Today I am really and truly overwhelmed with work. I have too many things that Have! To! Be! Done! Right! Now!, and that makes my brain feel like the engine of my old standard shift Toyota Corolla when I used to (accidentally) hit the clutch and the gas at the same time. Totally flooded out.

It takes me five times as long as it should to do one thing when I am in this state, never mind All The Things. Mostly I would like to ignore the alarms, ignore the coffee that is brewing to get the day started, ignore the packed list of meetings I see when I open my calendar.

Honestly? This morning I would mostly like to go back to bed. Maybe find something to binge on Netflix. Invite the dog and assorted children to curl up with me and read. Hide.

It’s an effort to be grateful for my work today – but this is really what this practice of 1000 gratitudes is about. I know I can be grateful for work when I’m sailing along and when the to-do lists seem to check off themselves! Today, this day, is pushing me to work hard even at gratitude.

But I am grateful for my work. I have colleagues I have worked with for twenty years, and I like and admire them. We’ve been through a lot together! I appreciate my flexible schedule, that I do meaningful work that matters to me for good pay, and that 12 years ago, my company let me telecommute – telecommuting was barely a thing back then! And I am even grateful for the overwhelm, because it’s a sign that I have lots of work to do.

So… I’m grateful. I am. But I am also still overwhelmed! I’m finding it hard to feel gratitude when it’s so easy for my mind to slip into that state of flooded-out-engine-overwhelm.

If you have a favorite strategy for taking on overwhelm at work – especially when the competing priorities really are priorities – please share it in the comments!