Monday, October 18, 2010

Overachievers Beware!

I realized that I was a classic overachiever when I went to college and tried to add 3 extra classes on top of full time credits, while being a college RA and working as the "deli girl" in the cafeteria. Seems odd that it took that long for me to realize it when I was known for reading entire EXTRA textbooks in economics, science, history and doing EXTRA assignments just for the fun of it in high school. I also clearly remember making about 100 muffins one day around the same time just because I wanted to freeze them and was experimenting with new flavors (almond chocolate bran anyone?) ... oh and the fact that I had 6 siblings who devoured everything the minute I baked it may have also encouraged this massive muffing making memory!

Anyway, all this to say that I am an overachiever. Yesterday I got mad at my husband for leaving a string cheese sitting half-eaten on the coffee table - and went into my classic dialogue which sounded like this: "I feel like a maid and all I do is cook and clean (content subtracted to protect my self-image here - but basically I am not proud of how upset I got over this piece of cheese!) To which my husband said something to the effect that I am OCD. Which may be true. Mostly I just hate mess and part of that is that I never know when I will be incapacitated by my health and I hate looking at a mess while I am laying around in pain. This meltdown was also on the day when I was throwing a double baby shower for two of my sister-in-laws, which I decided I needed to make two cakes, bring all the decorations, games, tea, while making "Labor Survival Kits" for both sisters which included hand sewn baby booties! Thankfully my sister and mom were helping and I didn't have to being extra food. Oh and did I mention that it has been an epic week in the world of my odd jobs which I do from home?

ALL this to say that God has been trying to get my attention for years and make me slow down. Odviously, I haven't quite mastered the art of slowing down. During my college experience with the extra credits (I was trying desperately to graduate which never happened), I became extreamly sick and had to drop the 3 extra classes. I should have learned the lesson then. I have an unfinished degree to remind me. But somehow I always find myself in this same possition of trying to do so much around the house and trying to throw great parties for people that I love etc ... when will I learn to pace myself? I don't know if I am alone in this feeling of needing to do everything NOW - I feel like my time is often taken from me by sickness and so I want to have everything done which always falls short.


  1. Ali,

    Thank you for visiting my blog!

    I think one of the most challenging aspects of living with chronic illness is finding the balance between pushing hard enough (good) and not pushing too hard (bad).

    I have learned the hard way that pushing too hard can have devastating effects. Finding the balance is an ongoing struggle for every chronic illness patient I know. However, I think that I am getting better at it, slowly but surely. It takes time to learn the limit's of one's own body... and the limits aren't set in stone either.

    Pacing really is important. :)

    Take care,