Back At The Start (starting over again… again…again)
Today I find myself exactly where I was two years ago. I’m in a different house, in a different village, so it’s not that ‘exact place’; it’s a mental state. I’m blogging and excited with my preparations to go to Problogger, otherwise known as ‘Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for Bloggers’ because it’s so damn exciting to get together with other people who live out their lives online as they’re working at home, alone. It’s also possibly because we tend to like chocolate too!
But…. 2 years ago I wrote this post, and then I went to Problogger and had a great time, and got inspired, and fired up, and then…. I stopped blogging. So this is my return to my blog after a 2 year absence. Yep, starting over again.
What happened? I got busy, I got tired, I was too busy working on other people’s blogs and websites to work on mine, I was forgetful, but more than that I was overwhelmed. I found myself writing more about how sorry I was for not writing, than anything else. And why? I mean, you don’t care! There’s not even that many of you to care! But I felt guilty and stressed, over something that was supposed to be a fun hobby, and that wasn’t a good place to find myself. I was too busy living my life to record it, and I felt guilt about that.
And… I went to Problogger. I met amazing people, even those I had blogger crushes on. But… I started to compare, and that’s a dangerous thing to do. I felt I could never be as good as that person, so why even bother? I felt I was writing exactly the same information that other bloggers were, and they were doing it better, so how could I think my writing was worthy of being out there? I have nothing new to say, so why bother saying anything? Not as good as…. Not good enough…. Uninteresting….. You know the drill. Perfectionism reared its ugly head.
And then there were the other fears…
How much of my life should I share online? I live in a small village where everyone knows everything anyway, but did I really want to give them the missing pieces? Would this blog interfere with my business? Would it interfere with my life? What if I got a troll? What if I got a stalker? I’ve had them before; I didn’t want to put myself out there and get another one! What if… what if… what if….
And there were too many things I wanted to do. With this blog. With other blogs. With my career. With my house. With my life. With my health.
So, I was overwhelmed. And overwhelm is fear. So is perfectionism. So is procrastination. And so my life was filled with fear.
There are some good things to do when you’re overwhelmed.
- Get a nature injection. I live near the beach. I walk on the beach and breathe the salty air. I walk through the forest every day with my dogs. I smell the flowers, I hug trees, I watch the ducks nesting in my neighbour’s garden. I see the wallabies in my yard every evening. But, I was still overwhelmed.
- Garden. Gardening, washing up, stretching, repetitive ‘mindless’ actions…. They all help to calm your mind. Gardening is particularly beneficial as you are connecting with nature, and getting healthy microbes on your skin. So I gardened. But, I still felt overwhelmed.
- Breathe. Breathing calms the mind. It centers you. Most people don’t know how to breathe properly. After years of learning and teaching actor training, I do know, but I still don’t do it properly. I get tense, raise my shoulders, take shallow breaths, don’t let it all out. But every day I stretch and meditate and I calm my mind and center my breath and fill my lungs. But, I was still overwhelmed.
- Take a break. I took several. And then I felt I had to apologise for them. I was still overwhelmed and confused. So I took a very big break; I just walked away.
It’s been on my mind ever since and I’ve felt guilty for not blogging. Every day, and I literally mean every day, I’ve wanted to write. We moved house. We bought a house! My dog passed away. We brought 2 new crazy, trouble making fur babies into the house. There were deaths and emergencies in the family. We went to Malaysia. I met fabulous people. My best friend had a baby. I started a business! I’ve seen great things. I’ve done boring things. And all of them, I’ve wanted to document, write about, make sense of, find meaning in, celebrate. But I didn’t. Because I wasn’t good enough, too boring, fearful, overwhelmed. Overwhelmed.
But now, one day from the wonderful madness of Problogger, I’m feeling motivated again. Motivated enough to just sit down right on top of that overwhelm and squash it, and do it anyway! Because I want to. Because knowing I will soon be connecting with other bloggers, and knowing that they have all felt this way at some time or another, has made me feel strong enough to type, to express, to share my story, and to click on Publish.
Will it last? I don’t know. Only time will tell. But this time, I at least promise not to apologise if I don’t! And even if you don’t care about that, I do!
When have you felt overwhelmed?
Has overwhelm ever stopped you from doing what you want to do?
Posted on August 13, 2015, in blogging, Creativity, Living With Autoimmune Conditions, writing and tagged Anxiety, Autoimmunity & Chronic Illness, Balance, Blogging, business, Do It Anyway, flowHQ, Gardening, overwhelm, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.