Help! I’m Over-Committed and Overwhelmed
"As a working mom, I strive to take advantage of every moment, including moments when I have no business working. The result? I over-commit and under deliver." In this article from our series In Over Your Head, attorney Susan DiMickele encourages us to depend on God, not ourselves.
Trying to do it all puts me in over my head. As a working mom, I strive to take advantage of every moment, including moments when I have no business working. The result? I over-commit and under deliver.
One example: a business trip was unexpectedly cancelled on a Friday. When I announced to my family that I was staying in town, my husband and kids immediately planned a weekend camping trip. It was one of those rare, perfect opportunities. Sometimes unexpected windows are the best I can hope for, and I have to be prepared to make my escape on short notice. I planned to slip out of the office before lunch, not looking back until Monday morning. Then I remembered: I had an important conference call at three o'clock Friday afternoon. How could I possibly leave the office early? Did I cancel the call? Of course not. I had already said yes. Did I tell my family that I couldn’t leave the office early? Of course not. I couldn’t say no to my family, who had barely seen me all week. Instead, I tried to do it all.
The Blessing and Curse of Technology
For most of us, technology is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing, of course, is that we can be two places at once. The curse is that it enables us to keep saying yes instead of setting appropriate boundaries. Technology is like a drug that fuels our addiction to productivity. It enables us to constantly push the envelope and get in over our heads. In my case, technology feeds the lie that I have no limits, don’t have to say no, and can do it all without God’s help. But deep down, I know better.
My husband, who regularly watches me test my limits, had his doubts that I could pull it off when I told him about the call. I explained to him that this wasn’t the typical group of friendly clients. This was an intense group who would not tolerate the usual background noise in our family vehicle. It was crucial that we arrive at the campground before the call so that I could find absolute peace and quiet. Under no circumstances could I take the call inside the chaos of our car.
You guessed it. After getting out of town late, hitting weekend traffic, and stopping for multiple bathroom breaks, we were still driving at 3:00 p.m. At 3:01, I completely freaked out and said to my husband, “Stop the car, now!” I opened the car door before he came to a complete stop, jumped off on the side of the road, and started to dial.
The next 15 minutes were full of the stress and drama of trying to be two places at once: the lack of mobile coverage, no workable land line, and being in the middle of nowhere when there was a problem at work I was expected to fix. The bigger issue, however, was my complete inability to slow down, even for a weekend, while corporate America plunged full-speed ahead.
And just when I needed it most, technology failed me.
God Is in Charge of Our Work
God doesn’t fail me. He knows me better than I know myself, and he allows me to test my limits. He knows in advance that technology will fail me on a Friday afternoon, yet he patiently watches and waits. With grace and humor, he reminds me that I’m not in control.
The God of the universe is in charge of my work, and he isn’t dependent on mobile coverage or land lines. He reassures me that doing it all isn’t about my strength, resources, or abilities. His grace allows me to look at myself and laugh. I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that he is connected to me at every moment, especially when I’m in over my head.