Done with not getting enough sleep.
Done with tackling the never-ending pile of laundry and dishes every day.
Done with listening to the kids argue over who has more dominoes.
I was just done.
I go to bed too late and wake up too early every morning. I stumble out into a kitchen that's somehow already a mess, even though we cleaned it after dinner last night.
It's 6 AM, and I already feel behind.
There's the morning rush of getting everybody up and fed and dressed and off to school, and then I still have littles at home with me, begging for snacks before I've even cleared the breakfast dishes.
There are a zillion things on my to-do list today, all of which were swirling around in my head last night when I was supposed to be sleeping.
I clear the table. I change some diapers. I kiss a boo-boo. I make my breakfast and forget about it. I nurse a baby. I start to work out. Check, check, check.
But my mind keeps reeling off new items, faster than I can even remember them. My daughter needs a new soccer ball. I have to call our health insurance company about a strange bill. Yearbook order forms are due soon. It's getting chilly and all the kids' winter clothes are still up in the attic.
I get up off the floor in a huff and stomp into the bathroom. My to-do list won't leave me alone, even when I'm doing something (like working out) that's on it.
I lock the door, get in the shower, and just stand there letting the hot the water spill over my face, trying not to think of anything that needs to get done.
Over the last year, I've read at least a hundred articles on productivity. I should know better by now, but every time I get suckered in by the headline that promises to contain the magic bullet I need to finally be everywhere, do everything, and accomplish all the things.
But the fact is that it's not a matter of working hard enough or smart enough. The problem is that I can't possibly work long enough to do it all.
And therein lies the problem: how do I divide the important from the unimportant when everything feels like a must-do item and there aren't enough hours in the day?
What do you do when every single thing you accomplish only makes you more anxious about the 100 other things you're not doing?
I ponder this question until I notice that the shower curtain's getting scummy and needs to be cleaned. So much for escaping my to-do list in here.
I turn off the water, I towel off my face.
Scientifically speaking, a living thing is alive because inside, there's a constant struggle to maintain balance. One chemical reaction after another, all aimed at achieving homeostasis, and that's life. The only time our bodies are truly at equilibrium is when they're dead.
Maybe I'm struggling to find a balance that doesn't even exist. Maybe everyone I know feels this way at least some of the time.
One day I might learn how to keep the plates all spinning more seamlessly, or maybe I'll just get better at figuring out which ones can fall without bringing down the whole act.
For now I'll have to settle with a resolution to sleep more and pray more, and try to be patient with myself.
And the next time someone stops me in the grocery store, gesturing to my kids and asking "How do you do it?" I'll just be honest and answer "I have no idea. But I'm open to suggestions."