My freshman year of high school included an honors biology class. In said class we were given a year-long project in which we captured, killed and displayed insects from several different species. We were taught the proper way to kill the insects without crushing them - simply place them in an airtight jar with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. They will suffocate and die while being perfectly preserved. My pride and joy of the project was catching a gorgeous, huge emerald green cricket. He was beautiful. I gleefully put him in the death jar, eager to pin him on my bug board. My joy turned to sorrow, dismay and intense guilt, when I couldn't take my eyes away from the jar as he slowly, painfully suffocated to death. For some reason that memory is vividly etched in my mind, and I doubt I'll ever lose it.
In so many ways life has been extraordinary of late - an incredibly happy marriage, leadership and influence in my career, a brand new, beautiful house that I'm slowly but steadily turning into a home with my husband. However, I can't help but feel overwhelmed right now. It feels like so many major life transitions have happened in the past year - new position at work, engagement, wedding, new marriage, house... and despite the goodness and joy of it, emotionally it's all finally catching up to me, and quite frankly, I'm exhausted. I feel like that cricket, wishing that alcohol-soaked cotton ball would be removed and set me free. Yet, at the same time, nothing is bad or wrong, per se. It's just so much.
I work at a job that is hyper-all consuming... I work close to 80 or 90 hours a week, 7 days a week, every week. My adrenaline is running on maximum levels at all times, and I don't know how to relax and disengage. And despite my love for it, I have to. I have to learn how to be present for my family, for my friends and for the health of my marriage. I have felt so trapped by the need to be everything to everyone (a chronic female condition, I do believe) that I've been unaware that that is arrogance in its sneakiest form. The world will not fall apart without me, and my insistence to be "on" all the time points to my need to feel as though it will.
So what does that mean? It means that it's okay for me to admit my exhaustion... to share my heart with my husband. To skip yoga to go the grocery store because I need the stress management. To say no to activities when all I want to do is piddle around my house with a glass of wine. For me, it means blogging again. Not anything impressive or showy, but just documenting life to be reminded of the simple things that fill my heart.