Nibbled to death by ducks?

Ever feel like so much is going on, swirling around you, that you feel rather overwhelmed? (“Of course not,” you say. “My life is perfectly balanced and organized!” Yeah, right!) Nothing terribly bad nor even terribly important is going on right now —- it’s just that there’s a lot! Like being nibbled to death by ducks. Each single nibble isn’t painful; it might even be fun and stimulating! But when the whole flock nibbles. . . .

One of my ongoing annoyances is a pile of so many tabs open on my computer that I can no longer even read the titles. And they pressure me. It all feels like stuff I’m supposed to deal with right now! I come across videos that I REALLY really REALLY wanna watch, but this minute isn’t the time for it. So I keep the video open on one of my computer tabs. Well, one tab becomes 5, becomes 12, becomes 20. My spouse offered to teach me how to have different pages of tabs so that I could keep many times more tabs open! I’m sure that doesn’t happen to you, ever (!) And then I add a few (dozen) podcasts that would be really cool to listen to. . . and my life becomes like the second of the paintings up there — so many wonderful things to reach for! (Let’s not even get into all the un-wonderful things that are swirling around. Another topic, another day!)

Well, yesterday I took the time to write in my bullet journal (actually, just my daily notebook) a list of all my “wanna watch” videos, and a separate list of things I want to listen to. Then deleted all the tabs. I thought it would take at least half an hour, but it was less than five minutes, and now I feel like my life has that purple circle in the second painting. Boundaries. Just one step away from those ducks nibbling, one step away from the tabs pressuring me. (Unfortunately, I’m easily pressured. Does anyone else feel the fresh vegetables in the refrigerator calling “Hurry! Eat me before I grow mold and die a meaningless death! I’m decaying as we speak!”)

It feels better to me that they are on a “wanna do” list next to the “to-do’s” and “must-do’s”. The pressure has lifted and I can consider them AFTER the “must-do’s” are done. The added perk is that now I always have a running list of interesting and even some delightful things to look forward to.

Whatever is pressuring you, try to find a way to park it, but without losing it. There’s plenty enough that requires our urgent attention every day. Find the difference between the truly urgent and things that are just pressuring you. Boundaries. Semi-permeable when necessary.

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