I am overwhelmed. I am trying so hard to fill my time, to grow and learn and expand, to fill the space that is mine to fill. I’ve gone back to school, I’m facilitating a group on Mussar at my synagogue, something I am still wholly unqualified to do, I’m expanding the online presence of my jewelry business in time for the holidays, and I’m preparing to teach a jewelry class in November. Throw in my ongoing search for a job and I’m feeling like all the plates I’m spinning are not gonna stay aloft much longer. Looking for a job is stressful for anyone, but for one as thin-skinned as me, it becomes an exercise in low self-esteem and unworthiness. And admittedly, I’ve gotten a little picky about what I’m looking for. I like being at home. Truth be told, I Love. It. I still apply to every job I can, but I’ve been thinking long and hard about what the next phase of my life will look like. Find the job of my dreams? Go part time? Retire? Work at Target? I got a little spoiled getting unemployment all this time, but that gravy train has expired and I can’t reapply because, strangely enough, 18 months of unemployment benefits do NOT count as a salary. Huh. Go figure. So I’m juggling all sorts of wonderful things, but I’m not completely sure I’m handling any of them well enough and I’m surrounded by plate crumbs. I’m sure I’m not alone in my state of dervish-like anxiety, but I like to think I’m singular in that if I’m feeling something, Imma take you all down with me. So this morning, I decided to, just for today, stop talking for a minute and just do. Stop Raging. Whining. Muttering. Complaining. Spewing. Ranting. Blaming. Stop singing the praises of things I believe in but don’t actually do. And while I’m doing, I’m gonna smile. So this morning, I started my practice with my mantra, my reminder phrase. “No more than my place, no less than my space.” Repeat. Repeat. Smile. Repeat. Journal. Focus. Smile. Repeat. And in between it all, I work on my first numbingly tedious assignment for school and exercise and learn and grow and create and yes, sit in Starbucks for the first time in almost two years, and I’m smiling, and I’m sorry, what? Why am I still talking? Just filling a little space.