Sometimes I feel buried. I feel like there is no way I can accomplish everything and no way I can meet everyone's needs. In my current state, I get the things done that have to get done and the other things just sit. It's like I'm back in high school or college when I would procrastinate on some thing and then when I am under the gun on time I get to work and whether it's a paper or a project it comes together. That "under the gun" feeling, that is my every day, and every day I go to bed feeling like I barely accomplished the things that have to get done, so how in the world could I possibly accomplish anything else?
For example something that has to get done would be the kids' laundry. With five children I try to be as organized as possible, a separate load for each child (no sorting required then), wash and dry everything on Saturday, fold and put away on Sunday and while putting away lay an outfit out for each day of the week in their little cubbies in each closet. Sounds amazing right? Well the problem is, I'm so exhausted from doing that, coupled with everything else the weekend entails, my own laundry, well it sits. Sometimes I get it washed and hung (because I hang almost everything) and then it just hangs. It never gets put away, and it turns into a mountain of clean clothes. See how the kids' laundry has to get done and then I can fend for myself, so mine isn't a top priority.
A better example would be with the house in general. Again, the things that have to get done, so that we can function as a family (and not live in filth) will get accomplished by the weekend's end (I feel like my head is spinning by Sunday evening, but it gets finished), but things like reorganizing the pantry, sifting through the den to make it functional, prioritizing the toys in the lower level so it's not a circus, well those things just sit. There isn't time or energy on my part to accomplish anything outside of what has to get done. My husband and I will often say we are in "survival mode." When do you think this mode will end? Will we always be in this mode? How do you get out?
In my life, one thing I've noticed is that it takes little angels to get me to accomplish things beyond what "has to get done." Those things that I'm not "under the gun" on time, or require completion so my family can function as efficiently as possible through the next school week. Angels who also remind me that what I do accomplish is enough and that I'm doing a great job. Angels like my mom. My mom is really good at seeing the things that I just can't quite get to and wiggling her way in by carving out time somehow so that the extra things get accomplished. For example, just this summer I had mentioned wanting to paint and clean up my new classroom for the next school year and I was just sitting on the idea, not making plans. She pushed me, went and got materials (well my dad went and did that), pretty much told me this is when we were doing it on the calendar and two and half days later it was finished (thank you mom and dad)! It felt too overwhelming for me to even try to organize that project, because my daily grind can be exhausting, how I could possibly do anything more, she showed me how. Angels sometimes take the reins when we feel stuck and lead us on the right path.
Angels like Kyleigh. Kyleigh is my person at work, she has also grown to be such a dear friend. Her and I are very much alike in terms of how we plan and what our expectations are for ourselves as teachers. We are highly passionate. Based on what my life is like right now it would be very easy to and probably understandable if I just shut my door and pulled out old lesson plans and just went through the motions. This year was hard in terms of finding balance between home and school. Kyleigh is an angel though, she inspires me to do more. Her persistence to be better, her knack for encouraging me, allows me to feel like I can do more, I can tackle a new writing curriculum, I can rearrange how we approach vocabulary, I can grade 137 papers in a week! She is the reason why I have the confidence to do more then what just "has to get done" at school, because I know she is in the trenches with me, holding me up. Kyleigh also knows that that I yearn to feel accomplished, that I seek perfection and growth. She's really good at reading me and knowing the type of support I need - encouragement, a listening ear, a competitive goal (grading papers), or time. Sometimes angels are right there with us, inspiring us to be better.
Angels like Katie. Katie is a dear friend, who first introduced my husband and I, so our history runs deep. Katie is real, she tells it like it is and she's always honest with not only me, but everyone. When I feel buried, when the daily grind feels like too much, she reminds me that my daily grind is impossible for most, she ensures me that I am making miracles happen every day. Katie is my cheerleader and we need people like her in our lives. Life can feel heavy and Katie will point out all of the good that I do and how I do, accomplish more than just what "has to be done." She is an angel, because of her intuitive way to read me and know exactly what I need to hear. It's the exact advise, encouragement, or honest opinion that I need in that moment.
Angels like Rachael. Rachael is a former co-worker of mine and I miss her dearly every day. I miss Rachael because she is a light; she takes on life as an adventure and never is tripped by a hurdle or challenge. We co-taught an Inclusion English class together for four years, never once did I feel like we couldn't help a student grow, never once did I worry that there wasn't a plan to ensure a student's success, never once did I feel overwhelmed with the needs of my students, never once and that's because of Rachael. She sees life's challenges and smiles because she is equipped for the task and willing to work to accomplish the goal. Rachael is the reason this blog exists. This blog would have just been something I talked about, I would have "sat on it." But Rachael was the person who offered up the first step, sent me a link to purchasing a domain and said "yes, you are doing this!" Sometimes when things feel too much and you don't even know where to start the angels are the ones who provide guidance to the first step and encouragement along the rest of the journey.
For me, it is the people in my life that shine a light on the possibilities, the possibilities to go beyond the daily grind, to accomplish those things that feel so far out of reach. When I feel buried and on a hamster wheel an angel swoops in to guide me beyond that moment and see that I deserve more and my life can be more. I would be lost without them. So many angels in my life, thank you to all of you who have ever inspired me, given me tough love, or just allowed me to see the next step I could take.
Who are your angels? How do you get out of the funk of the daily grind and not feel buried by it, how do you accomplish things beyond what feels like even possible? Be sure to thank the angels in your life. They may not even realize just how important they are to you.