Breaking Points

Do you ever have a moment that just crystalizes the overwhelm you’re feeling?

I had that yesterday.

It was the moment my face met the sidewalk about 1/3 of a mile into my run.

Two years ago yesterday, I wrote this post about being spun like a possum, and here I am, two years later, feeling the same way with a lot of the same issues–the chaos, another graduation (simpler, but more complicated–how is that possible?), moving people to other places, etc.

The more things change…

I have been entirely overwhelmed now for weeks. The two kids who are still at home are struggling with the idea of moving. The 18-year-old has options to stay here in Oregon, but that means saying goodbye to us. The 16-year-old is coming with us, but that means saying goodbye to friends. There’s no way any of this is easy.

And I’m conflicted, I’ll confess. I do not like the changes I’ve seen in Oregon over the last several years, but this is where I’ve always lived. And this house… I brought two babies home to this house. I raised four kids in this house. I do not tend to be a sentimental person, but as I go through boxes and belongings, I find little things that remind me of good things that happened here, and I do have pangs of sadness.

So in the midst of a disastrous house and standard chaos, I am not sleeping much. And I haven’t slept well in a few days, and yesterday morning, I woke up at 3:23 and never went back to sleep. I finally got up at 5:00, had coffee, read a while, fed the dogs, and finally decided to try to get a short run in, because maybe a little exercise would energize me.

About 1/3 of a mile in, my face met the sidewalk.

I tripped. I don’t even know how. It wasn’t the sidewalk, I don’t think. I’ve run that sidewalk a lot in the past. I think maybe I just was so tired that I wasn’t picking my feet up enough, and…

Basically, I hit my eyebrow, cheekbone, and upper lip. All of them bled a bit. The eyebrow was dripping, and I had to use my shirt sleeve for direct pressure. Fortunately, nothing needed stitches, but as the swelling above the eyebrow drained and merged with the cheekbone swelling, they created one mother of a bruise. Pretty much everything from my forehead down to my lip feels bruised in some fashion.

My hands and knees are pretty banged up, too. My right knee is bruised enough that I feel it when I go up and down stairs, and my left knee has enough of a scrape that it’s hard to bend the scabs. My left palm is scraped up and keeps oozing on the keyboard when I type (ew). My right hand seems… mostly okay. Just a couple of scrapes on the outside of the hand. And I managed to bruise my left shoulder, so essentially my entire left side made a valiant attempt to merge with the sidewalk.

It may be a bit psychotic, but my first thought was, “I wonder if I can finish my run.” Then blood dripped into my eye, and I thought, “I wonder if I should call one of the kids to drive around the block and pick me up.” But I managed to stop shaking long enough to hobble home, get cleaned up, take some ibuprofen, and then do nothing more daring than walk downstairs or use a microwave for the rest of the day.

So wrap up all of this–the work, the move, the fiction goals, the injuries–and tie it with a black bow of teenage emotion, and what do you get?

A mom who fell into bed at midnight last night with an aching face, an exhausted body, and a weary spirit to get maybe five hours of sleep.

I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking back to that possum and wondering if he questioned any of his life choices after he was spun around by two different cars.

Because right now, I’m questioning some of mine.

Why did I decide to write novels? Why did I take on so much contract work this year? Why did I agree to move? And if I agreed to move, why now? Why not wait a couple of months? A year? Two years?

This is all so exhausting.

I am not in the habit of following up on injured possums, but I would imagine that if that possum survived mostly uninjured, he probably hobbled back to where he usually possums, licked his wounds (metaphorically speaking), and went out the next night to possum all over again, but maybe in a slightly slower, slightly more cautious manner.

This morning, I had an early meeting, so I skipped my run, which was probably for the best. I’m not sure my knees would have been ready this morning, and I would imagine jogging with this massive swollen bruise around my eye would not have been comfortable. I ignored the house, allowing the dishes to pile up in the sink and the dog hair to drift around the hardwood floors like so many tumbleweeds, even though I’m expecting movers to stop by today. I focused on my client work and some general admin stuff for a good, solid six-ish hours.

And now I’m sitting down to share with you all that I have honestly hit the breaking point.

The question is… what is going to break besides my face?

Because the sidewalk didn’t budge.

I’ve already told all clients except the big one that I’m not taking new work until late June, but so far, that hasn’t really helped improve my schedule much. I still have an assload of fiction writing and editing to do and very little time to do it.

I have been trying to keep up with social media, but it is really, really tough to keep planning and executing social media posts in the midst of all this. I mean, I can do that, but then I have even less time to edit and write fiction.

And I’m looking forward to the post-move summer, and my son’s family is going to visit, as are my in-laws and possibly my parents and my daughter and some friends, and my other daughter wants to get back to Oregon a few times, and…

*deep breath*

Unless I work about twelve hours a day, I honestly do not know how to make progress here.

And I don’t have twelve hours a day to work. I just don’t.

So what is the gist of all this?

I can’t say right now. I’m just treading water. I will try to keep up with social media and blogging for the next few weeks, but I cannot make any promises right now.

So I guess the gist is that if you don’t hear from me till late June, don’t worry too much.

Maybe just pray that I’m not sprawled on a sidewalk somewhere.

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