School / You crawl over there......

Assailed with Doubts

I’m tired, and I know it. Which is good, because otherwise I might start listening to the internal voices that nibble away at my confidence and make me start to wonder what I’m doing, and why. But this feeling, of fatigue and uncertainty, is an old familiar one. I’m not exhausted, just tired. Exhaustion is a whole ‘nother level of bad, where I stop caring much, lower my head like I’m walking into a gale, and keep moving forward. I’ve been there, it’s not fun, and I’m trying not to go there again.

One thing I have learned is that having goals, even little ones, like make a list, and then check something off of it, is important. I have a couple of lists on the whiteboard today, house stuff and school stuff. I need to add a work-thing to the list, and finish that by tonight, they need it. Sometimes breaking my day down into small enough chunks lets me get through it. If I looked at the whole dang thing at once, I’d give up. Pretty much how it is with life, too. If you look at the whole thing at once, it’s discouraging. Far better to focus in on the little things, the good things, and use those to build toward bigger goals.

I was talking to the First Reader about this. He’s very supportive of me, but he doesn’t coddle me. He points out that I stress too much over school, and I borrow trouble where I don’t need to. But he also will take a minute while I’m standing in the kitchen staring into space trying to evaluate what needs to be done most urgently and just give me a hug. It is so very good to have this support, and not worry about being yelled at that I’m not doing enough, or I’m being lazy when I don’t have the whole list done at night. I feel much more confident about being able to reach the endpoint when I’m able to be flexible, say, this must be done now, but this can be done later.

I’m not a perfectionist, and I never will be. Sometimes I wonder if I’d do better, were I more detail oriented. I have the ability to shut the house and dust out of my mind until something makes me look again. Hyperfocus on one thing means the lists are that much more important as they remind me that I have other things to do, too. Like whatever it is I’m forgetting at the moment. I know I am. I just can’t let that stop me while I figure out what it is. Alternatively, I can’t go off at a tangent, and spend an hour cleaning off my desk, when the most urgent task before me is a statistics quiz.

I don’t know how any of this is very interesting, except for a dim hope that in sharing a few of the coping skills I use, I can give someone an idea they can implement to get through a tired patch. I don’t anticipate rest for a while, and one thing kids taught me was to just keep moving forward, because you can’t stop. They need you all the time. School is sort of like that. I can’t stop, I need to keep moving to the end, and then do it all over again. Tiring, but in time it will be worth it.


7 thoughts on “Assailed with Doubts

  1. The general principal is to break large problems into smaller ones that anyone can solve, rather than to lump a lot of little ones together to make a big problem that no one can solve. (And don’t let the lists dictate to you, either. If you finish today’s list today, then hurray! If you don’t, so what?)


  2. YOU ARE your own worst enemy at times. I thought I erased that lack of confidence?? Keep on putting one foot in front of the other and listen to Sanford!! You CAN and WILL do it!!! Maestro


  3. Ah. Self-doubt. My old enemy. We have sparred so many times – and yep, there is battle fatigue. I find just doing something I know I can do well, and preferably something where I can see the result, right then and there, helps. My other helper is tidying (I am not tidy, except when fighting off depression). May it lift a bit for you, Cedar.


    • I hadn’t thought about tidying, but I did it yesterday as we had houseguests last night, and well, woman-like, I cleaned, despite the First Reader insisting they could take us as we are. But as I told him, I was doing it for me. I do feel good about it.

      Mostly it’s school. I keep running up against the sheer fatigue, which then undermines me, because when I’m not tired, I know I can do it.


  4. It can be hard to write when you are tired. And due to my health conditions I’m tired all the time now. I try to make the most of the times when I’m feeling more up-beat and energetic, and praying that the Lord will convince my cats not to run up the lamp and claw the lampshade during my writing time.

    But don’t let fatigue get you down, Cedar. You can do it!


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