Monday, September 28, 2009

Being Overwhelmed

It seems like every time I turn around lately I'm learning about another responsibility I have as Relief Society President. It wouldn't seem so overwhelming except I already feel like I'm working at my capacity and don't know how to handle anything more right now. I feel like freaking out and then just curling up on the floor and crying.
Thankfully my rational side kicks in and I just start prioritizing and making lists of what I need to do as I try to convince myself that I can tackle this one duty at a time. Sometimes that helps and other times just seeing the length of the list and the number of responsibilities that I really dread doing just makes me feel depressed. (That's not to say that I dread most of what I do... I love many aspects of my calling... but making phone calls and trying to arrange meetings and putting out fires really bites!!)
I try hard to rely on the Lord for strength and for abilities that I don't have on my own. I've felt Him holding me up and sometimes even pushing me forward. I believe in Him and that He's right there with me. But I can't help sometimes feeling like this is all just way too much. I'm not well educated or particularly talented, I struggle with being cynical and being a complainer, and I am really just not angelic enough for a calling this big!!
It's times like these that I have to drop to my knees and plead with Heavenly Father to get me through it. I'd like to say that I'm spiritual enough to say that I'm finding joy in the journey, but all too often I'm just slogging my way through. Maybe I don't lean on the Lord enough, or know how to let Him carry my burdens. It's something I need to work on.
I would gladly share if I felt there was anyone I could delegate to. Unfortunately, I feel guilty every time I ask someone else to do something because everyone I know is even more busy than me. With multiple children, jobs, extracurricular activities, church callings, and life happening, I don't feel right about piling anything extra onto the women I know. Now I know why Relief Society presidents I've known before have been overwhelmed and haven't been able to delegate well. It's not that we don't want to. It's that the guilt of overwhelming someone else is far greater than the need for self-preservation. Delegating becomes a last-ditch option.
Thankfully, I do have sisters who freely volunteer and so many women do their share and so much more. I don't want it to sound like I'm surrounded by slackers or anything. If that were the case, I'd feel fine about calling and asking others to take on half of what I'm doing! But everyone around me is so busy doing good that I don't feel it's right to take any more of their time.
I could go over a long list of "things would be easier if..." but in the end that's not going to change anything. My life is what it is right now and there aren't many aspects I can change. All I can do is keep taking one day at a time, learning as I go, and trying to do my best. And keep believing that the Lord really will carry my burdens, especially when they weigh so heavily. I know I'll look back at this someday and see all the angels He brought into my life and all the blessings I may be too overwhelmed to even notice right now.


Mama D said...

Patty, you are far more amazing than you give yourself credit for being!

I don't recall seeing "angelic" on any "job description" in the Lord's kingdom. "Willing to sacrifice" - "do your best" - "love the Lord and His children" - those are the things that matter, and those are the things you are doing.

One of the things I learned as YW Pres was to delegate. You have to share the load, no matter how much it seems others are even busier or it's not fair to ask them to do more. Sharing the load of 10 items between 10 people still gets the work done, and someone doing 1 extra thing is not usually over-burdened. There are things you *must* do as the Pres that cannot be delegated, but there are other things that can, and must, be if your organization is to run smoothly. I know the sisters love you and will help you - if they know you need the help. :)

Keep relying on the Lord; He does indeed carry us through every challenge.

(( Hugs ))

Erin said...

Um, I feel like a slacker. I'm not doing much right now, especially now that Enrichment is in such good hands (not mine). My arms are open - fill 'em up! Seriously. Or at least call and whine. I care about you, Patty. Lots. Let me know what phone calls I can make for you. What can I do for the VT Conf.? I'm here!!

Shayleen Lunt said...

Patty. I hear ya. It sounds like your Monday's are like mine...organizing the unorganization that occurs on the Sabbath Day.
Bless you!

Heather said...

Patty, you really are more fantastic than you realize! Don't be so hard on yourself! I'd a lot rather hear from someone who is "real" (whining and cynicism included) than someone who just pretends things are perfect all the time. Maybe the greater challenge with the calling will turn out to be delegating vs. doing it all yourself. Don't feel guilty asking for help. Ya, everyone is busy, but some of the stuff that really gets you down might be something that's easy to another sister.