Monday, October 22, 2012

figuring things out

I think I may have just come upon a discovery about myself. And I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Every Monday for the past 3 weeks, I have felt overwhelmed. like, elephant sitting on my chest so I can't breathe overwhelmed. It's really irritating. and it's frustrating because it makes me think that maybe I have a problem that can't be solved. And I can't just keep trying to get through it because it takes until about Wednesday to feel better at all, by which time I'm still so busy that I can hardly keep up and I just pray constantly that the most important things will get done by Friday.

So what I realized today is that when I get a whole lot of information at once, it is overwhelming. If I get it piecemeal, though, it isn't much better. I started thinking about why this is such an issue, and came up with... well.

Here's the weird part: its like word problems in math. I hate those. Seriously, they are the worst ever. Just give me the problem, teach me how to solve it, and let me go. I'm not great at math overall, but word problems have always been one of the hardest things for me to figure out. "But it's just an algebra equation," you say. Yeah, I know. I just don't get them. It's a story, and I know there are things that need to be figured out. That much is clear. And there's a train, and people traveling (or objects), and we'd like to know what time they'll get from A to B or how fast they're going or something. But with the way you've told me the story, my brain just can't figure out which number or letter belongs to which part of the equation to solve it. When I walk through it with someone, it becomes so extremely clear that I can't believe I couldn't see it myself, but I sure couldn't.

It feels the same way when I get a ton of information from anywhere. I know I can figure out eventually what there is to be done, and when it needs to be done, but getting there takes so much work, so much time, that often, I feel like the deadline will pass before I even know what it is that needs doing. So, sitting in a meeting at work, taking notes, highlighting or starring those things that seem like "do" points and making note of their due dates is all well and good. But then I leave the meeting, and there is so much more there than I have specific record of in my notes. It's all there, too, but I just can't see it. And it overwhelms me.

I'm 30! Shouldn't I be able to figure these things out by now without all the stress?

Stupid word problems. I tried to learn you. Really, I did. When they told me in junior high and high school that I'd need these dumb math skills the rest of my life, I believed them. It just didn't seem to help. Cuz word problems are still killing me today.

I don't know how I feel about this. In some ways it makes me feel a little better about how stressed I am because this is something I've always struggled with. On the other hand, it's really awful, because it's something I've always struggled with.

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