the stress that is in my life ~ today

 hello work week in my office. 

 40+ hours at my desk has never made me happier!

my cousin's little girl zania

  because a slice of my job is seasonal, a few times a year i feel  spread too thin to make a sandwich. schools, dance centers, bunnies... sessions with large quantities of images and a skinny time line.  my office helper is out of the country, i am a business control freak, so i have chosen to fly solo these few crazy-busy weeks.  

because this happens occasionally, i know it too will pass. thankfully i have a husband who during these times says, "tell me what can i do to help you?"  he's not thinking laundry or grocery shopping or cooking or cleaning.... he's thinking, "can i bring you a diet pepsi" or "can i pick up the take out food you called in?" :) but hey... every little bit helps when you are on the verge of losing your freaking mind! plus it helps that is so sweet!

but for real ~ all moms are busy right? i am not the only working mother who has not had a day off or a moment to my self in three weeks. 

this season, despite my best organizational / multi-tasking efforts, my days often feel as if they are spiraling into chaos.  

 if stress were set to music, saturday was my crescendo. 

it's up (extra early) with a whirlwind of thoughts storming through my brain. a mega wedding that will take place in a few hours, the fed-x truck that needs to pull in my driveway before i leave, delivering dance pictures for a recital later that afternoon, the fed-x truck arriving,  checking, packaging... thankfully the dance teacher/friend is going to meet me on the way to my wedding... in one hour. 

i shower, dress, pack my equipment, load the car. my mind is racing. i answer/return a half dozen work phone calls and emails. i look at my watch every two minutes, the next 48 hours is guaranteed madness. anna katherine has a latin project due. my youngest needs a mary poppins costume. a neighborhood meeting. the rain. my bridal portrait and 4 other sessions must be rescheduled for sunday afternoon. a sunday school lesson, i will be teaching. passports must be renewed monday by 8am for our trip. my cabinets are seriously bare, the laundry ~ i'll buy new underwear for everyone. my work to do list is a mile long. 

at that moment mary claire decides to have an all out, fall on the floor tantrum. so much more irritating when they are nine.  why?  because her overachieving self wants a poem project turned in extra early. she argues about her chore list. complains, cries,  stomps out and slams my studio door.

deep breath. i try to never yell. i hate yelling. my calm voice is way scarier. but the sensation of a thousand things pulling on me along with the slam of the door made me loose it. yep. i yelled. 

it's 10 am, i dash out of the door feeling guilty beyond belief for losing my temper. her little love tank is probably on empty. my gas tank is empty. i am already late.

i need to talk to my mom. i need caffeine ~ laced with sedatives would be nice. i answer a text from anna katherine wondering why i yelled at mary claire. answer a call from jeff wondering why i screamed at mary claire. i call my mom about losing it with mary claire. passed the dance pictures off to the teacher, sucked down a cup of coffee and head back home. i hugged and kissed my little one and explained things in a calm voice.  she reminds me that she her project is due early.  

back in the car to wait for my wedding helper. i realize the dance groups, the very ones i worked on until 1am, the very ones i overnighted for a small fortune, were still on my desk! not in the box the dance teacher picked up!  

it was too late. 

 my wedding helper gets the time mixed up and is thirty minutes past our planned leave time. anna katherine is pouting because she is having to work with mom and miss a movie with friends. i failed to offer my sweet friend  encouraging words on an important day. she always does this for me. my gps is not working and i forgot all of my lipstick.

at that moment i felt like a puddle of exhausted failure. "God help me to work through the stress that is in my life today."


i could feel the holy spirit wash over me. the remainder of the day was utter perfection. my helper was fabulous. anna katherine is awesome. we all enjoyed our day and captured some amazing images. 

this week i will start over. 
pray for God's grace. 
catch up. 
try my best to remember what is most important. 

it's all worth it :) 
mary claire helps with test shots for a cheer team

so i pray:
My Loving Creator,
You know how really tired I am. On days when things are really frantic, I consider how you made the world in seven days -- and then I try to remember that you aren't asking me to re-create that feat.
Please help me to remain a loving mother to my children and to keep some balance in my life. Help me to remember that you are with me in every packed hour of every day. As I am finishing a work project or planning dinner or buying the kids shoes, (sometimes all at the same time) help me to remember your loving care for me and let me sometimes stop for a moment and just wallow in that.
Most of all, my caring Father, let me remember to ask for help and to rely on you for strength when I have none left; for patience when mine is so often gone; and for the wisdom and endless well of compassion and love I need in my job as mother.

Charles and Angela McCall said...

I love Heidi Graves.

Your blog is just what I needed this morning.

Thank you!

:) Angela

The 1st of May said...

YES! I'm using your prayer right now...fits me right down to the shoes (MAJOR shoe drama this week!).

Fav line of the post, "My calm voice is way scarier."

Hang in there! xoxo

Mora said...

I come to your blog from a respite from the stress of my life, a daughter in a relationship with an alcoholic, a son in the depths of depression. Not to mention the 2 surgeries I have gone through the last 6 months. I come to your Perfect Imperfection world for a glance of whimsy, love and hope of better times to come. Thank you for sharing your world with us, the perfect and not so perfect times.

The Brannen Bunch said...

I just love you, Heidi Graves!! You rock and are the easiest person to work with! Thank you for being YOU and for all if your hard work for me! :)

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