It's a strange thing, losing internet access. For the past eleven days, arriving home in the wee hours of yesterday morning, the five of us were away for the holidays with my whole side of the family. For nine of those days we were without wireless internet connection (hence the lack of blogging). At the Denver airport on Monday evening, halfway home from Los Angeles, I finally had access to the airport's wireless system, and the first thing I did was check on emails, blogs, and a couple of yahoo forums that I stay connected with.
When I logged into my email, I discovered 235 emails waiting for me. 235. I worked my way through them, and discovered that I could delete most of them without even reading them; about 180-190 of those emails were from various companies trying to sell something (amazon and various other book sellers, h/school or other learning-related companies); yahoo digests for forums that I don't read any more and a few that I do; companies I've purchased from in the past and which continue to send advertising; even a daily email from a website that helps people get organized (clearly I haven't benefited from these). Some of the emails were from excellent organizations, but when they send one or more emails every day and when I don't read any of them any more, it's just too much. In the end, there were only a few dozen emails that I genuinely wanted to read and respond to.
I don't know how it happened that I have let so much 'stuff' clutter up my email's inbox, but it seems somehow symbolic of my life. I have too much crap in my life, too much excess of otherwise good things: Way too many emails from places/people that I don't care one whit about; too much stuff competing for space in my house; too many thoughts crowding out the really important stuff going on in my mind and heart; too much of my precious little private time checking on blogs and yahoo forums; too much food going into my body; even too much 'kid' at times. All of these things are good things. But taken to excess, any of these things are dangerous to one's well-being. More than that, they take away from other things.
I've said recently here that I thought my priorities were in pretty decent shape. And while that statement is true to an extent, it hit me hard in the past week that some things are out of whack in my life. I think this 'cluttering' issue is one reason why I've been so overwhelmed these last two or three months, and struggling with the depression that has been creeping over and through me. It's not the only reason (and for sure a huge reason is how hard the last seven months have been as we've begun to adjust to our new family), but I think it's a contributing factor.
I need to remove some of the clutter from my life, starting with the sources of those 180-190 emails. Then I need to reorganize and re-prioritize some other things in my life: More spiritual input; more exercise; more reading time for quality literature; more organizing in my house; more deliberate times to write; more consistent time to prep for the kids' schooling; more sleep.
As I wrote that last paragraph, I was conscious that every one of those things involve time...something that I am already struggling with in a major way...ie. not having enough time. I don't know how to make these changes - particularly if I'm going to add more sleep/rest time to my life. It's a discouraging thought. The second, related, defeating thought that came to mind as I wrote that short list of things is that I don't know how to do/change these things with my very needy and active children with me all of the time. I need a break from them more often than I get, and for sure if I'm to make some of these changes. It was recently suggested to me that I consider putting one or more of my kids into the school system rather than h/schooling them. It's true that this would provide more of the capacity that I'm craving, and I think that one of my two school-age children would adapt readily to being schooled outside of the home. But that decision would simultaneously defeat one of the priorities that I believe to be in the right place for our family.
So I'm stuck.
I'm being vulnerable about this stuff here. I hope that I don't sound whiny...but even if I do, I'm putting it out there. I don't know how to fix what's amiss. I just know that I'm struggling. I know that something needs to change. I even know what needs to change, I just don't know how to go about it. I'm writing about it because I want to feel committed to doing something about it. And I will. And I'll keep you posted.