Thursday, August 02, 2012

You Can't Have it All..

...but you can do more than you think!

I'm currently in the process of assuming a new role at work.  It's been almost two months now but half-way in my department and another were consolidated and I assumed responsibility for the combined group.  Even if everything was running smoothly prior to the consolidation that alone (along with a new leader in both groups) would be enough to manage but on top of that most of the team are new in their role, restructuring and infrastructure improvements are necessary, and there is a very heavy workload in my organization right now for great reasons.  The bad news is - it's a lot to manage right now.  Even if I worked 20+ hours a day I'd still have work to do.  So I'm learning to be content without perfection, which is quite a task for mie.  The good news is that I love what I'm doing and the craziness of it all.

So after an 8-9 hour day literally so full of meetings and work I'm not always taking the chance to eat, 2 hours of commuting, and pick-up/drop-off times at pre-school I come home pretty tired.  Then we eat dinner, spend time together, and we're trying to focus on getting our house spic-n-span and organized before new kids arrive so we're doing some of that here and there.  You know, stuff like steam cleaning the car seats (all 7 of them!) because after removing the covers to wash them we found they were NASTY underneath.  Or, stuff like finishing painting my son's room, something that was started according the date on the paint can nearly a year ago.  Oy.

This week happens to be kids week on Jeopardy - you should check it out.  This show has a long history in my family growing up and though we're not as dedicated to it as, say, our dad is we have all learned to enjoy it, including Logan.  So - add in Kids Week Jeopardy on Skype from 9:10-9:40pm, so we can watch it with my parents, literally on their tv.  It's been a blast.

Between dinner and now there have been at least 3 possibly 5 requests for snacks.  Summer goes to bed within 90 minutes of dinner time so you know the requests haven't come from her.

After all the excitement its 10:15 before we get Logan to bed, at which point I finally have the opportunity to turn on my laptop and work on my dissertation - something that is necessary if I want to graduate in December but definitely not my favorite activity at the moment.  I'm staring down the next 45-60 days that are all I have left to finalize my dissertation, get it edited, and defend it.  Lord help me.

I've been working on it until 12:30am or so.  Add in random text conversations till 3am with someone I know who's struggling with something right now, setting off the house alarm when trying to let the dogs out, and the 3rd night antics of the son who insists on sleeping on top of mie rather than just in my bed, and you can imagine I'm not getting much sleep.  My alarm is set for 5:30-5:45am.  I'm tired.

This post said it well.  Of course at first I thought "...no, I really couldn't just do it (run)...and I wanted to be defensive" but that is missing the point.  People ask us all the time how we do it.  All. The. Time.  The answer is...



You. Just. Do.  If something is important to you, you figure it out.  You sleep less.  You don't do other stuff.  You prioritize important stuff.  You deprioritize other stuff.

So next time you find yourself thinking "I could never...(insert your big hairy audacious almost goal here)", make sure you follow it up with "because EVERYTHING else I do is much more important".  Need help?  Here are a few I can think of...

"I can't foster, my fear of giving them up is much more important than taking care of a child who doesn't have a family right now".
"I can't be a foster parent, managing a consistent, reliable schedule is much more important than taking care of an orphan (temporary or permanent)."
"I can't adopt, my comfort with my current small, easy to manage family is much more important than giving a child a family forever".

I could go on.  You may find yourself in the same position I was when I read the other blog I linked to earlier, defending your inability to add something to your plate.  I say, as long as your "I can't...because XXXX is so much more important" is something you can live with, then you have nothing to worry about.  If you're honest and find that you can't foster because you have more important things to do like watching The Bachelorette and getting pedicures regularly, try picturing yourself telling that to the child who is sleeping in a shelter tonight because there wasn't a home open when he/she came into care.  Imagine telling that to the children who were split up and sent to live in separate homes because no one was willing to take siblings.  Imagine telling that to the child sent to the abusive/neglectful foster home that was just looking for cash.  (You could use this for things not related to foster care...like try telling yourself on your death bed that you never got that degree you always wanted because you needed to keep up with The Bachelorette).  You get the point.

You can't do everything.  I can't do everything.  I have to say no.  You have to say no.  Let's just be sure we're saying no to things we can't do because the things we're saying yes to really are THAT IMPORTANT.


1 comment:

NoMatterWhatMom said...

It seems that the things I feel the most intimidated by or seem out-of-reach are the things that eventually become reality: law degree, marriage, adoption of three siblings, special needs, staying home with the kids, schooling at home. I have no idea what's coming next, but whatever it is will undoubtedly start off on the list of things I just don't think I can do, then move inexorably towards the list of what makes up our family's reality. I have an idea for a project I would like to propose to the juvenile court, here, but it is a "not yet" thing for me because it truly is more important to meet my children's needs now. It is often more interesting, sometimes downright seductive, to think about what I could be doing next, rather than staying focused on the daily work of tantrums, pee, laundry, getting to therapy on time, and teaching reading.

I always enjoy reading your blog and look forward to your upcoming posts.