if all the spinning plates fall…

Hi. I’m Grace. I have too many plans and grand ideas and I’m not sure how to do it all.

Two years ago I was having a serious breakdown. I wasn’t doing anything. I wasn’t ambitious and had zero plans. I was just trying to survive my existential crisis, just trying to find a point to life, just trying to find a reason to keep living.

Now here I am two years later, with an extra baby thrown in the mix, and I’m going off in a million directions. I’m little Miss Assertive these days, Miss Let’s-Do-It-All. Am I trying to make up for lost time or something?! Or, as is more likely, is this just my true nature? The untethered wild curious and adventurous me that’s been trying to burst free for so long?

Look, I’m thrilled to finally feel like I’m moving forward with my life. I love that I’m stepping out and doing things. I love that I’m saying “Yes” so much more than my previously favorite answer of “No”.

But I start wondering if something is going to throw the whole show off, and all the plates I got up and spinning are going to come crashing down. Because it feels like it doesn’t take much for me to get knocked out. Thankfully I’ve been able to get back up rather quickly these days when something messes with me, but I still wonder if my level of activity is sustainable.

Am I spreading myself too thin? HA! Have I ever, in my entire life, had to ask myself that question?! 

My concern is that doing so many things will lower the quality of everything I do. Am I gonna start half-assing everything? Am I gonna over-commit and then start backing out because I realize I can’t perform? 

Is that really what it is? Performance anxiety? Am I worried I’m not gonna be able to live up to my own expectations or others’? Or am I simply concerned that I legitimately DON’T HAVE TIME FOR EVERYTHING?

Here, let me give you an idea of my activity and plans:

1. The Graceful Birch

This is my fiber art/creative business I began last year. I finally opened my Etsy shop and I’ve been taking custom orders. I have lots of things still left to list for sale and then I’ve got to promote the hell out of my shop so I can make some money. Plus I have so many other great designs I’ve been itching to make… but of course… I’ve been too busy with:

2. Gardening

‘Tis the season, and a lot of my creative/general energy is being poured into plants and the delicious earth. We’re planning a massive vegetable garden this year with seedlings already started, and I’ve started an herb garden and also a perennial flower garden. These are massive undertakings… especially when you have two small children and a baby.

And I still have so many landscaping plans! I’m getting serious about native perennials and I WANT TO PLANT THEM ALL, EVERYWHERE. 

I want to grow everything! I want to try it all! I just want to grow stuff!!!!

The amount of outdoor work is crazy (and exhausting and painful). But this is something I’ve decided I want to do, I’m just sooo passionate about it. Almost as much as I’m passionate about my first love, which is:

3. Music

Yall. The songs don’t stop. I’ve been writing a lot of songs lately. I haven’t written this much since I was a teenager. I keep writing songs, they keep coming to me, but I’ve barely had time to actually get to an instrument and sing them out.

But that being said, I’ve been wanting to record everything I’ve written just to have it (lame phone videos are good enough for now). I began compiling all my poetry and lyrics into a chronological series two years ago… and there’s just sooo much that I haven’t been able to finish. I knew it was going to be a big project… I had no idea just HOW big a project it would be. I have written A LOT.

And speaking of writing, how about:

4. My blog

I feel irritated that I began my grand writing series of my evolving spiritual journey and that I haven’t been able to keep up with it. This is exactly what I feared would happen. Started out with five billion teasers but never actually get to the meat. Yall still don’t know what on earth I went through and how everything just completely changed for me. And I want you to know SO BAD. Because I’m one of those obnoxious open-book over-share type people who feels it’s my god-ordained purpose to expose myself to the world.

me so tired

Thing is, my real plan has always been to write a book. I started blogging about it in the meantime, just to start getting my material actually written down. I know this series is not very well written, but I’ve been adament about not fussing over it. It doesn’t need to be perfect right now, it just needs to get written down. And good lord, there’s so much and it’s so complicated. I hit a wall because I’m not sure exactly how to tell this next piece of the story. My brain just isn’t in the mood to organize it, so now my whole story is backed up, just waiting on me to finally put in the time and DO IT.

But as you see, I have so much going on. And I’ve only listed the extracurricular stuff. I have kids yall. Kids that need a lot of attention. I have a household that needs daily maintenance (and a KonMari process begging to be completed). The dishes need to be washed. The food needs to be made (and the children need to be convinced to eat it). And the laundry needs to be collected, washed, and put away. AND DID I MENTION THE KIDS’ TOYS ARE EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. As someone who is very tidy and well-organized, the chaos of parenting small children can drive me absolutely nuts. How do parents keep up with everything? Forget feeding your kids super nutritious food, just feed them SOMETHING that they’ll eat, for the love of God, children, please just eat the food and stop whining!!! And stop farting at each other!! WE’RE EATING!! (If you can’t tell, I have a lot of anxiety around food. No, it doesn’t help my digestion at all).

*phheewww*long siiiggghh*

Yeah, so… I also have friends I want to invest in and spend more time with, but that’s the most difficult of it all. I don’t know how to make the time. And I feel guilty when I don’t keep up with people, probably because I spent a lot of my childhood and teenage years feeling left out and I hate that feeling. I don’t want others to think I’ve forgotten about them (though frankly I do forget!! Have you read my above list of current activities?!)

Ok I just wanted to blow off some mental steam. The downside of wanting to do everything is that you can’t actually do everything. Prioritizing is so hard when everything feels so important and amazing.

These are wonderful problems to have. They are the result of a life being lived. I am happy and thankful to be struggling in this way. It sure beats the pointless misery of depression and perfectionism and fear of failure. Those are terrible problems to have (and I’m well-aquainted with them). I traded them in for better problems.

I just wish I could get more sleep… CHILDREN.

2 thoughts on “if all the spinning plates fall…

  1. Good for you…you’re doing it! Living! I am inspired by your to-do’s; they are really your loves, which says a lot about you. Your honesty and authenticity comes through loud and clear. Relax and lean in….especially to the children. Thank you for your inspiring post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! I’m worn out! But, oh how I can relate! You could be my sister. Well, my much, much younger sister. I understand the cycle thing; the gradual climb to the top of feeling really good about yourself and life and everything in between. Then the spiral, tumble to the bottom. A never-ending cycle of madness. thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading your post very much. Just keep doing what you love and what makes you feel alive 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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