Okay, it’s been a little while. Life has just been a little crazy. Every now and then it feels like I get attacked by life. There’s been family stuff, study stuff and other stuff that just crowds my days and my nights. My head gets overloaded with details that demand attention and it’s exhausting to keep track of it all.
Recently I read about the mental load that people carry around inside their heads. Especially women. There is so much planning, organising and remembering that just seems to be expected of us. Or maybe we just think it is. Even when we are not doing all the daily tasks involved in running a household and caring for family, we are still thinking about it. We keep a running list in our heads of all the things we have to remember, as well as planning and organising for the days ahead. All the time we’re investing in thinking about that day to day stuff, we’re not using for thinking about the things that really do matter.
I often feel like a juggler, trying to keep all the balls moving smoothly through the air without dropping any. There are a lot of balls – family, children with special needs, ageing parents, work, study, friends and other relationships. Sometimes the balls stay in the air. And sometimes they don’t. In the last couple of weeks, some new balls were thrown in and some got dropped.
After reading about the mental load, I realised that there is some stuff that doesn’t need to be taking up space in my head. I am not responsible for the peace, happiness and well-being of the whole world. There’s a lot of stuff that I don’t need to feel responsible for at all. There are adult family members who need to take responsibility for their own stuff. I don’t need to be juggling all the balls.
I’ll always have Dan to think, plan and organise for, but that’s different. We have a long-term plan in place for encouraging him to be more independent, and we’re getting there. Slowly. But from now on, I’m going to be examining those balls very carefully, and if it’s not important, it’s getting tossed.