Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grappling with "O"

I'm starting to feeling like something's gaining on me again.  You know, that O-monster, OVERWHELM-MENT!  (I know it's not a word.)  And it seems I'm not the only one.

What is it about October?  In my family, there are a number of birthdays and anniversaries, in addition to Halloween hoopla, now with a new generation of masked marauders.  But the month seems traditionally to feature a noticeable uptick in meetings, events, campaigns, and preparations--maybe to get us in gear to go totally mad at "the holidays."  But could this annual mania actually be accellerating?  A friend of mine, never a layabout, told me recently that this is the busiest she can remember being in her life!  

I have been making a sincere effort to whittle, pare down, cut back and generally trim my list of obligatory tasks and projects.  But no sooner do I engage my recently developed "no" muscle than a patch of new demands crops up.  When I adhere to my resolution to take better care of myself, the result is that tasks are left over at the end of the day.  I dutifully move them to the next day, where they are joined by a fresh legion of to-dos.  

I definitely want to get off this ride.  

And where is all this stuff to do coming from, anyway?  It seems to bubble up from the ground beneath my feet, to slip through the cracks in my stone facade, to be carried like spores through the air around me.  It seeps in by email and Facebook posts, by text and voice messages on my cell and landline phones, by snail mail, and in almost every personal contact.  I can't leave a meeting or social engagement, it would appear, without trailing a host of things to see to.  Even church isn't safe.  And when my family members crawl out from their respective lairs--you guessed it!  More work for me.  "Mom, can you do me a favor?"  "Mary, did you take care of that thing we talked about?"  "Hey, Mary.  Can you look into getting Mom some life insurance?"  

Maybe I need to be more proactive about this whole thing.  Gear up for the task-off, assign lest I be assigned.  Or plug up the holes where all this accretion is getting in.  Lose the phones.  Quit checking the email.  Contract agoraphobia.  Or spray myself with some kind of work-repellant.  I imagine if I put my mind to it, I could figure this out.  

I know.  I'll put it on my list. . . . Or not.  

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