In Over My Head

I’m five feet ten inches tall
Average height for an American male
When standing in three feet of water
my head is well above water

When standing in six feet of water
I’m slightly in over my head, and
I can jump up and down, and
bring my head above water

When standing in twelve feet of water
I’m considerably in over my head
Short of floating to the surface
there’s no way to get my head above water

At the bottom of a deep glacier lake
I’m really in over my head
There’s no standing, even for a second
at this unfathomable depth

Clearly, there’s no trouble
understanding any of this
So, why can’t I figure out
when I am in over my head in life?

Why don’t I realize that
when I say yes to 5 work projects
due in the same week
that I am in over my head?

Why do I fail to grasp the insanity
of working twelve-hour days
five days a week, and
two four-hour days on weekends?

Thanks to GE former-CEO Jack Welch
there is a business concept called a stretch goal
which refers to performance expectations
exceeding resources available to reach them

Am I a victim of too many stretch goals?
Have I mistaken myself for a fish
with the ability to breathe underwater?
Gee, maybe I’m in over my head!

Author: Don Iannone, D.Div.

Biography Photographer, poet, teacher, complementary medicine provider, interfaith minister, and former economic developer. Holds a Doctorate in Divinity, Master of Divinity, Master of Mind-Body Medicine, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. Clinical certifications in Reiki, guided meditation, life purpose coaching, and spiritual counseling.  Author of 12 books, including two new books in the contemporary spirituality field. Learn more here. Contact Information Kosmos Consulting and Research website:  Visual Advantage Photography website: Flickr Photo Page here: Contact Don Iannone by email:

11 thoughts on “In Over My Head”

  1. I really enjoyed this poem.
    so much that we do…is running on the hamster wheel…or chasing our tail…all for the gold watch.
    I don’t want a gold watch from the cleveland clinic.
    I want time.
    I love to sit in silence and clear my head….then I realize what is most important!!!
    I am enjoying you blog!!!!!

  2. Groan. I relate – I’m feeling over-worked at present!

    But Don, you’ve expressed it in such a charming manner! 🙂

    (Funny, I always assumed you were 6′ even for some reason.)

  3. Thanks Kai.

    Rob: Thanks. Everyone is their own worst enemy.

    Polona: Thanks. Yes, I think you’re right.

    Dan: Thanks. You’re too kind. Re: the teacup, don’t wash it The stains give the tea flavor. LOL.

  4. I wonder what’s up with that, and for so many of us. My sister’s also in over her head with work and my own last several years of work – I was able to continue working until May 2003 – were increasingly hectic. Seems like stuff would get added to my plate but nothing was ever taken off.

  5. I have a lot of leisure time but I still manage to make things difficult for myself. I guess we are all made that way regardless of circumstances.

  6. i don’t think many have mastered the art of managing their activities so that they don’t get in over the head at times…
    but you can tell that in an amusing way

  7. I’ve always admired your ability to do many things, usually simultaneously, it seems. I myself am stressed at the prospect of having to pay the utility bill and then go out and clear a space for the new storage shed. Not to mention having to wash the teacup I’m now drinking out of in between….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: