There is a story that goes around about a teacher in a classroom who puts a large jar on the desk. He fills it with golf balls and asks the students if it is full. Yes, they all reply. But then he pours in some pebbles that jostle their way down in the gaps between the golf balls. Now is it full? Yes, they all say, now it really is full. But then, he pours in sand and the sand covers the golf balls and the pebbles and fills the jar.
Today, and for a few days now, I feel like that jar.
The golf balls are home, kids, husband, work, all the things that take up the large spaces in my jar all the time. The pebbles are things like my health issues, stress over money, stress over my weight, worry about my kids and all the little things that may weigh on my mind at any given time. The sand though, the sand is the overwhelming feeling I get sometimes that I just can’t stem the tide of. That everything is a little too much, and the sand washes over all the balls and pebbles in my jar and makes it hard for me to focus.
I’ve struggled with mental health issues for many years now. I’ve been in and out of counselling and have been medicated and un-medicated and I’ve finally reached a point in my life where *most* of the time, I can handle it on my own. I have coping mechanisms in place and exercizes to do to halt the cycle of thinking that puts me into serious trouble. I can handle it, most of the time and I work really, really hard at everything I’ve been taught by mental health professionals to keep sane.
But, as with the best of us, sometimes the sand overtakes everything and I get overwhelmed. That’s when I need to stop, breathe, and just remember that I don’t have to do it all and I don’t have to be everything for everybody else.
I’d rather fill my jar with lightning bugs and the laughter of my children and the swells of love I get for the people in my life. I just need to take a minute to sweep out the sand.