I’ve been so overwhelmed lately. Work has been crazy, as we’ve seen such a huge increase in traffic over the last few weeks (ask The DaddyYo Dude, he’s there for it. I saw it on his face last weekend), Hope’s spring semester of law school has started, the kids have been battling the crud (that’s what we call getting sick), and that damn dog keeps digging holes in the back yard. Ok, that last one doesn’t really bother me, but I did stand at the kitchen window and watch her dig two holes within 5 minutes yesterday morning. She’s a quick one.
There’s just so much going on, and it’s starting to drag me down. I just feel like I’m losing control, that I just can’t tighten my grip enough to make things go the way they should. To me, control is everything. I would wear the title “control freak” proudly, if it wasn’t for that “freak” part. Control Master would be more like it, or maybe Control Ninja or Control Jedi. Either one of those is fine. Anyway, when I’m not in control, or I feel like I am losing control, my brain automatically begins to analyze of all of the areas where breakdowns may occur, the areas that are slipping past me. Then I begin to troubleshoot all of the ways that I can turn it around and fix that breakdown of control. Seriously, you should see all of the schematics, notes, and thoughtmaps laying in my office.
So, when I began feeling this way a few weeks back, I started that process. I dissected everything that I didn’t have pinned down. I saw areas where I could tighten my grip, and came up with plans to wrestle control back from whoever had it other than myself. I went through with those plans and saw that things were starting to turn in my favor. It still didn’t help my feelings of being overwhelmed.
So, I dug a little deeper. There must be something there that I can change, something that will make all of this better. There had to be something that I missed. Maybe I’m just not organized enough. That’s it, I’ll work on my organization. I’m using my dayplanner to it’s full extent, using Evernote (if you haven’t yet, check out that app. It has absolutely changed my life. I spoke with an old business partner the other day that says the same thing. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I absolutely could not live without it now). I’m scheduling my tasks days in advance, and I’m spending time with my mentor every week. Still, it’s just not helping.
I shot through so many more ideas on what could be causing me so much stress, but I just couldn’t seem to find it. Then, today, I was lying on Gavin’s bed while he and Marley played on his computer. I wasn’t even paying much attention to them, as I was caught up in a conversation with one of my mangers through text. I didn’t even realize that she was asking me a question until she was right up in my face.
“Daddy, I asked you if I should put my feet up on Bubby’s desk, or if I should hang them over the side of the chair. You need to put your phone down and answer me, cause I want to know right now.” She was only inches from my face. Bright blue eyes, opened as wide as they could possibly go, just daring me to not pay attention. I’ve never seen a human’s eye out of the socket. I hear that it is gigantic, that you can only see a small part between their eyelids. I believe that, because I have never seen that much of a human’s eyeball until that moment. Blood vessels, cornea, iris, maybe even a little optical nerve. Grossed me out a little, but her eyes are just so cute that they pulled me right back in.
Let’s just think for a minute about the question that she asked me. Really, would the place where she put her feet matter in 30 minutes? No, it wouldn’t. Years from now, when she’s lying in her bed thinking about whatever social issues that are keeping her up that night, like what color headband to wear with those shoes or what she was going to do for her science experiment, would she really ever really remember sitting at her brother’s desk, fretting over where to put her feet?
No, she wouldn’t. Years or even just months from now it won’t really matter. Honestly, she has probably forgotten about it by now. That doesn’t matter in this case. What matters right now is right now. Right now she is truly confused on where to put her feet, on what the right thing to do is. Right now she is coming to me to help her solve a problem, and I can’t pull myself away from work long enough to help her out. She won’t remember what the issue was, but she will remember that I didn’t help her solve it. There it is, that’s what has been stressing me out.
I have let my work steal me away from my family. That kills me, drive me absolutely insane. I don’t want to be “that” Daddy. I don’t want to be the absentee dad who is there only in body but not in mind. I don’t want to be part-time. I want it all. I want them to look back on their younger years and see that I was right there beside of them, brushing teeth and wiping butts and playing Barbie and building Legos and dancing along with whatever version of Just Dance they put it. I want to be there. I will be there.
So, I have made the decision to scale it back. I want to be successful, I want to grow my business, but not at the expense of my family. So, if you are getting this message after I have left work for the day, please leave a message at the beep, and I will return your call as soon as I am done playing Jedi Training Camp.