I haven’t written in…a ridiculously long time. And it’s not for lack of desire or attempts to make the time, life has just been extremely full. I have so many things I want to write about, finish writing about, try to write about, just get them out of my head so it’s a bit less chaotic up there, but things have only calmed down to just shy of breakneck pace, so this is going to have to do for tonight.
Which is another thing that I am letting go :o)
For the last week in particular, I have to set a lot of things aside and simply…let them go. There are only so many hours in the day. Some of those hours I have to spend sleeping, eating, drinking enough water, doing yoga to avoid being in physical pain, working, showering, doing laundry, talking to the people I don’t want to totally alienate, doing Bible study and praying so I don’t lose my mind, etc. And sometimes there isn’t much time left after that, and there’s been a lot less lately. I am a private tutor and I teach September to June, so the end of the year is finishing up and I’ve had that to deal with. Then I decided to offer summer lessons as well, so I’ve also been doing prep for this, doing interviews with new clients, managing my website, getting materials together, and so forth. Then my Mom and I (mostly me, she’s not as much of a fan of the whole experience so I’ve taken the reigns this year) sell baking and various other handmade items at farmer’s markets over the summer, and I’ve been doing the prep for that over the last few months, with of course a huge chunk of it ‘coming due’ this week. Thank goodness a) for my Mom because I would never have been able to do this without her and b) that some of that prep included baking which is a fantastic stress relief for me.
But oh my lanta. My stress level has been…intense. I’ve had some days where I felt like I was doing three things at once, minimum, all day. I was running on about 4-5 hours of sleep a night for a few days, and I know a lot of people can pull that off, but I am not one of them. When I started getting sick I smartened up. I have so many ideas for what I want to do with my students next year and I want to get started on it, but I just don’t have time right now. So I’ve had to let that go for the time being. I want to update my contract for the Fall. Again, letting it go. I want to reorganise my records, design a registration form, stockpile and write some resources, and letting that go. I want to research and make different recipes for markets, but I only have a little freezer at the top of my refrigerator, so definitely have to let that go for now. I want to make about 8,000 other crafts to try to sell because they’re just so darn cute/pretty/fun/challenging/photogenic, I want to start a baking blog, I want to get into our Christmas stock and fix some and totally change other items, but letting it go. I want to plan my trip home in August, letting it go.
Then I have the aforementioned new clients to deal with. Always an interesting process. They’re lovely people, but they’re still learning how to take me seriously and actually read the emails and contract I sent to them. My instinct is usually to accommodate people, squeeze people into the schedule for makeup lessons, end up driving (I teach in four different cities, at my students’ homes – yeah, it can be a bit of a nightmare) way out of my way because they want to be the exception to the stipulation to the scheduling deadline…and I just can’t freaking do it without wanting to burst into tears at the end of the day. So I’m letting that go. I have been very careful to say that I will see if I can work them in for a makeup lesson when they get their dates to me, but I’m not reserving times on the off-chance they’ll take them. Same with the people who ‘want to book’ but haven’t actually gotten their shit together to tell me when they want to book. I’m not reserving time and shorting myself needed income (I have rent, travel expenses, basic living expenses, and student loans to deal with) in case they decide they want the spot. I’m not doing it. I’m not prioritising people who will not prioritise lessons or contacting me.
Sorry for that mini rant, it’s been a month.
I’ve turned my phone off a few days. I took Monday for myself (although I still had to go do errands and deal with people and traffic) which helped some. I also turned on my vacation reply on my email for a few days so I didn’t feel guilty about not messaging people back right away. I am letting go of getting together with friends until I get markets underway. I am letting go of catching up on ministry stuff at my church for this week because it’s not pressing. I’m letting go of cleaning my house, it will survive one week. I’m also letting go of getting report cards done and the rewards for my students purchased and delivered until later this weekend. The clients who email me with silly questions that are clearly covered on my website have gotten links emailed to them with a polite and kind note, but I have not delved into individual explanations because they take time and I already wrote it out once. I have also not taken on extra projects for the next few weeks because it’s such a busy season for me; I would love to help, but literally am constrained by the nature of time. I have also asked for help, specifically my Mom, and she’s been so wonderful, and that…that was a big ‘letting go’ thing for me. Took me way longer than it should have to learn that lesson.
And tomorrow. Tomorrow I start markets, with my lovely mother’s help. And I’m pretty much ready. Next week can be a catch up/finish up week. And that’s okay. Because I’m only one person, a human being, who is innately finite. I am prioritising what has to be done now, my relationship with my Dom, my relationship with my Mom and brother, and my Dad if I can get a hold of him on Saturday, as well as my health. I will get to everything, just not right now. And the person who has emailed me 11 times to change their schedule, they can wait. The pile of clean laundry can be ironed/sprayed/thrown back in the dryer and folded later. I have three weeks off in the summer during which I can prep for Fall lessons, so that can wait too. The stack of books I want and feel I should read, they can wait. The thesis that has drug on way longer than it should have, it can wait. Not going to make that one wait long because yikes. As soon as my two businesses (good grief, what is wrong with me) are settled, thesis is top priority.
Letting go was really hard at first. I have about four different lists, which is down from the twelve lists I had on my computer, phone, fridge, and notebook, and I still feel this constant desire to make worksheets and read articles I’ve saved. But when I was trying to do everything and cram everything in, I almost felt like I couldn’t think. There will be time, I keep telling myself; it just isn’t the right time yet. At the very least, I feel like I can breathe. It’s kind of wonderful, just being responsible for myself and letting myself be helped. Like I said, I can breathe. And there’s probably some lessons here that should reach a lot further than just through this week but I am letting go of reflecting on that right now.
Time to cross off a few more things on the to do list. There will be time for writing next week :o)