Overwhelmed, Take a Breath

Today's thought

I’ve barely been home for two weeks from a beautiful vacation and I already feel overwhelmed. My self-imposed clock is something I put upon myself daily. I give myself a daily list of things that should be accomplished so as not to carry over for tomorrow’s list. If I don’t make this list I feel as though I won’t remain motivated. But there are just times when daily life interferes with our schedules, and those are the times that seem to make me feel as though I’m smothering when I struggle to keep up.

When I returned from vacation, I had the usual catching up tasks to contend with such as: thirty loads of laundry, and almost two hundred emails I failed to open. Don’t even get me started on how behind I got on my reading blog posts and subscriptions. But that was all to be expected with unpredictable internet at sea and a very social holiday. It just seems as though I’m trying to cram as much as I can get done in one day because I’m a firm believer in ‘Don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today.’ I remembered this as a child and it stuck with me. What if something happens and I can’t get everything done on my calendar? I panic about how much more there will be to do tomorrow. I believe it’s called anxiety. I’ll tell you. . . I exhaust myself!

Even with good intentions, life has interruptions and I am left prioritizing what will fill my tomorrows. I’ve had quite a few interruptions on my planned writing days since I’ve moved. I’m not yet 100% settled in my place yet, or my mind for that matter. There are still repairmen coming and going, there is some very noisy underground repairs with jackhammering that vibrate all the way to my tenth floor on a daily basis. My husband hasn’t been well since we’ve returned from vacation. Hence, he’s been home most of the time and that throws me off my game. He’s also had his second eye cataract surgery this week and other follow up appointments.

My intentions were to finalize my newest book’s first draft and start typing it into the computer as well as work on blog posts, catch up on other blogs, visit my social sites, catch up with my new writing group, cook, clean, pay the bills, grocery shop and most of all, go visit my beautiful aunt who is in palliative care living on borrowed time.

Writing is my solace and when I can’t get enough time to write I begin to experience anxiety, feeling as though everything is happening too quickly and I just want to stop and take a breath. My self-imposed clock  is always ticking in my head, pushing me to get things done in case. . in case what? In case tomorrow’s obstacles give me more than I can handle for the next day?

Each day I wake I am still surprised to find where I am when I wake, I’m not yet used to my new surroundings. I can’t help but wonder if I will adjust here or if my desire to move away from this city is so strong that nowhere here would make me happy. Do you ever feel like you’re not living in the place you belong? I do. But I haven’t yet found where it is that I do belong.

Ironically, an author friend of mine Jane Carroll, who writes fabulous books about looking at life with a positive spin, using her alter-ego ‘Bertha‘  as her inspiration for positivity and as the main character in her books, had messaged me on Facebook. (You can check out Jane’s Becoming Bertha and Bertha-Size your life and get inspired.) Jane was beginning a series of questions she invited her readers to ask her and Bertha so she could answer and put the questions on video and eventually in her newsletter. Jane messaged me in a frazzled moment I was in and asked me if I had a question for Bertha. How opportune I found Jane’s question when I replied, “How do I deal with being overwhelmed?” Hours later Jane messaged me with a glimpse of her answers she put together in this video. True to her Berthaisms, she was decked out in Bertha’s favorite colors, hot pink and chartreuse.