I’ve mentioned more than once what an all or nothing personality I have. I’m either perfect at everything or completely apathetic. I’m either dressed up quite nicely or in my pajamas. I either eat 100% healthfully or I eat like complete crap. My house is either perfectly clean or an absolute wreck.

And I have been in “nothing” mode big time this last week.

Once the opera closed, I allowed myself to finally just fall apart. After several weeks of nightly rehearsals, a teaching load that is bigger than ever before, plus all of the stuff that being a mother to three wonderful girls entails, I simply couldn’t hold it together anymore. I’d already let plenty slide during the two months  of rehearsal in order to keep my sanity, my health, and to get enough sleep.

For instance, my husband pretty much took over doing laundry and dishes. While this has been a terribly busy semester for him as well, he has had more time at home than I have, so he rose to the challenge. He managed to keep the laundry clean, and I tried to fold it and get it put away. I did okay with this until the last couple weeks before the performance. Tech week is always brutal, and I couldn’t cancel any of my lessons, so I just powered through while the clean laundry piled higher and higher and higher.

Pretty soon, all the clean clothing in the house was in a giant pile in the corner of my bedroom. My youngest had meltdowns every morning because she had no pants to wear to school and clothes were flung about as we looked for her pants. And my oldest’s favorite hoodie. And my middle daughter’s underwear. I actually felt like crying sometimes when I came home and saw the state of my house. What on earth was I doing taking on so much outside of the home when my family obviously needed me home to do laundry?

And now I sort of feel even worse, because I’ve had a full week without rehearsals or performances and I have had to force myself to do anything beyond the absolutely necessary—like going to work. My sweet husband organized a massive laundry folding party last Sunday night, and he and I caught up on our favorite television show while we folded. And folded and folded and folded. And had he not gently suggested such a party to me, the laundry would still not be folded today. I’m sure grateful for him—and it’s not just about laundry. I simply don’t know what I would do without him.

I don’t think the photo does the laundry justice. It took two episodes of Bones with both of us folding non-stop to get through that massive pile!

I am simply burned out. And yes, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that this is just how I roll. All or nothing. Do everything. Do nothing. Crash and burn. I try and try, but I don’t really change much.

Easter is tomorrow. I was so tired this morning that I just wanted to please stay in bed forever. I have had zero interest in making Easter fun or memorable for my children. I bought their dresses for them when we were in Marquette a few weeks ago for an orthodontist appointment, but that is all I had done. And since the people who make Easter dresses don’t know that it’s cold in Michigan at Easter time, I still needed to buy them sweaters or shrugs or something to go over them. And tights. And shoes. Because they insist on growing out of all of these items on a regular basis.

And then there was Easter dinner and Easter baskets to think about. I was feeling more overwhelmed than I do at Christmas and I definitely didn’t want to even bother with this stuff. Unfortunately for me, my children are not toddlers anymore and they would miss our traditions, nor would my husband let me not do anything for such an important holiday as Easter.

So I found myself in WalMart, staring at Easter candy and trying to come up with a few fun things to put in their baskets amongst the dregs of picked-over Easter crap while my husband took care of shopping for a nice Easter dinner. Once I was finally finished with that business, I took the girls out to find the rest of their outfits. What should have been a fun mommy/daughter shopping trip was filled with non-stop bickering and I was feeling more defeated than ever.

We got home, and I sat down to work on preparing my lesson for tomorrow (I got a new calling! I am the youth Sunday School teacher–we have 6 or 7 youth total in our branch, so I will teach all ages). The lesson is on Easter, of course. As I began to read the associated scriptures and watch the #becauseofhim videos over at lds.org, my attitude began to change.

I’ve been focusing on all the wrong things about Easter. It doesn’t really matter if the girls all have matching Easter dresses or if they have Easter baskets. It doesn’t matter if we have a ham or a roast for dinner. And while those things are a nice way of celebrating the monumental event of our risen Savior, the important thing is that He is risen! And because of Him, I can get through all of my moments of difficulty and trial, and so can you. He shows me the mercy that I am not willing to show myself. He carries me through, and I am forever grateful.

I’m now looking forward to tomorrow, and to reminding my children that it isn’t about Easter dresses or Cadbury eggs (no matter how yummy they are), it is all because of Him. One of my very favorite things about the way Romanians celebrate Easter is their absolute focus on Christ. During Holy Week, every single person you meet on the street greets you with a cheerful “Hristos a înviat!” (“Jesus has risen!”) and the appropriate response to such a greeting is “Adevărat a înviat!” (“Truly he has risen!”).

And so friends, I leave you with a hearty “Hristos a înviat!”

Happy Easter!

You might also like:

When Life Gets Overwhelming
On the Path to More Peaceful Parenting

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