Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dealing with the "Deal With It" Pile

I don't know about you, but I have a huge "deal with it" pile most of the time--partly a literal pile, in the sense that I seem to always have an enormous stack of paperwork and mail to be organized and filed, and partly a metaphorical one--all those stressful "to do's" that never seem to get done and languish on my to do list for weeks, just waiting for me to have the courage to tackle them. Yes, courage, because I don't put off the simply unpleasant things as much as the stressful things--having important make-or-break conversations, sending out professional emails where I'm worried about the response I'll receive, applying for jobs, taking care of finances, etc.

But yesterday, I decided that it was time to Deal With It. First, I was already pretty motivated because of all the extra time I now have because of the competition being done. Next, I decided that I need to free up as much time as I possibly can for studying for finals. And on a side note, doing too much is a real pride issue for me that God has been working on my heart about. I like feeling like Superwoman and making myself out to be the girl who can handle everything and multitask and juggle responsibilities like no other. To me, "I don't know how you handle everything" is a bigger compliment than it really should be. But I can't be Superwoman right now, not like I ever could anyway! And while I really hate saying no and relinquishing responsibilities because I struggle with feeling like it's a sign of weakness, God is slowly but surely teaching me that sometimes, I have to do that and He's asking me to do that.

So, I emailed people at my job in the admissions office and told them that I just wouldn't be able to work anymore this semester because I need time to study. As I knew they would be, they were very understanding, and just like that, I had another 6 hours a week freed up. From there, everything started falling into place, everything I've neglected to deal with in the past few weeks. I emailed the firm where I'm working this summer and confirmed that A) I still have a job (huge sigh of relief), and B) I will start work on May 20th. I had an important conversation with a friend about an issue I've been putting off forever because I've been worried about it damaging our friendship. But as I should have predicted, she was so kind and understanding about it. I sent out a bunch of other emails that had been building up, finished up my FAFSA to get financial aid for next year, applied for some additional loan money to help me with housing deposits and such for the summer, got my eyebrows and lips waxed, got gas, deep cleaned my bathroom, and returned my library books.

Once I got even one of those things done, it was just such a relief that I wanted to keep plowing through all those things that have piled up for so long. I mean, I know exactly why I've put off most of those things: because I'm worried about how they're going to turn out. I had not dealt with the financial aid because I was worried I wouldn't be able to get the loan I needed. I hadn't emailed the firm because I was freaked out that there would be some glitch with me working there that they would tell me about last minute. I hadn't talked to my friend because I was concerned she'd be upset about a decision I'd made. But as I just did one thing after another, I felt more and more relieved going through my day. Every single one of those things that I've literally been on the verge of losing sleep over turned out to be not a big deal after all.

Moral of the story? Just do it because it probably won't be nearly as bad as you're making it out to be. And I need to learn how to relinquish some of the control, how to be ok with saying I can't, and how to stop identifying so much with everything I DO and start learning that I don't have to do everything and be everything. And neither do you.

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