ‘real’ me: the one I’ve worked so hard to leave behind in the hell where I used to live. Tonight I can’t imagine that I would have anything worthwhile to offer.

So it’s not quite midnight and this post tonight that was supposed to be something academic and maybe Carnival material has instead turned into a whiny post about nothing really. I may come back and delete it later, but at least now I can say I’ve posted something on my blog. And return to staring at the grant application and the pile of textbooks beside me.

How many dairy-free chocolate chip granola bars does it take to make a meal?


No Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Elisa Camahort
    13 January 2006, 4:12 am

    You should definitely plan on coming, and if money is an issue, you should keep an eye out for when we start accepting requests to volunteer in exchange for blogherships. I don’t think anyone walked away last year feeling that they had nothing to contribute. This conference is about the community.

    Besides, I have always loved your header graphic picture and would love to meet the woman behind it 🙂

  2. Administrator
    13 January 2006, 8:04 am

    Thanks Elisa. I’m sure I’ll feel better after I have a weekend to breathe. The first week back is always rough and I need to remember to give myself time and space. And I’ll be so glad when the due date (Saturday) for this grant application is past. The roller coaster of “is it going to happen/is it not going to happen” is killing me.

    I know a lot of work is going into the conference and it’s going to be even more fabulous than last year. And besides, how will I be able to help with Canada’s BlogHer if I don’t come this year? 😉

  3. Elisa Camahort
    13 January 2006, 11:56 am

    Now, that’s the spirit!!

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