I don't know how people with more going on in their lives, e.g., kids, eldecare, night school, etc., do it. By 'it' I mean 'live their lives'. I had a spell there where I felt like I was being pulled in all manner of directions, including toward some possibly heretofore unknown areas. And all I have going on is a) a job; b) a house; c) 1 husband; d) 4 cats; e) friends; f) hobbies/interests; g) exercise (allegedly). No kids. No parents to tend to personally or their homes. No big yard, just the little 50' x 150' that's mostly covered by the house, the garage and the overly round driveway (making it smaller is on the list of things to do; it always seems to get bumped by somethiing more pressing).
It probably doesn't help that I am not the Energizer Bunny. I wish I were one of those people who can get by on 5 hours of sleep per night. A college roommate once opined that I must be part cat bc I do enjoy my sleep and a good catnap is often just the thing. In fact, just this afternoon I was wondering if there was a facebook group to bring naptime back into our lives.
I just Googled 'famous nappers' and quite a few distinguished names came up: Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lance Armstrong. This website says, 'Thomas Edison attributed his tremendous amount of energy to sleeping whenever he wanted to.
Sometimes it feels like there are so many things to do. And I acknowledge that not all of them need doing, but sometimes just the boring, day-to-day kind of stuff piles up. It felt particuarly bad around the holidays and I don't even get all that involved with the holidays. I felt all verklempt for a while earlier this year, too, although I don't know why.
Sometimes I wonder if part of feeling overwhelmed is due to always being on or reachable. Lately, I've found myself wanting to buy a remote, stark cabin in the Montana...no internet, no cable, no phone...but that would be too drastic; plus, it sounds too much like the unabomber. But I do find that I kind of pull into myself, or tuck into myself like a turtle, when I feel overwhelmed. I stay in more, I stay off the internet more, I futz around the kitchen or with my hobbies more, decline things that don't add to my life,... That's seems to help, i.e., putting some kind of insulation out there between me and the world.
There's so many things out there...so many experiences available...it's almost like the world is a candy shop: Go to this fundraiser. Read that new book everyone's recommending. Try this before bedtime ritual. Listen to this great CD so-and-so just rediscovered. Catch up on the news with these podcasts. Visit these people. Host those people. Figure out the healthcare bill so I know what I think about it. Did you see such-and-such new movie? Donate to earthquake victims. Look at this gorgeous yarn! And that adorable pattern! Buy Girl Scout cookies (Omgosh I am soooo overrun with Girl Scout cookies this year! I swear the scouts went all out w/their marketing this year.). I only have 24 hours in a day and I'm asleep for at least 8 of them and I'm at work for 8 more. After the usual stuff of life, there isn't a whole lot of time left for more living.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in one of those little downs that the Census Bureau says has 1 or 2 people in it. Or even more. A town w/o a stop light or store or post office or (gasp!) library. I dunno; that might be a bit drastic, too.
Oh, I dunno what the answer is. Intentional living seems to be helpful; it's just making that the norm and avoidng derailment.