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  everything will be better. Because August is going to be a super month  when everything starts to fall into place and exciting new people and projects appear and change my life’s focus in new and wonderful ways. I’m anxious to see what they are!

Flying By Night novelI keep reminding myself that these last two weeks of July were  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  most of the past year, I remember—every now and then—what  the  stress  was  like.  The  elephant  on  my  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 of   my   whole   month   of   April, legal issues, changing jobs, book projects gone  askew, the emotional rollercoaster of my affections, and a host of lesser evils that are still time-consuming evils, I’m snowed under and feeling like I’ll never dig out.

I keep kicking myself for letting other people down, even ones who don’t think I’m letting them down. I have book projects that should have been out last Fall, but they’re just now at the printers. I have books I’m supposed to be writing that are seriously behind schedule because I’ve had  to wait on other writers and editors for input. I have people I owe  letters and phone calls, but I haven’t had the time to devote to correspondence even though I’d love to. It means so much just to hear an occasional hello from them while I’m digging out.

The most I’ve been able to muster to chat with Jean was a brief, “If you’ve got a spell so I can clone myself, please send it pronto!”  Unfortunately, the spell she sent isn’t working…it seems I’ve cloned the work, not me.

For as Bohemian as I can be, I’ve always been terribly anal about time. I can’t stand to be five minutes late. I’m the one who’s always early or on-time and has to wait for everyone else to  get  there.  That’s  changing  now.  For  some  reason,  I  can longer stand to wear a watch.  Physically can’t bear for it to touch my wrist. And why bother? I’ve always got a cell phone glued to my hip anyway if I need to know the time.

And as far as deadlines, I’ve rarely missed a one…ever. Until this  past year. Now I can’t believe how many deadlines have gotten past me. I’m trying not to obsess, but this is so different for me. Not that I’ve been lax but rather, too overworked to get it all done.

I’d like to figure out what I can cut out just to get every- thing  accomplished. Surely I could let go of something other than  what  I’ve  already  given  up…TV,  reading  for  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? Skipping’s a no-no. When I skip, I actually gain weight. Must remind myself to eat and eat when I’m hungry, not when I’m famished.

Exercise? In the past month or two, yes, I’ve skipped it too much, but I can’t let that go any longer. My knees hurt from the lack of it. I’m back on the leg presses, though gently for the moment.

My day job? Can’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.  Though I can’t play as much as I’d like, I’m making a strong effort to  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. I’m learning far too much and growing  from all these unusual episodes. I log them, too, so they’ll become book fodder at some point.

Sex? Snort. If I hadn’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. I’m working through most of my lunch hours, eating while I edit. I’m dictating my books while I drive to and from work. I’m past due a return visit to my new doctor but the kids are getting to their  appointments ($800 worth of special eye exams and related bills today alone and the younger child still has another test!). I can’t remember the last time I did anything that was rocking-good fun, and I’ve had to turn down some friends for a road trip this weekend and will continue to face guilt  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  anything but work. So if this is so hard right now, what’s the Universe trying to tell me?

AngelSu fussed at me in mid-June about how tough this Summer  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  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 what’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. I’ve had to turn down some wonderful publishing projects this month, but it can’t be helped: I don’t have time even to read them. I have to take care of the obligations I already have and re-prioritize my  life thereafter. And that’s the process I’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  where  I want to spend my time. The projects I take on now—or don’t  take on—move me in that direction, toward a place of both creativity and joy, a sacred home life, and spiritual pursuits. I’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 what’s good to come.

Meanwhile, if I can just make it to August, I’ll be fine.