Do you ever overcommit? So do I, sometimes…
It happens more than I like to admit…
I have everything worked out – balance between time for me, quality time with the family, downtime, work I am excited about… and then I fall into it again….
Sometimes I overcommit to myself – with an ambitious plan for my work or on a project.
Sometimes I overcommit to others – volunteering to run an ambitious volunteer or afterschool program.
And sometimes I just overcommit, period.
Because, let’s be honest, we are ambitious, creative, capable women. And we will always overcommit.
But here’s what I believe:
To keep just the right mix between adventure and downtime — it is better to push the boundaries – and perhaps overcommit – because this is how we learn just *what* is worth overcommitting to.
Better to know what makes us feel alive, and pull back on the things that don’t, than to simply be fully booked with things that don’t fulfill us.
We will *always* have to seek out balance amidst our tendency to overcommit.
It’s what you overcommit yourself to that matters.
So, here I am, again, over my head.
If everything had gone smoothly with our travel to up to 10 countries in 36 days, I wouldn’t necessarily feel this way. Sure, I was worn out from travelling with 3 kids to Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague & Slovenia. But we were heading to a perfectly timed week getaway in the countryside of Tuscany. After a lot of short stays, this weeklong stay with a pool and nice view was going to allow us to settle in for a while in one place, recharge, and allow me to spend some much needed dedicated time to work projects.
First, our weeklong stay was cancelled (by booking.com – if you ever wonder who would do this) just three days before our checkin. We were going to be staying at a lovely, top TripAdvisor rated B&B near Cortona. But, for reasons unknown to us, booking.com cancelled those plans. So instead of enjoying quiet peaceful evenings while in Lake Bled, I was scouring websites for peaceful country estates in Tuscany still available in late July for a week’s stay. We ended up leaving Lake Bled, and arriving at our planned stay at a holiday park in northern Italy, still without a booked propery in Tuscany.
And, we ran into more trouble, then, because the Internet here at the holiday park is not reliable. We found ourselves unable to properly research properties, and while sitting closest as possible to the Wifi connection while teenagers played late into the night on the arcade, booked a less than ideal villa that we’d have to “make-do” with, for without good Internet, it’s entirely difficult to book a nice stay under the circumstances.
But it turned out, that was just the beginning of our troubles. Because, after a beautiful and full day in Venice, pushing the kids to walk in the heat for several miles (with breaks, we aren’t that mean), we ran into our ultimate challenge. Our car key had somehow disappeared sometime during the day!
We spent an hour trying to find it in our bag, considering all options where it might be without running back through Venice. Then, at 10pm at night, Tim went on a quest back to all the places we stopped in case the key had fallen out of his pocket when he sat down. We were considering whether we’d stay the night in Venice, should we not find it, or take a taxi home. The girls fell asleep on the sofa of a hotel lounge while Rylan and I played cards. We made the decision around midnight to taxi it back to our holiday park, an hour away. We had to wake up the camp director here to get another key to our RV. But, we got the kids back in familiar beds.
All of it helps lend perspective. Never once did Tim and I get upset, mad at each other, or even panicked. I kept thinking, thank goodness the weather is warm. Our kids are safe. Nothing else is really that big of a deal. And like all troubles, this too will pass.
Perhaps it wasn’t a lesson we planned to teach the kids, but I hope they learn from this. That troubles happen. People make mistakes. We can be problem solvers. And we will be ok.
(And if you are wondering how we worked out this problem, we’ve got the rental company overnighting us a replacement key from Denmark, using Tim’s company FedEx account, and the generous hosts here at the campsite have offered us to stay for free for 2 nights since we already incurred other costs from this hiccup, so we wil stay here until the key arrives and shorten our already booked stay in Tuscany.)
So here I am, in over my head again. Less money left, as our mistake will cost us some. Less time to work, because we had to rearrange plans and I’m suffering with poor internet during designated work days. And less time to relax at our Tuscan getaway, once we get this all worked out.
But, as I’ve heard many times:
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is how you react to the problem.”
When you are in over your head: Take stock. Practice gratitude. And, know that it is not what you’ve done to get yourself in this situation that you should dwell on, it’s how you choose to move forward.
I know that you can find your way to balance again, each time you find yourself in over your head. Have faith and take a deep breath. Look ahead and find your way!