When faced with projects of intimidating immensity, I slow down.
I plot strategies and means.
When deadlines loom hugely in front of me…when panic is right under the surface… then I think, “better get moving!”
I came downstate with specific goals: to spend time with family, re-connect, relax…but I also brought down quite a bit of work.
First, this writing commitment. I was late one day, writing my daily blog after an evening with my sisters. As the clock was ticking down to midnight, I was feeling a little harried, but I pushed it away. I published the post at 12:05AM, throwing it onto the next day’s statistics…and it was okay.
I have two or three articles to edit, and notes and photos to put together into a large story. One birth announcement and at least three obituaries to ready for publication. Four other submissions that just need introductions. I’m squeezing it in around visits and appointments…and it will be fine.
I had to consult with a few people about my malfunctioning computer, get it repaired if possible, replace it if not. It turns out replacement is necessary, so…that means more phone calls and paperwork to retrieve the software. It will work out.
Through it all, I have been calm. I have rare opportunities each year to spend time with my family. If I squander this time being frantic and stressed…that time is wasted. “I can only do what I can do,” I tell myself. “There are only so many hours in each day.”
Deadlines are getting closer: work is piling up.
Today, I’m going to water aerobics with one sister and one friend. Tomorrow, I’m baking pies. I may get a chance to visit with another friend who is in the area for a few days. Thursday, the day will be filled with family and friends. Friday, I’ll drive back to Charlevoix to get on a plane to go home…and there will be no more opportunities for spending time with my family and friends down here, no more time for sharing hugs and making memories.
The deadlines will still be there. The work will still be waiting. I can kind of feel the pressure…the underlying panicky feeling…but I will treasure this time with family, and that will carry me through the stress later.
It’s a slow-moving panic.