Question #31: What causes you to feel completely overwhelmed? How do you respond? What tools do you use to stay organized?
I tend to feel the most overwhelmed when there is a kink in my schedule or unexpected things come up disturbing my routine. I am, if there is such a thing, maybe a little too organized. I have a small calendar that I can carry with me. For each month it has a month at a glance and then behind that, 2 pages for each day of the week. My calendar is color coded. I won't bore you with the whole color scheme, but it is very useful to me because if I am looking for when my next dentist appointment is, I can just skim for a light blue entry instead of reading everything written down. Then on the pages for the week, I list out all my chores for the day. Again, this is color coded. With my condition, I need to have physical movement, but I have to be careful that it's not too much. So I try to do one "red" thing, a housekeeping chore, then one "green" thing, either Bible study or any paper/desk/computer related chore. This way I'm alternating movement and sitting. When I run out of Reds, I'll move on to "purple" which is exercise...recumbent bike, treadmill, strength circuit, etc.
I also have a desk calendar. On this I have planned out blog entries, plus when bills need to be paid or when I need to record any automatic payments. Of course I have a ton of other ways I organize different things, but we don't need to go there. No sense in you thinking I'm weirder than you already do! (teasing)
So, needless to say, when something pops up that can't get color coded, or wouldn't exactly fit into my schedule for the day, at first I'm a little taken aback. Let me say that I have gotten much better at this. I used to panic if it was a big enough disruption. Now, I just stop and figure out how to rearrange things to accommodate the new thing. Or what to take out of the day altogether.
Spending time in the Word and working on my relationship with God is what has made me able to do a better job at this. Usually if something is disrupting my day anymore it is a sudden need. For example, I do a lot of meals for people who are ill or taking care of someone who is ill. Or someone has a need of me to take something somewhere or do some shopping. Where I live vs. where other people and shopping are, just the driving takes time out of my day. BUT I love doing this for people, so I had to learn to be a little more flexible. After all, does it really matter if my floor is mopped when someone needs something? Darn right that's the first chore that gets crossed off!!
Occasionally, all the "doing for" other people can get overwhelming. I have been known to snap at my husband if I'm already stressed out over trying to get everything done and he interrupts me with something else. Not good! And every now and then, being that overwhelmed can actually physically hurt me and cause a painful flair up. Which leads me back to the start. The more organized I am about my day, the less likely I will end up in pain.
What I really like, is how a day might start out overwhelming, and I'm rushing to get my things done as well as something for someone else, then at the end of the day I'm so happy that I was able to do to make someone else's burden light, that I actually end up thanking God for messing up my day.
Ironic, isn't it?
Until Next Time.....