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Challenge: WHO Are You?

In the Thick of It

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The other day I wake up with the overwhelming feeling of…well, being overwhelmed! Through the day I accomplish zero, zip, nada. I think I spent an hour gazing out the window admiring the sun reflecting on the snow amidst the below zero temperatures. The sky was an ethereal shade of blue, not a single cloud in the sky. It was beautiful, serene and a complete juxtaposition to the emotions running wild inside me.

I find myself questioning, “How did I get here?” I am smack dab in the thick of things. Things plural. There is no one to blame but myself. My current sense of inundation is a direct result of choices I have made, but right now I am questioning, “Seriously, just how on earth did I get here?”

My current situation is as follows: parent to twin toddlers, newly licensed foster parent who immediately took in a high school boy, teaching an online Advanced Placement high school course, getting ready to head back to the classroom for the first time in a year, finishing coursework to obtain my real estate license, working on a business proposal to create an LLC with another couple for real estate investment purposes, plus the responsibilities of a stay-at-home mom and wife. I’m insane. And on this particular day, I have no idea what I should do next.

The list of things I need to do is so ridiculously long that I make the decision to do none of them. This is my procrastination side. My partial type B personality trying to rear its ugly head. My type A personality is having a meltdown and cannot even focus because the girls’ toys are everywhere and I see visible footprints on my wood floors. To mop or to complete a session on real estate? To grade chapter reviews or to email my son’s teacher? How about I sit here a little longer and feel the warmth of the sun on my face? Yes, that is exactly what I decide to do.

Typically when I am presented with a demanding task or life altering decision, I face the challenge one step at a time. Sure, I keep the end goal in mind, but I focus on what I need to accomplish immediately versus all of the items that need completion otherwise the task seems insurmountable.

I have gotten myself into these situations many times before. When we decided to do IVF, it was not necessarily by choice. But really, does anyone choose IVF, wouldn’t we all rather conceive “naturally?” In our case, it was not due to infertility reasons as with most couples. Without divulging all of the personal details as they are not mine alone to share, they are my daughters’ as well, simply know that it was a decision we contemplated for years, four to be exact. Requiring counseling, physical exams, lab work, notarized documents, getting finances in order, and many, many appointments. No wonder it took us four years to commit.

Becoming foster parents was another long and drawn out affair, this time taking about three years. We initially looked into fostering when the girls were six months old. We did our research, talked with a social worker and then put the idea on hold for two years. Fast forward to last March and I find myself sitting in a three-hour session on car seat training.

I’ve contemplated getting my real estate license for years. I follow the market for fun and to fulfill some peeked curiosity. Until recently, when my husband forced my hand, I never made an actual attempt to become a salesperson; it was just a pipe dream.

So how did I get here? By putting one foot in front of the other. By making a list and checking items off one at a time. By doing my research and then some serious introspection. Some people are blessed with the ability to jump in feet first spontaneously. I, on the other hand, put my toe in then pull it out thinking, “Gosh that water is cold. Do I really want to get wet?” Maybe I put my toe in again, maybe I get wet up to my knees, maybe I go a little farther, and then comes the decision to get your stomach wet. As women, we know getting the stomach wet is the worst part. That is when you either commit or get out of the water. At this same moment, my children jump off the dock and are yelling for me to join them. How could I not?

Every choice I make, every overwhelming situation that evokes procrastination and then stimulates productivity, is for the good of my family. Although when I am in the thick of it, I question my methodology and my sanity. I am confident I am better person, wife, and mother because of my choices.

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