Attack of the I-Need-To-Be-Cloneds
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Burn.
Okay, taking a deep breath now and trying to figure out how to do it all. I remind myself that I just have to make it until Sunday and then Â everything will be better. Because August is going to be a super month Â when everything starts to fall into place and exciting new people and projects appear and change my lifeâ€™s focus in new and wonderful ways. Iâ€™m anxious to see what they are!
I keep reminding myself that these last two weeks of July were Â meant to be hard. A time of re-prioritizing my life, shedding emotionally, moving on. A short time to revisit what life used to be like in regard to stress.
Even though the huge source of my stress has been gone for Â most of the past year, I rememberâ€”every now and thenâ€”what Â the Â stress Â was Â like. Â The Â elephant Â on Â my Â chest, jumping up and down. The sense of being left alone in the barren, frozen tundra to trudge uphill in both directions.
Between the divorce, the hurricanes, the bedridden state ofÂ Â myÂ Â wholeÂ Â monthÂ Â ofÂ Â April, legal issues, changing jobs, book projects gone Â askew, the emotional rollercoaster of my affections, and a host of lesser evils that are still time-consuming evils, Iâ€™m snowed under and feeling like Iâ€™ll never dig out.
I keep kicking myself for letting other people down, even ones who donâ€™t think Iâ€™m letting them down. I have book projects that should have been out last Fall, but theyâ€™re just now at the printers. I have books Iâ€™m supposed to be writing that are seriously behind schedule because Iâ€™ve had Â to wait on other writers and editors for input. I have people I owe Â letters and phone calls, but I havenâ€™t had the time to devote to correspondence even though Iâ€™d love to. It means so much just to hear an occasional hello from them while Iâ€™m digging out.
The most Iâ€™ve been able to muster to chat with Jean was a brief, â€œIf youâ€™ve got a spell so I can clone myself, please send it pronto!â€ Â Unfortunately, the spell she sent isnâ€™t workingâ€¦it seems Iâ€™ve cloned the work, not me.
For as Bohemian as I can be, Iâ€™ve always been terribly anal about time. I canâ€™t stand to be five minutes late. Iâ€™m the one whoâ€™s always early or on-time and has to wait for everyone else to Â get Â there. Â Thatâ€™s Â changing Â now. Â For Â some Â reason, Â I Â can longer stand to wear a watch. Â Physically canâ€™t bear for it to touch my wrist. And why bother? Iâ€™ve always got a cell phone glued to my hip anyway if I need to know the time.
And as far as deadlines, Iâ€™ve rarely missed a one…ever. Until this Â past year. Now I canâ€™t believe how many deadlines have gotten past me. Iâ€™m trying not to obsess, but this is so different for me. Not that Iâ€™ve been lax but rather, too overworked to get it all done.
Iâ€™d like to figure out what I can cut out just to get every- thing Â accomplished. Surely I could let go of something other than Â what Â Iâ€™ve Â already Â given Â upâ€¦TV, Â reading Â for Â pleasure, lunch with friends, dating.
Sleep? Doing that already. Must get sleep. Struggling to get four or five hours a night and six would be just grand.
Meals? Skippingâ€™s a no-no. When I skip, I actually gain weight. Must remind myself to eat and eat when Iâ€™m hungry, not when Iâ€™m famished.
Exercise? In the past month or two, yes, Iâ€™ve skipped it too much, but I canâ€™t let that go any longer. My knees hurt from the lack of it. Iâ€™m back on the leg presses, though gently for the moment.
My day job? Canâ€™t. Must pay bills. Though this is where the bulk of time goes and the least advantageous to my spirit.
Friends and family? I let that go in the past and isolated myself. Â Though I canâ€™t play as much as Iâ€™d like, Iâ€™m making a strong effort to Â keep in touch and plan a few things with my kids, like my walkie-talkie chat and exercise combo (long power- walks with Shannon where we talk, talk, talk).
Spiritual adventures? No. Iâ€™m learning far too much and growing Â from all these unusual episodes. I log them, too, so theyâ€™ll become book fodder at some point.
Sex? Snort. If I hadnâ€™t already given that up, I could probably figure out a way to combine it with some of the other areas. Maybe friends and exercise. Or maybe spiritual adventures and friends. Or, if all this work has me totally exhausted, I could combine it with sleep and just never know it.
I refuse to give up brushing my teeth, and it is time to get my hair cut again. Iâ€™m working through most of my lunch hours, eating while I edit. Iâ€™m dictating my books while I drive to and from work. Iâ€™m past due a return visit to my new doctor but the kids are getting to their Â appointments ($800 worth of special eye exams and related bills today alone and the younger child still has another test!). I canâ€™t remember the last time I did anything that was rocking-good fun, and Iâ€™ve had to turn down some friends for a road trip this weekend and will continue to face guilt Â trips from my parents for failing to visit in the past month.
Yes, this is how life used to be. Not a spare moment for much of Â anything but work. So if this is so hard right now, whatâ€™s the Universe trying to tell me?
AngelSu fussed at me in mid-June about how tough this Summer Â would be and that I need to not do more than three things at any one time. What? Not multi-task? How am I sup- posed to live like that? I can Â streamline down to about four processes at once but three? Impossible.
And my guides, they constantly tell me to play more when I feel like I need to be working more. So whatâ€™s the lesson here?
Quitting my day job solves a lot of my problems but un- fortunately interferes with my plans to eat and have a roof over my head. The best I can do in lieu of that is to not take on any- thing new. And I hate that. Iâ€™ve had to turn down some wonderful publishing projects this month, but it canâ€™t be helped: I donâ€™t have time even to read them. I have to take care of the obligations I already have and re-prioritize my Â life thereafter. And thatâ€™s the process Iâ€™m enduring right now. Most of these will be accomplished by November, with a big hurdle in September and a minor one next Sunday that will free me up for a little R&R next week if I stay on track.
So in this transition time, I know the kind of life I want and Â where Â I want to spend my time. The projects I take on nowâ€”or donâ€™t Â take onâ€”move me in that direction, toward a place of both creativity and joy, a sacred home life, and spiritual pursuits. Iâ€™ll look at these current stresses as wrapping up loose ends before I move into the next phase of my life, as prep time for whatâ€™s good to come.
Meanwhile, if I can just make it to August, Iâ€™ll be fine.