Overwhelmed

Between all the travel I’ve done lately for work and school, and trips to visit my father, and teaching, and interviewing people for my dissertation, and the usual requirements of work and family, I’m full on overwhelmed.

The SIOP conference last week was terrific, but I was juggling work and teaching and school, so I didn’t get to really focus as much as I would have liked. My time with family this week has been productive and rewarding, but I’ve spent a good chunk of time glued to my laptops as well. I’m desperately looking forward to being home in my own bed this weekend, and for two weeks after, but I’m already thinking about all of the things I have to get done while I’m home.

It would be fair to say that I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally. But fortunately, I’ve got some fantastic family, friends, and colleagues helping keep me going.

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For real. 

Plenty of friends have made a point of being supportive and encouraging, and lots of people have generously offered their sympathies and offers to help with anything. But two friends in particular have been able to help me in a unique way that nobody else could: Jennifer and Mike have graciously opened their home in Florida, near my dad, to me whenever I need it. They’ve basically labeled their guest bedroom “Kevin’s room” for the foreseeable future, and have put me up countless times in the past couple of weeks.

My manager Michelle has also been incredible. I’ve been traveling, and distracted, and struggling like mad to stay afloat at work. Throughout it, Michelle has been a steady source of support and encouragement, a calming influence in this midst of the craziest period of my life. She’s helped me prioritize, found teammates to pitch in when I needed a hand with something, and offered valuable advice to steer me in the right direction.

More than anyone, though, I’m thankful for my husband. At every single turn, he’s been there for me. He’s instantly taken the “whatever you need” perspective. When I tentatively broached the subject of spending time in Florida with my dad, he immediately told me that I didn’t even need to discuss it with him, and that I should go ahead and do whatever I feel I need to do. When I need to travel or I’m behind schedule on things, he takes care of the few things at home that he wasn’t already taking care of. And when I’m feeling overwhelmed, he quietly reminds me to make a list and take one thing at a time.

So many people have been amazing to me throughout my life, and especially over these past couple of months. But these folks in particular have been phenomenal, when I needed them most. I don’t know how I would have gotten through this difficult time without them.

Seriously: thank you.

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