Remember that one time Reagan and I were going to do a 30 day Blog Challenge and then life happened and we never finished it?

Me too. 

In fact, I just kinda remembered that I had a blog. Or a life that wasn’t my job, my daughter’s school, or my church. 

Life, right now, is chaotic. It’s not one day at a time, it’s one hour at a time. I’m not a multitasker, I am a juggler, and right now it feels like everything I have in the air is also either really sharp, or on fire.

When October draws to a close, many things will have settled down. Many events with have come and gone. But Basketball season will be beginning and the presence of the holiday season will be inching closer and closer with a whole new set of “to dos”.

So I’m writing this morning, just simply for the sake of writing. To put some words down. 

I woke up at 4 a.m. Sleep was elusive, so I went ahead and turned on the coffee pot and went outside to clear my head for the day. 

It’s not hot this morning. The first sign that summer is trying to end. A blessed relief, because it’s been a hot one.

I look at my calendar and see that Dad has 13 more working days until retirement. I see a blog post about that. Soon.

I realize that 9 months have come and almost gone and oh so much has happened. My oldest niece started college. My daughter started Junior High. I transferred to a different office. I became the lead person on our Mission Committee at church. I started a business. I lost some weight. I gained some back. I met some goals, and still have some that I’d like to try and tackle. I watched a friend get sober. I watched a woman get a presidential nomination. I watched my country become increasingly divided by politics and rhetoric and propoganda. 

I’ve handled more complex and problem collection cases than I ever thought I’d see in such a short time span. I’m learning. Every day. Learning something new. Pushing and pushing for people to make good on a debt owed to my employer. 

Whether I’m intensely involved in the situation at hand or just watching it unfold, I’m busy it seems, all the time. Which is why I had nightmares Sunday night and woke up at 4 a.m. this morning. I’m stressed. I feel it as strongly some days as if I had a boa constrictor around my body, squeezing, squeezing, trying to get one more moment of action out of me for that day.

And it’s not just the things I actually complete or work on every day, it’s the things I WANT or NEED to do. I hate it when I need to work late and THEN have to go by the store and THEN have to get my family fed and THEN have 10 minutes with my kid before bedtime. I hate it when I look down and it’s been 3 days since I talked to my parents. Or realize it’s been over a week since I saw my grandmother. Or actually talked to my sister. Or had lunch with my best friend. I hate that when my friend texts me and says, “Want to meet at the park and walk after work?” I have to decline. And I see patterns emerging that are unhealthy. I’m no longer in charge of my life. My life runs me. 

I’ve been here before, but never to this extent. When Reagan was small, I had a lot to do FOR her, but the needs were small. Practical. Bathe her, feed her, read to her, and she had an earlier bedtime. So at least by 8 o’clock I had a little time to unwind. She’s older now, and her demands on me are much more emotional, mental. Be her encourager, her confidante, her cheerleader and #1 fan. And be her example because she’s watching me more intently than she ever has. My body issues become her body issues. My attitudes about my stressors become her attitudes about her stressors. Major pressure to not raise another control freak here. 

And then there’s my marriage. Just sitting there. Ignored a lot of days. Functioning, but not thriving as it should. You live with someone and pass them in the halls and text a little bit during the day and then the day is done, you’ve had dinner and cleared the dishes and everybody just wants to go to their corners and be left alone, but have some company. 

If you’re waiting for me to get to my point, I guess you’re going to be disappointed. I’ve just been silent for about a month and needed to say that my silence is not indicative of anything more than my. life. is. crazy right now. 

And that scares me a little bit. Because I’ve never had a busy time in my life like this before that didn’t get slammed on its head by something to make me slow down. I got sick or someone I love got sick or someone died or some catastrophe occured. I am meticulously trying to juggle all of my knives and flaming spears and inevitably, something will break my concentration and I’ll lose my balancing act. All the things will fall. And it will hurt. 

It doesn’t have to happen that way either. It can happen by someone throwing ONE MORE THING into my juggling rotation. Throwing off my rhythm, distracting me.

So when you say, “Allison hasn’t blogged in a while. Wonder why?”

Now you know. 

I know all the things I need to do. Say “no” more. Put my needs first occasionally so I can be better for everyone else. But there are times that I forget how. I started seeing a therapist about 3 months ago. The last 25 years have caught up with me and I recognize that I have work to do to heal from some things that still leave their lasting impressions on my thought patterns. It’s the one thing I’m doing for myself right now that I will not ignore. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

My business isn’t thriving but it’s my business. And it will thrive as soon as I can devote more time to it. It’s a dream that I refuse to give up on.

I don’t pray like I should. But if nothing else, I pray by simply leaning on God. When I feel overwhelmed, I close my eyes. I make the sign of the cross. I whisper, “Grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart.”

I take the unexpected awakening at 4 a.m. and go with it. Call it a prompting of the Spirit to just get on up. Write this post. Free my mind, my heart, my soul through words. Even if they make no sense to anyone but me. 

And something supernatural happens when I do those kinds of things. Seeing my therapist, dreaming, praying, meditating, and embracing the earliest hours of the morning. These things water my soul. They give me what I need to push through another day of deadbeat customers, problem situations, deadlines, junior high drama, and my 5th trip to the grocery store that week.

I will also say that being this busy, this stressed, does have other upsides besides forcing myself to focus on doing the necessary things to keep my sanity: I’m much less likely to put up with crap. I don’t have time for it. It keeps me off of Facebook, letting my nerves rest from seeing nonstop political or other nonsense. It forces my no to be no and my yes to be yes. It keeps me from procrastinating. 

So there it is. My life for the last month or so in all its complete, busy insanity. 

And another day has begun.

It may be another month before I write again. It might be tomorrow. But thanks for listening.