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the crowded mind (when mental #whitespace can’t be found)

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If I could compare my mind to anything it would be a multi-level mall with lots of stores and even more people.

The department stores are the big things – husband, child, house, blog.

The little stores are the other things – appointments, preschool, bills, taxes, insurance, friends, playdates, baby showers, big projects, and more.

And the people are the tasks.

I walk through this crowded mall and can’t breathe. Every two seconds someone (a task) comes up to me and asks me to complete it.

I start the day getting breakfast for the little man, turning on the TV, making coffee – all the while my brain processing the dirty knife and spoon by the microwave, the dishes left undone, the laundry left in the washer last night, the phonecalls that need made, and more.

For every person I send away (either by saying “not now, come back later” or by actually completing a task) another one comes to take its place.

I seek a place in the mall where I can find rest, quiet, whitespace but there is none. The requesters are constant, the tasks never ending, nothing every fully completed.

It overwhelms me constantly, chronically.

I keep thinking, if I just work hard on my list today, then tomorrow I can rest. 

And tomorrow I say the same thing. And the next day. And the next day.

It feels like every split second my thoughts are splintered. No one single task ever has my full and undivided attention. Whatever task I choose to devote my attention to, all the others lose out, left undone.

My mind races – sometimes my heart. Almost frantic at the sheer weight of unending to-do.

Choosing self-care seems pointless. Even in the moments of physical rest, my mind is still crowded.

Crowded. Overwhelmed. Exhausted.


Linking up today with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Bloggers are given a writing prompt (topic) and told to write for five minutes. “No editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.” Today’s topic is “Crowd.” 

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  • Allison

    Aprille! So fabulous to stumble upon a fellow 2013 Allume newbie at FMF. I completely identify with your “my mind is a mall” analogy and found myself in your writing today. Thank you!

  • Becky Daye

    Dear one,
    I was talking to my husband the other day about this very thing and he reminded me that my perspective is so often my own expectations of myself. You are loved by so many! So even if it feels pointless, take the time to rest. It’s not just a good idea, it is one of God’s commands. Because He loves us too much to leave us in our overwhelmed.
    Love you lady,

    • Aprille

      Thanks so much Becky. I’m actually still in my pajamas right now. Decided not to leave the house today and take a day to stay home, rest, spend some really sweet time with Ezra, catch up on some light housework and computer work – it’s been nice. thinking about getting a hot shower before Russ gets home as Ezra finishes watching Mary Poppins!

  • Lacey Michael

    I can identify with your thoughts on having a mall in your mind! haha! I’ve started to try and focus on what are high priorities for my husband and me. What HAS to get done; what should get done; what might get done; what I wish would get done. Its helped to me to not feel guilty about what I don’t get done. Guilt is not of the Lord. Also, I have started to demand a quiet time from my kids for at least an hour in the afternoon where I do nothing. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. unless I want to. Since I’ve started this I’ve felt a little less like a pressurized cooker. 😉 Hope things get less stressful for you too.

    • Aprille

      Yes! I have been trying to prioritize better. I feel like I have a hard time differentiating between what HAS to get done and what SHOULD get done – or sometimes I put off the should and then a few weeks go by and the pressure increases because eventually, that stuff has to get done too. There was a lot of stuff that was really pressing on my plate for a few weeks and it was just hard to manage it all!

      I do the quiet time thing as well. I use afternoon time to either work on my blog or watch a show. It really helps!

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