I will never finish everything I want to do, and that’s ok.
Sometimes I feel like my mind is like a huge bundle of string, with lots of little bundles which have some how have all merged together, seemingly endlessly long making it impossible to find their ends and finish rolling any of them up into neat little separate balls. Even if I do feel like I’ve wound up one of the balls of string, there’s no time to stop, I need to start on the next one right away as more are sure to be added any minute.
I couldn’t find a simpler, shorter-sentenced, version to explain that metaphor but I think it works. I feel like I have so much going on in mind, so many unfinished tasks, so many unclosed loops. It doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it sounds, although some days it does. I take on a lot of identities in my life. Wife, coach, pastor, preacher, writer, mum… When I became mum that brought immeasurable extra things into my big bundle of string, but it didn’t stop me needing to think about all the other things too.
As someone who like to have a clear to-do list which enables me to methodically work through my tasks and tick them off smugly, all those unfinished tasks did not feel welcome at first.
I’ve needed to adjust. I will never tick off every task on my to-do list. I will always be processing something, whether it’s something I did that morning as a parent, what I might be saying in a talk next week, what my next book might be about, whether we need to adjust our food shopping budget, whether I should rearrange the boy’s bedroom or what God might be saying about a situation…
I used to long for the day I would complete enough tasks to stop and rest and enjoy that accomplishment but the reality is it will never happen. In part because there is always something more to do or think about but in part because I will always find something more to do or think about.
What I’ve needed to learn to do instead is to put down the bundles of string. To choose to be ok with stopping, celebrating, focusing on the present and leaving other things, even if they do unravel slightly more in the meantime.
I submitted my manuscript for my book two weeks ago. I thought it would be this incredible feeling of being finished (well, waiting for edits but almost finished at least) but it was a weird feeling. It was like I’d been holding all the other thoughts at bay whilst I focused on the book and suddenly I was overwhelmed with how much there was to think about. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t process them and I couldn’t feel present in the moment. It’s taken a few weeks to get out of that headspace. It’s taken choosing to celebrate and not think about anything else, even just for a moment.
Blogging is one of my favourite little bundles of string, and one that sometimes takes me a while to find in the midst of everything else unravelling. Thank you for following my thoughts, even if they are a little wooly (pun intended), and for joining me in processing motherhood, faith and all that comes with it out-loud.
Whatever you’re processing today, however overwhelmed you feel with all those unclosed loops I pray that you find moments to be fully present, moments to put those things down and feel ok with it.