Rewinding back to last week for a moment… It’s Friday afternoon, the weekend is about to begin and I’m writing a long list of all the things I need to do. I panic; I know I have a busy weekend ahead and doing everything will be near on impossible. I’ve been here before. It’s a feeling I’ve been carrying with me for the past couple of months, so today I’m writing frankly about feeling overwhelmed and, hopefully, how I’m overcoming it. I’ve written a little about this before, with some helpful tips to help you through (note: I could do with re-reading this!).
Before I go on, I thought this quote I found on Pinterest was quite fitting –
Since our holiday I’ve felt a burden, a need to blog, a need to work on Fred & Bell, a need to make our home as lovely as possible, a need to be able to not look at my phone every 5 seconds, a need to lay on the sofa, craft and binge on Gilmore Girls, a need to be with friends and family, a need to… well, the list goes on and on. As a result I’ve not really given my full attention to anything, meaning everything has felt half-arsed – blog content has been few and far between, our bathroom really needed a good clean and I miss the days of laying on the sofa and crafting. It’s been a vicious circle and in the last week (after a big cry) I feel like I’m starting to break away from it.
I don’t need to do anything. I can control this. No one else. No one is expecting me to do that long list of things and, certainly for Stu, he’d much rather I didn’t busy myself every second of the day. It’s something he noted when we first got together and it was almost a light bulb moment to hear him say it again at the weekend. I do keep myself busy (generally I like it that way), but it often means I don’t focus on what I really need in that precise moment. Be it a long hot bath, to cook a nice dinner or just be on my own. I forget it and get swallowed up in that list. When I mentioned to him about the shop not working and closing it, his response was to remind me that it’s meant to be fun and for me. Ah ha! Of course!
At the heart of this, I’m making life harder than it needs to be. I’m not blogging because I have to, or working on the shop because I need the money (though, hello, wedding to pay for)! I’m doing it because I love being creative, and I shouldn’t forget that. I avoid cleaning our house because I think I hate it; when I do tidy up and get stuck into spring cleaning I actually find myself enjoying it. Tidy house, tidy mind, I think the phrase might be. The fun of the shop was taken out by a need to release lots and lots of stickers and get absorbed by what everyone else around me is doing. Actually, what I need to do is remember me in all of this. What are the stickers I want to make and use? They’re the stickers I should be making.
I won’t get started on wedding planning; we’ve viewed venues that seem to think it’s OK to charge thousands and thousands and only give you the option to have a three to five course banquet with all the trimmings. What’s wrong with low key, one/two courses, cake and dancing? That’s what we want. I’ve already noted how easy it would be to lose sight of that… and we won’t be. Even if I lose my way, I know Stu won’t.
So that long list might still exist, it’s better on paper than in my head, but I’m going to try and keep a perspective on things. This is on my terms; I control this and I can work to my own pace when I’m ready to. I think that applies for anyone, anyone reading who feels that overwhelm, let’s remember you and what you need. That’s how we get the best from ourselves. Listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast she talks about treating ourselves as children; what do we need? Are we tired? Go to bed. Are we hungry? Eat something. As adults it’s so easy to ignore those basic needs; we forget to stop and think about what we need.
So I’m here and I plan to keep being here. Sometimes that overwhelm might take over, but I’ll get control and all will be OK. I won’t beat myself up for missing Twitter chats, or not using Instagram stories, or not selling that particular sticker set. I’ll keep being me and do what I can, when I’m comfortable.
If you’re reading this and have been feeling that overwhelm of life too – perhaps work, relationships, whatever the case may be… you’re not alone.
Thanks for reading,
Photo credit: Jen B. Peters