I haven’t written in a while. At some point, I told myself that I wanted to write and publish one piece a week. Of course, the next piece I tried to write was a disaster. There were good elements, but it needed to be scrapped. Facing a frustrating hurdle because I didn’t do it perfect, I subconsciously stopped writing, the rest of my life became overwhelming, and doubt settled in. I had failed.
In order to combat the crazy swirling tangle that had become my mind, I decided to try to make sense out of my thoughts and, for me, that meant writing them down. My life, I decided, was just getting too crazy and I was getting lost trying to keep it all together.
“Life is crazy,” we hear it all the time, but there’s some relativism that we can’t see in the phrase. What is crazy to you? What is too busy? I know people who take on things that would drive me into a nut house and others who can hardly manage to keep their house clean and watch all their TV shows. I’m beginning to realize that we all have our own level of acceptable crazy. For some of us the level just looks ridiculously high.
I’m one of those high level of crazy people. I really can’t say why, but if I didn’t have a bunch of stuff going on all the time, I’d go out and find it. It’s just my normal and I’d probably get really depressed and sleep all the time if I didn’t have a gazillion things to keep me occupied. Sometimes though, even my brain obviously needs to rest.
I sat down, (while teaching my children – apparently only doing one thing at a time is not enough for me) and attempted to put down on paper all the things that run around in my head everyday in some attempt to objectify it all and maybe organize it better. I started with a note pad. That didn’t work. By the time I was writing sideways I could see that I need a better format. I moved to digital and started up a new document. This brain map ended up two pages, small type, with bullet points, and I’m still needing to add things.
It feels good to have things on paper. It’s like I can see them while they’re sitting still and really examine their purposes in my life. With this tool, I identified some things that could be finished in a relatively timely manner and then be removed from my tremendous web of life.
I finished off a couple books and deleted them. Yay!!!
I added another book…
I added some notes to things to remind myself how I feel about them and their place in my life. I made these notes in color to show the emotion or severity associated with it.
I’ve been able to add weight to some things and remove weight from others. It’s helping me prioritize.
I added a volunteer event..
To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever get my life below this set point of crazy, but being able to keep a running map of things I have going on has helped a lot to manage it all and remember what is more important and what will work itself out over time.
I’m the kind of person who wants to have already learned all the things, read all the books, made all money, paid off all the bills, and accomplished all the milestones of life before I’ve even begun. If I can’t do the things perfectly the first time or if I’m not already set for life I get frustrated. I have a hard time with the process of life. I have an even harder time with failure. However, I’ve been practicing at this whole failure and process thing on purpose for quite a few years now. Like anything else, I had to recognize that I had a problem before I could fix it.
This brain map exercise helped me realize that I’d slipped back into the old habit of needing to do everything all at once and do it perfect the first time. It also helped me realize why I hadn’t written anything for a few weeks. I’m shifting things around and not worrying about finishing everything as soon as possible anymore. I’m just letting it all have it’s time. There is, in fact time. Seasons rotate and so must the seasons of my life.
This season I plan to focus on writing. Not writing perfectly, but getting to know my writing better. Next season, I’ll focus on something else. It’ll all get done when it gets done and it doesn’t all have to be at the same time. There will be more time. Relax.