The Joy and Heartbreak of the Overcommitted

Since I was about 12 years old, at least one important person in my life has been telling me I “need to slow down.” Twelve was when I discovered the youth theatre ministry at my church, and added it to a load of tough classes, orchestra, and the eighth-grade girls volleyball team.

For a long time, doing too much was acceptable… in high school, all my activities were guaranteed to look great on my college resume. In college, they were a part of “the experience.” And truly, honestly, unabashedly, I would not trade any of that time. The commitments I made and followed through on have continually put me in the company of strong, creative (if ever-so-slightly high strung), inspirational people.

But now I’m several years out of college. The 10-year high-school reunion is looming, and I’m beginning to reevaluate a few things… all of the things that fill my days, hours, minutes, years are starting to seem like a lot. I work a full-time job as a technical and marketing writer for a software company. I’m an actor, rehearsing and performing in at least 2 to 3 productions a year, each one a 2- to 3-month commitment. I sing in a cover band with friends I met doing theatre, rehearsing once or twice a week (depending on my theatre schedule) and performing monthly.

And I’m married now, for a couple months so far; and even though the husband has weathered the storm for nearly 6 years already, yes, things are different. I want to really be a part of the church I’m joining. I want to know what’s going on in my friends lives for more than a quick catch up. I want to make and eat dinner with my husband and go shopping for groceries or a new dresser. I want to spend time with my parents, and visit with my siblings and nephews and nieces.

So I’ve decided that this year, things have to change. It’s not altogether clear to me how and when they’ll change, but the all of the reasons why they have to are pretty compelling.

So what the hell, right? Embrace change. I can do that. Maybe I’ll even get a little writing done while I’m at it.


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