I feel like I'm drowning, suffocated by my own good intentions, ambition, dreams, and false-sense of time, specifically the number of hours in a day. I'm trying to do everything I want to do and think I need to do, and I can feel myself fading away, diluted by duty.
I should know better - I'm a recovering volunteer-junkie. I had weaned myself down to just "mediocre band mom" and "Boy Scout Troop Treasurer". I had learned to say "No" like I meant it. I had to - my good intentions were getting in the way of my dreams and I was running out of time...my fiftieth birthday is just around the corner. And I was exhausted.
I cut out this quote by Thomas Merton, a man who struggled all his life with conflicts between dreams and duty, and taped it above my computer monitor to remind me and encourage me that it was okay to say "No!": "To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything...destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful."
But still, when I found out that we had a chance to have the University of Texas kids come out and hold a youth retreat at our church, but no one wanted to step up and take charge, I volunteered. Some may be skeptical, but I heard (not literally...more like a strong feeling) God telling me to do it. I've never heard God speak like that to me. Usually he gives me nothing more than strong suggestions; sometimes I wonder if I really hear him right, if I'm really doing what he wanted or just telling myself that so I can do what I want.
This was different; I had no doubt it was him talking to me. And since I ask every morning for him to tell me what I need to do, how could I say no? Besides, I knew that if it was something God wanted done, he would make sure it worked out. He'd really be doing the work. And he has. So I haven't really stressed about it - potential problems that popped up along the way have just disappeared. I've watched small miracles unfold daily.
And yet...it has still taken a lot of my time and energy and brain work, and I admit I'll be glad when this weekend is over and the retreat is in the past. My early momentum and excitement is dwindling, and it's contagious - it's spreading to my other activities. I find it hard to get motivated to do anything, even work on my screenplay.
Which reminds me...back to work.