Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Just Can't Multi-Task Anymore

When there is too much on my plate I get a bit unfocused. I never plan on that happening, but this past week I proved to myself --
I am not superwoman. I am not even related to superwoman.

For several days I prepared for this week. Some of the things on my schedule were hosting Coffee with the Poets on Wednesday morning where my dear friends, Mary Mike Keller and Estelle Rice, were reading.

Another thing was completing a photo presentation with over 100 pictures to scan into my computer, enhance and caption each one. I wanted to make sure that the families of each of my siblings were represented in the presentation and include some of my cousins who planned to be at the gathering of nieces, siblings, nephews, their children and grandchildren. 

During this preparation and learning to use Power Point and a borrowed projector, I also regularly talked with my brother's caregiver and tried to bolster his confidence in taking care of his father, deal with the weird medical world, and keep his sick mother calm. I couldn't sleep at night as I tossed and turned with "monkey mind" raging until the wee hours of the morning. 

Would my brother still be with us, or able to come to the reunion? Were his needs being met at home or would he have to be readmitted to the hospital? I was torn between wanting to be there with him and all the other things in my life such as Writers Circle, my business. 

At the same time, I learned that my dear niece, Lyn, had emergency surgery for a torn retina on Monday. She was terrified she might lose her sight. She had faced this trauma before and the outcome was not good. When I couldn't sleep at night, I prayed that she wouldn't lose her sight. But the worry did not go away.

Worry negated all my positive promises to myself. I work diligently  to be a positive person and so far it has worked fine. But this week I also wore my Interim Program Coordinator hat. The Netwest News should have gone out on May 1. The editor said she had to go out of town last weekend and asked me to complete it and mail it to our members. I agreed.

But, I had to go out of town last weekend to see my brother. I worked on the newsletter on my old antiquated, but well loved, laptop. It would not send the newsletter with all the graphics in place. When I arrived home on Sunday night, I sent the editor a note and said, I can't do this now. When it is complete, I will mail it.

It was Wednesday before we managed to get the newsy letter out to our members. That was one chore off my back.

But my PC hat was well in place, and I spent one hour or more on the phone discussing Netwest business. As I tried to multi-task, including doing laundry and pack, I made errors of judgement, I made errors in the reunion project which I am hosting, I forgot to pack some important photos, but I didn't forget to get a cat sitter.

Trying to be superwoman resulted in my stress level shooting higher and higher. I missed the writing event I was supposed to host. I let myself become fearful, become the woman I was a few years ago when I didn't have confidence in myself. I questioned whether I should have begun the reunion project all by myself.

But I did something right. I asked for help. I asked a writer friend to take over Coffee with the Poets for a few months. I let my sister come to my rescue and help me with the reunion duties. 

I realized I could not function on four hours of sleep each night so I am taking a sleep aid for a few more days until I get back on schedule. Lack of sleep knocks me off kilter. When I don't sleep I hurt from fibromyalgia which I've dealt with for about 15 years.

My regret is that I hurt the feelings of others. I raised my voice to those I love and cut them off on the phone. I lost track of my priorities for a while, but tonight I've regained my equilibrium.

By writing about this, I see what I need to do to be healthy again.
By writing to you, my readers, I have learned what has been happening in my life and how I must fix what I can. To anyone I have hurt this week, I'm sorry. I'll do better next week, I hope.

But that will be a full week as well. I begin teaching a new course on Healing through Writing and I will be reading at the John C. Campbell Folk School on May 16. I hope my brother will improve when he gets his pacemaker next week. My niece will be at the reunion because the doctor says she can go. I hope that means that her eye is healing and she will have full vision again.

For now this superwoman needs some sleep.


Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Any more? I never could multi-task. In my day it wasn't part of the job description. Hope your brother is better soon.

Lise said...

Thanks for sharing Glenda. I believe that your experiences make you the absolutely perfect teacher for Healing through Writing!

Anonymous said...

Sam, thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure I ever was good at multi-tasking and I have always believed it was not the best way to work.
I am home from my reunion and it was wonderful! My brother was able to be there and everyone seemed to have a good time. It was all worth it.

Glenda Beall said...

Hi Lise,
I am looking forward to this class on healing through writing. I think you are right - I have a pretty good perspective on the subject.
I love your blog, by the way.

Kathleen said...

Sounds to me like you are Superwoman - you just don't know it! What a week you've had. I do find that I have the same problem sometimes, but what's really frustrating is that I don't realize it until I've committed some faux pas. Hope you can find time to rest and get your equilibrium back this week. Kathleen: