When You Don’t Know if You Are Sinking or Swimming Anymore

It’s 7:45 am right now and I still haven’t slept.  Even though I feel like I’ve ran around town all day with a doctor appointment, a hair appointment, picking up medicine for Evie, and running lots of last minute errands today, I still have only met 50% of my Fitbit goal.  Even though I’ve spent the last 10 hours working on my laptop in the same seat of the sofa, I feel like I haven’t even made a dent in the work still yet to do.  Even though I have prepared some things for my parent’s arrival today, I will still need to clean the apartment top to bottom today.

By the time you are reading this, I will be in Scandinavia enjoying some vacation time.  At this point, the craziness before the vacation, it’s hard to know if I am coming of going.  In actuality, I will probably be feeling the same way on vacation, as we have a lot to cover in a little bit of time out there.

Sometimes, I just need a little break.  I’ll hang out at the bar with some of my ladies or go spend a weekend in the wilderness and feel better by the time Mondays come around.  I am a firm believer in self-care and think everyone should take the time to live their life and not always feeling like you are constantly in motion.

However, like in this instance, you just have no idea if you are keeping afloat.  Am I treading water? Or slowly drowning?  Life gets busy.  Then when you think you are juggling the tasks at hand, new ones are added.  You just keep this auto-pilot juggle on, until you just aren’t sure if it’s making a difference anymore.

I’ve actually tried lots of tips and tricks this year, as it’s been a pretty eventful year, and I wouldn’t have gotten it all done if I didn’t try to learn some new habits.  From the way you schedule yourself to giving yourself the freedom to say no to people or tasks, everything makes a difference in time management.

Of course lots of things work for lots of different people, and there almost a billion resources out there for finding new tricks.  However, I can find myself doing great with these habits when I’m in swim mode and not so great when I’m sinking.


There are 3 things that I try to remember in moments like these:

  • I can be easily distracted.  This can be both an obvious curse and a not-so-obvious blessing.  Distractions don’t necessarily mean ditching responsibilities to go find some fun activity, or sitting on Facebook at my desk for an hour or two.  Distractions, can also be a 10-15 minute break to get a snack or even doing something else.  It’s enough time to kind of refocus or even give my concentration a break.  If I’m getting frustrated with a project, that 15 minutes could save me hours of spinning my wheels trying to come up with something that I am not satisfied with.  If I’m getting overloaded and flustered, that 15 minutes taken to maybe write a something down for later can quickly ease my mind.
  • Most of the stress is self induced.  I can be really hard on myself, as I feel many of us are, when it comes to critiquing how I manage my time.  I have to remind myself that I’m doing all sorts of things that I enjoy doing so this is just part of what needs to get done to make that life for myself.  For some it can translate to spending those extra hours at work to get that promotion, you put in the time working toward a larger goal for yourself.  Most times, that extra time and effort isn’t the easiest, but you grit your teeth and bear it keeping that endpoint in view.  When I think about it like that, it makes me feel better about stressful times.  In reality, if what you do isn’t giving you that feeling, like you really hate putting in that extra effort and time, maybe it’s time to reconsider if that end goal is really for you.
  • Be grateful.  I know i’ve rolled my eyes before when someone said that to me in time of crisis, but it’s worth a try.  Gratuity not only puts things into perspective, but also makes you feel a bit less stressed to think about those things that you are thankful for. Sometimes my thoughts of gratuity are basically unrelated to the stresses at hand, but that doesn’t matter either.  I’ve also had hard enough times that I really don’t feel grateful at all, but that is a temporary feeling that I think is pretty normal sometimes.  I will let the stress get the best of me sometimes, but then I get a hug from my daughter or a even a smile from a stranger and it can make a world of difference.

I’ll continue trying to push myself to set and make more goals and make more progress.  I know it won’t be easy and I’ll probably face that same sink or swim questions and feelings again at that time.  As of right now, i’d like to say I’m neither sinking nor swimming, rather just trying to doing my best to stay afloat.

Featured image of Evie “patiently” waiting for some ice cream.  This week, I can totally relate to her frustration.

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