I find myself overwhelmed with problems. Large and small. In and out of my control. Manageable and unmanageable. Simple and complex. It overwhelms my traditional to-do list approach to problem solving. Actually, that is not entirely true. What happens is that the to-do lists get made and then large problems/issue loom and make the small problems seem insignificant and make accomplishing even small tasks seem frivolous without working to resolve the larger problems. The larger problems/issues are so large that there is no way to resolve them as an individual. Thus inaction.
Thus, I feel I have written and erased these very thoughts perhaps twenty or more times. Like a cycle of events occur that overwhelm me, then I fret about it, then I think of ways to write myself out of it, then I write some things down, I re-read those things, realize how supercilious those things were, go back to trying to accomplish small things, realize small things sum to larger things, realize that my large changes don’t actually have any effect outside of my small sphere of influence, go back to being overwhelmed.
However, the nice thing about being introspective is that I am aware of the cycle, even as it is occurring. I can break out. Even my own activity-anxiety-inactivity cycles can be broken. Moreover, introspection brings perspective. These cycles do not really reoccur, they are just new cycles born of new events. Sure, there is carry-over from unresolved things. Sure, some things are beyond my direct control. Nevertheless, I ride through it. Roll the cycle forward, ever forward. Progress.
Today I list. List the problems big and small, short and tall. List them so that I can see them. List them so that they are out of my head. List them so they no longer swirl, intermixed. List them so that I can visualize the steps to complete/conquer them. List them so I that I can prioritize. List them so that I can plan further. List them so that I can help articulate my issues to others without dumping on them a complex word salad of thoughts, emotions, ideas. List them so that I can look back and laugh or cry or bemusedly smile at the thing that I thought in the past were hard to handle.
I’ve kept a notebook of lists forever. I have them all. I look back and see. They are the progression of maturity and adulthood. Of wonderful ideas, crazy thoughts. Of childlike dreams. And sometimes lists of things I should pack for a trip. But even that reminds me of the trip. Of the places I’ve been and the people. That the world is a big place and I’ve much to explore. That I have much that I want to share with those closest to me, especially Sara and Katie.
So thus, end the period of being overwhelmed. Thus begins the period of making lists and finding ways to bring those lists to fruition. Soon I will march on. Some will be tiny victories won: at my work desk, others against the raging horde of wild onions growing in my yard. Others will seem small but build into a momentum that can change the course of history (ok maybe a bit of hyperbole, but I can hope).
Also I noted that this is a ramble, conceived in the Rambler while drinking from a Rambler, and posted on The Ramble. That is a lot of rambling. Plus Sara’s high school mascot was the Rambler. Which is an additional, but unconnected layer of rambling. The end.