Overwhelmed? How to fight back.

My friends are under the mistaken belief that I’m always in control and on top of things. :maria laughs maniacally: Oh, how I wish that were true! The problem with becoming overwhelmed is that it’s like a boulder gaining mass and momentum. If you don’t find a way to stop it or get out of the way, it’ll flatten you like a pancake.

I’ve been in overwhelm mode for several weeks now. Part of the reason is that aside from the normal chores and necessary projects around the homestead, I’ve had more company than usual, got the plague twice, and that nagging nerve pain decided to expand its territory.

I’ve been unhappy and there’s absolutely no reason for it. I have all I could want–aside from wanting a little less pain. The nomad in me has been wanting to get away from everything and unplug.

And that right there is the secret to fighting back. People rarely realize that their subconscious really knows what’s best for them. My ardent desire to escape is my brain telling me to stop what I’m doing and realign myself. I’m not a procrastinator, so escaping is not part of my normal programming. If my brain is telling me to let go, it’s probably the right thing to do.

In a perfect world, I’d pack my bags and leave, but we all know none of us live in that fairy land. I feel obligated to the homestead, which always runs 24/7. I feel obligated to Greg and the dogs. And I feel obligated to you, my reader.

I feel an obligation to myself not to be a slacker, and this is where I run into trouble. I always want to do more than what’s good for me. If I’ve analyzed this correctly, my choices are as follows:

• Put the blog on hiatus, stop answering all calls and emails, and run away to the mountains.
A nice idea, but totally out of the question. Greg and the dogs would want to go, and that leaves no one left to run the homestead. Moving on…

• Disown my family
ROTFL! My mom would never stand for that. Apparently, I’m in this family for life.

• Leave the homestead and buy a nice (little) house in the city.  –some place with NO scorpions.
This has actually crossed my mind, but Greg is against it since he finally has his shop the way he likes it. I’m stuck here until he changes his mind.

In the bigger picture, I think things will wind down in the next three months anyway. I just have to bide my time. Come on, October!

My biggest worry has been this nerve pain that extends from my hip to my feet now. Time for a professional assessment on that. Yeah, I know. I waited too long.

What do you do when life overwhelms you? Do you get off the merry-go-round and rest, or do you fight it to the death? I used to think resting was a sign of weakness, but now I think it’s the smarter choice. The world won’t care if I do one less load of laundry or one less blog post.


This is a holiday week in more ways than one. Not only is it US Independence Day, (July 4th), but it’s also Greg’s birthday this Thursday. We have to do some work taking down dead trees and gathering a lot of fallen limbs this week (see what I mean about the homestead), but we should be free to celebrate by Thursday. 🙂

Do you have any celebratory plans this week?


Update: My buddy, BE Sanderson had trouble commenting today. She left a shorter comment and it finally went through. If you noticed the same thing, you can message me on Facebook or email me. I recently changed out a plugin and I want to make sure that’s not the culprit.  Thanks!






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  1. I go fishing. There’s nothing quite like standing on the shore, focused on whether the bobber is going to move, to wash everything else away. If fishing isn’t possible, I go for a walk. Usually I take the camera and use that to shift my focus onto pretty things for a while.

    No celebratory plans here. Holiday weekends here mean staying home and avoiding the vacationers. I’ll celebrate when they’ve all gone back to wherever it is they’re from, and it’s quiet again. Yay!

    And a big Happy Birthday to Greg! =o)

    • Thanks, BE!

      re: fishing
      We’ve been talking about fishing a lot lately. He wants a boat, but I’d like to see if we can find places where we can fish off the lake.

      re: vacationers
      Ugh! I know people need vacations but more often than not, they’re not respectful of where they visit. That’s the one nice thing of not living in a touristy spot. 🙂

  2. Definitely get that pain checked out, pal. It might have a simple solution — I had a similar problem with my neck, and after I went to the ortho guy it turned out that I just needed a flatter/harder bed pillow.

    I always have a lot going on, and I do get frazzled when the unexpected drops on my head and adds more to the daily workload. When I feel like I’m ready to shriek, I give myself a time out for an hour and do something I like that calms me: baking, quilting, taking a walk with the dogs — something that’s fun for me. Once the hour is up I go back to work, and I’m always in a better mood.

    Happy birthday in advance to Greg. 🙂

    • Lynn:
      re: pain
      I’m hoping it’s just an extension of the hip pain and not something else like diabetes or worse. From my research though, nerve pain is hard to diagnose. That figures.

      That was the nice thing about going to yoga. It was a pain to drive all the way to another city, but once I was there, that hour was all mine. Huge stress reliever.

      PS I’ll be sure Greg gets your birthday wishes. 🙂

  3. When i’m overwhelmed I goto Liverpool. Always works. I hope you get the rest you deserve and your subconscious is demanding. I hope it is soon. And isn’t it about time you rolled down some Monmouthshire hills?

  4. Stacy McKitrick

    You don’t have to run away to the mountains after putting the blog on hiatus and ignoring all calls and e-mails. You could just do those and stay home. Haha!

    I found just reducing my e-mails (by changing my yahoo groups from immediate to just daily) helped when I was overwhelmed. Plus, I didn’t make a great effort to blog during that time, either. Of course, picking up a book and just reading for a bit is also nice for de-stressing.

    Hope you get your pain figured out soon (and it’s easily fixable). You’re like me, though. Always wait until the last minute to see the doctor. I hate going.

    • Stacy: Sadly, the only way to keep me from working is to cut me off from that opium. 😀 As long as there’s something to do I feel I have to keep at it.

      I hate seeing doctors. All they do is run a bunch of $$$$ tests and then give me drugs that make me sick–but never cure the original problem.

  5. Jenny Schwartz

    Nerve pain sounds awful – like a migraine through the body. I hope the doctor can sort it for you.

    Happy Birthday to Greg – and happy Independence Day to both of you 🙂

    (PS I like to sit on the beach and watch the waves when I feel overwhelmed)

    • Jenny: I learned something scary about nerve pain. Apparently, it never goes away once you’ve damaged those nerves.

      re: beach
      We once spent a week at a wilderness beach–a beach where you’re on your own. I’m uncomfortable around water, but that was one of the nicest vacations I’ve ever had. No phones, no computers. Just camping on the beach and listening to the waves.

  6. Happy early birthday to Greg! When I get overwhelmed or stressed I do two things. I give myself permission to eat anything and everything I want (usually I’m watching what I’m eating). Rarely do I go overboard in what I eat but just knowing its okay to eat this or that helps. Second thing is I prioritize what needs to be done and make sure those things get done. If some things slip by temporarily I try not to stress about it. Third thing (guess I liked when I said 2 things LOL) I find books to read with people going through worse things I’m going through. Concentrating on their problems, etc., helps me to realize I have it pretty darn good here, even if overwhelmed. And fourth (LOL another one) I remember “this woo will pass” because by now I’ve learned that it truly will pass (eventually).

    Happy 4th! Take some time and just do something fun! And truly blogs will always be here. I took a 15 month blog break once and another 6 month blog break another time. When I went back to eat both times the readers returned. Your faithful readers always will.


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