I was in Columbia, Missouri all day yesterday for the Mozambique Initiative team leaders meeting, which is a business meeting where we discussed all of our current projects, the budget, and the training/transition of the new coordinator (that's me). And as I was sitting there taking it all in, I began to feel slightly overwhelmed (ok, a lot overwhelmed) with all that I have my hands in these days. Not just with the Mozambique Initiative (although that's enough to keep a team of 7 people busy), but with finishing the dissertation, and worship leading at The Gathering with my band (and I guess some people have spare time and family and friends??).
I'm not a workaholic - that's not my style. I don't do well working 60+ hours a week and it's not who I am. But, I've found myself brimming over with responsibilities during this chapter in my life and there are no other alternatives right now. The Mozambique Initiative Coordinator position is my dream job. I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't jump on this opportunity. Jobs like this one come around once in a blue moon, and when the coordinator position presented itself to me slightly earlier than I had planned, I had to go for it. Additionally, I MUST finish my dissertation. I HAVE TO. It's been almost 4 years of toiling away at this, and I would be very disappointed in myself if I did not finish. And lastly, if I don't have music in my life, I go insane, and so it's best not to throw that out either. In other words, there are no balls that I can drop right now...I have to keep them all in the air. I have to.
BUT, what I am realizing is that I don't have to do it alone. A former professor of mine, who is also my south city spiritual guru and an amazing friend, had an intervention with me the other day. He asked me (half-jokingly) if I was superwoman, and when I said no, he suggested a strategy for getting through this period of my life. During births, deaths, or crises, people call on their community. When a baby is born, friends bring meals and help with laundry and run errands. When someone is ill or dying, the community helps you get the oil in your car changed, and helps clean the house, and sits vigil. He suggested that this next year is going to be one of those major junctures in my life. He asserted that this period is going to be tremendously difficult, but also, it's not going to last forever. I will (I must) transition successfully into the new job and finish the dissertation, there are no other options - but I would also be a fool not to draw on my community. He suggested making a shortlist of people who are my go to people - be it for dropping coffee at my front door once a week, or walking my dogs, or picking up milk...or whatever. He commented on the fact that I always take care of others and because of this, I've cultivated a pool of people who would happily do the same for me - I just have to ask. I'm choosing to lay down my pride right now and ask for this help. I am going to try to put aside this "I can do it all by myself" attitude and begin admitting that I'm not superwoman, I'm not a lone ranger. I'm admitting that I need the help of my friends, I need you. Volunteers for the shortlist are welcome.