I found this photo online a while ago, and it resonated with me. Then last week I had a conversation with my therapist about being overwhelmed. It feels like every time I get a handle on the minutiae of my life, something else pops up that leaves me off balance.
I know perspective plays a part here. I also know that most things happen just by chance. (Sometimes I hate chance.)
No one is purposely tormenting me; life is just inherently unfair. And not just to me–I’ve also realized over this past year that there’s so much more that we all hide under the surface. We are all hurting. We are all broken in some way.
There’s a medical term called “activities of daily living”. It encompasses those necessary activities that allow us to function as human animals. I don’t think anyone has yet created a similar term for those additional things that facilitate function in society–the minutiae of buying groceries, renewing a driver’s license, paying bills. Some days I excel at these things, checking endless boxes with a frenzied kind of energy. Most days I am overwhelmed, lost in an ennui that eats deadlines and also friends.
I had a conversation with my therapist about this feeling. She said that maybe I’m depressed. She suggested aiming to accomplish one thing every day.
I seized on this picture from three months ago because it touched something in me.
It reminded me of what I think we all innately already know–we don’t have to meet every deadline. We don’t have to greet every day with a perfect smile. Some days require all of my energy to throw back the covers and put my feet on the floor. And on those days, that is my something. And on others, I have learned to bargain.
I will do one thing today. I will make this one phone call. I will pay this one bill. And sometimes things are larger, and some things don’t get done. And I’m learning to let that be okay.