Overwhelm and My To-Do List

I wrote a post in 2014 about overwhelm that holds true today. This is what I said:

I’ve learned a lot in the past three years about obliterating anxiety in my life…about not having it enter into the picture at all or at the very least, how to be resilient in the face of it.  My oldest daughter calls it my “Bread List.”


Perhaps I am the only one whose brain operates this way:

1) create a mental list of literally 100 things that need my attention


2) create a mental list of dozens of projects I want to accomplish


3) think about these lists for weeks and months, while moving in and out of getting them done or letting them “just sit.”


4) get filled to the brim with how in the world I can keep everything in order and enjoy life at the same time!


5) spill it all out to my husband and/or children and begin going down the “bread list” with them as I talk about all of the details that need attention…and how can we plan this activity and create this or that and make this or that happen…


6) realize a little too late that while I have been thinking through the details for weeks or months, my family has not.  They have no idea any of these thoughts are going through my mind!  I am ready for action and they are just learning about the idea.


7) get to the final item on my list that is really something not so overwhelming but because I have tried to figure out everything on my own, it’s literally the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  This is what my daughter calls the final words on my list: “make bread.”


I like to make bread.  It’s a gift from my mother.  Wonderful, delicious, whole wheat goodness full of soft middle and crunchy crust when it’s hot!  It’s a good thing that our children can become our greatest teachers because, through my daughter’s help, I see what needs to change.


I have often made the comment, “I just want to go back to pioneer times when life was not as hectic and filled as mine is now.”  I realize they had challenges with just staying alive that I don’t have to worry about now.  But there is a principle that spans time, age, and circumstance.  It is this:


Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.  In other words, I can do just what today requires.  I can be happy in the moments that make up my day when nothing I have written down gets accomplished because I spend time with my child or a neighbor…I can listen for, watch for, and act upon the Bread that I am given.  I can take the bread that comes today and rejoice in it, not thinking about the long- term list I need to accomplish.  It is enough for today.


So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you’re moving towards anxiety, if life seems too much, if today feels hopeless, if depression has a grip on you, if all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and roll out of bed, remember that doing one thing today is enough.


Learn more about my journey HERE.


Ready to create an emotionally resilient family? Schedule a free consult with me today!



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As a young mother of five, I was a mess of depression and perfectionism. Now as Nana to 10, my mess has become wisdom and propelled me forward with a passion for helping families become emotionally resilient, one person at a time.

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