When I have these weeks where I burn myself out, I have to remember where I was just four years ago. I used to say things like, “I would do anything to be busy or be late for something.” I was 15 months unemployed and wondering if I would ever be employed again.
Now I’m overbooked and running on empty. I never dreamed I would be raising my kids by myself. Don’t get me wrong, you know I’m a Village believer, and I have a wonderful Village that helps me out. But ultimately, when my alarm goes off at 4 am and my eyes just shut 4 hours before, it’s all me.
I guess my message is, reach out to those who love you more than you can love or even take care of yourself when you are ready to jump off that cliff. I reached out to my BFF yesterday, because I was ready to leap. I sent a quick text to her. I demand perfection from myself and now I was stretched at every end. Work was overwhelming, I had a term paper due and a final to study for, softball and sneaker shopping, and get this, my kids want dinner every night.
So, on 4 hours of sleep for the past 4 nights, my workday came to an end yesterday and I was ready to leave. I prepared for the next day, grabbed my jacket, pushed in my chair, shut the light off, and closed my office door. I forgot to walk through it before I closed it. It was dark. I was then at a stop light and the people behind me were honking their horns at me. One jerk came around my car and flipped me off. It wasn’t a stop light. It was a stop SIGN. I was waiting for it to turn green.
I started crying at that moment. I knew I was burnt out, but as any single mother knows, we schedule our pity parties into our free time. My commute is my free time. I was rushing, (late mind you and having my father pick my kids up) to my daughter’s softball game. By the time I sat at her game, I had been driving for 2 and a half hours. But, as Supermom, I couldn’t just watch her game, I had to study for my final too, so I pulled out my textbook and read at the same time.
Just in time, my BFF called when I was about to cry. My daughter’s coach said, “Good job Jazzy,” and I looked up in time to see her throw the ball in. I missed a play. BFF once again talked me off the cliff. My daughter stepped up to bat and we both cheered her on. I realized at that point, her godmother had attended every softball game too. She refuses to send child support, but I’m okay with that, as long as she continues to attend her games from 2000 miles away.
By the time I climbed into bed at 11 (because I was going to bed early) I had submitted my term paper, fed my kids, prepared for today, but I knew I had forgotten something. I forgot to eat. But I’m grateful. I’m not where I was four years ago.