"When it's pouring down rain, stay under the umbrella" ~ Carly
When life is coming at you in all directions, and you are overwhelmed, and have multiple things competing for your attention, and....life is pouring down..... drop back to the very basics that keep the rain off you - use them as your umbrella to shelter you from the rest while you stay dry.
For example, I have a lot on my plate right now. I'm wrapping up some work that is near deadline and in some ways past deadline while trying to pack for vacation while trying to get my house in order so it's good when I return while trying to reorganize my son's room while trying to plan for a 30th class reunion and a family reunion, while my dad recently got pneumonia while my son is visiting with him on his vacation while trying to work through the details on the sale of my house while.....
You get the idea. There is a lot coming down on me all at once.
But in reality, I can't control most of that. Worrying about it yesterday was killing me, exhausting me, and causing my mind to be a hamster --- running endlessly on its wheel but getting nowhere.
Then, in a moment of brilliant inspiration, it came to me: fuhgeddaboudit! (Click here in case you are not familiar with fuhgeddaboudit.)
I asked myself what really mattered in that 24 hour period and distilled it down to the most basic things that I could control and that were the top priorities. So I discarded everything else yesterday and focused all my energy on three things:
(1) Work. My job is the most important priority. Need the job to support all other aspects of life (as I am the sole provider for myself and for my son) Work is required for food, shelter, safety...the most basic human needs.
(2) Exercise. I focus better, feel better, have a clearer head, and more energy to face the tasks at hand if I exercise.
(3) Eat well. For the same reasons as exercise.
By doing that, I was able to really focus on my work and accomplished more in one day than usual, despite the stress. A lot more! And all the other things I was worried about slipped to the background. I'll take them out and look at them one at a time, when each becomes the priority.
For now, I am enjoying the peace that has come from keeping it simple, staying focused on a narrow scope, and making some excellent next right choices yesterday. Standing behind the strength of taking care of myself helped. Hiding behind (or underneath) food surely wouldn't have helped.
What do you do when life pours down on you? What's your umbrella?