Brain Dump

This week was definitely different than last week! And not really in a good way. I believe I mentioned last week that I had to focus more on family this week, and that happened…for better or worse.

To start, on Monday evening Kevin and I finally told the kids about the divorce. It went about as expected: Emily didn’t really understand, Avery cried and yelled for a while. Once the initial burst of emotion passed, however, Avery was OK. And, while I’m sure he’s still processing it, he seems to be dealing pretty well. And his behavior, surprisingly, hasn’t gotten more out of control as I feared it might — though of course this may change down the line once it really hits him! He actually had a couple days of good behavior at school. I suppose the best I can do is be there for him if he needs to talk, and make sure he knows how very much I love him — and hope the good school behavior continues!

But that is actually not the biggest thing that happened this week. On Wednesday, after battling cancer and other health issues, my grandmother passed away. Though of course we are all saddened by her passing, she had been sick for quite some time, and it was expected. And, in many ways, it is actually a relief. The past couple of years had been a struggle, both for her and my mom, dealing with doctors’ appointments and treatments and hospital visits, and never knowing what the next day would bring. She hadn’t really been living for a while. But, still, something so final can be heartbreaking, and it will be difficult as we go through her stuff and get used to not having her in our lives.

Amidst these family dramas — and actually for a while now — my brain was ready to burst. I have been feeling like I have so much stuff crammed in my noggin that I can barely function. And that overwhelming feeling is not fun! It’s hard to get anywhere; it takes so much energy just to tread water. So I decided what I needed was a “brain dump.” Basically I needed to write out everything that was taking up space in my mind: things to do, ideas and thoughts, questions, uncertainties. Getting it all on paper means it didn’t have to take up room in my head. Here’s the result:

 

Seeing it all written out, it’s no wonder I was feeling overwhelmed! And, to be honest, there are little things I didn’t write down, like what I’m going to wear today and tomorrow, finishing up Easter prep, and other daily to do items. But once it was all down on paper? I could breathe a little easier. My brain didn’t feel so cluttered. And I actually started to have new ideas (not that I really need more!). In short, I started feeling more like my usual self.

During this brain dump I didn’t take the time to think about or process any of the items I was writing down. This was supposed to be a clearing of the mind, not a way to get more overwhelmed. Over the coming weeks I will be reviewing the lists, seeing what can be done quickly and what requires more time, fitting new routines and tasks into my weekly plans, and overall just processing it all and seeing where to go from here. The overwhelming feeling may return, but I’m hoping to be able to focus on one area at a time, without letting unrelated tasks and projects interfere. I need to find a way to plan out my days and weeks so it doesn’t all bombard me at once again. That, I fear, may be easier said than done.

The biggest problem? I don’t want to take away anything (except for the annoying household chores, and I can’t really do anything about those!). All of my projects mean something to me, especially the ones that align with what I’ve determined to be my purpose. And yet I keep coming up with new things that mean something to me, new directions and ideas and projects. How can I balance it all? How can I stay true to myself without having to sacrifice something that’s important to me? And how can I ensure my kids don’t suffer with all of my multitasking and goals?

I have my work cut out for me. But fortunately I feel more equipped to tackle the challenge. Let the fun begin!

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