I am feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Overwhelmed by wonderful, positive things like flying machines, paragliders in the mail, travel plans and guide book writing; socializing and maintaining friendships, both in person and online.

It’s a common pattern for me to become overwhelmed and fight hell to become un-overwhelmed, working myself into the ground in the process, so I’m thinking that maybe this is a good chance for me to try something different.

I’m putting my (virtual) hand up and saying,

Friends, I know I have a great life which may look from the outside to be all about sipping virgin margaritas on the beach and writing about my feelings, but I’m actually kinda struggling with the responsibilities and personal expectations I put on myself to be available and present and capable, both for myself and the people in my life.

I am trying really hard to return emails and send photos and keep in touch and clean my messy kitchen and go to my meetings and do yoga and stay positive, but at the same time, I am feeling really overwhelmed by some financial, emotional and creative pressure.

I am feeling slightly ‘less than’ for not completing the projects I am working on as fast or as well as I’d like, for not making much money and for not making ‘the most’ of the Caribbean beach I’m living three blocks from for the next three weeks.

I’m not feeling like a great friend, or sister, or aunty or daughter, and I want to be so much more than I am.

I want to be a supportive partner while fulfilling my own desires, and I’m not succeeding at that right now.

I want to do meaningful work, but I also want to make a living and I have no idea how those things go together or if they ever will for me.

I want to help people, but I also want to help myself. I want to be compassionate to the plight of those suffering, but I don’t want to suffer in the process.

I want to take care of myself, but I don’t want to neglect those around me.

I want to be grateful for what I have, even though I want more.

I want to be less self-involved, but to love myself more.

And that friends, is why I am feeling overwhelmed, plus a million other things that are niggling at my psyche.

It feels really good to just name them, and offer a blanket apology for the messages and emails I am attempting to return (and am so grateful for) and the relationships I am attempting to maintain and probably falling short at.

It’s not that I don’t care, I do, probably too much, for every, single, one of you.

In return, I offer each of you my understanding, forgiveness and love for the pressures of your own life, however blessed they may be, and offer you my virtual hand as we negotiate the maze of life together; failing, succeeding, trying, surrendering and attempting to ‘get it right’ while accepting that there is no right way, only our best.

Sarah xx

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Overwhelmed. — 26 Comments

  1. The timing of your post hit home for me as overwhelmed is exactly how I’ve been feeling of late. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster the past few days. I lost someone who held a very special place in my heart and Abi and I are working on a project that is stuck in limbo until we receive some answers from the universe. I’m not a patient person – at all – so waiting for the timing of “what’s next” is emotionally difficult for me. I think we have to embrace being overwhelmed, acknowledge it, own it, give ourselves permission to feel it, and then move on. Absolutely no apologies required – none.
    Patti recently posted..It Doesn’t Really Matter ~My Profile

  2. Again- your language is spot on to explain how so many of us feel at times. I reckon you attract people in your life that will extend you the same love and forgiveness you give others. We’re all just doing the best we can. Lots of love sweetness x

  3. Amen Sarah!
    I continue to admire your courage to put words to paper/online for all to read and share in your growth.
    I’m right there with you…
    Wanting so many things, not sure how to navigate it all.
    Focusing on making more time for me and being mindful of what I’m doing for others and monitoring on how much I give (I’m a giver naturally but sometimes it impedes me giving too myself).

    Keep trusting and believing while giving yourself time and space for you!

    Much love from CA!
    Lauren @Roamingtheworld recently posted..When what you want isn’t what you need. Or is it?My Profile

  4. Pingback: Sewing for sanity… | Robyn Caddell: AussieButterfly

  5. Learning to say “no” is the first step, but for overachievers, a really difficult one. Not too long ago, I had a great opportunity to write a guidebook, but after researching the ins and outs and reading up on people who have written guidebooks, I decided it wasn’t for me. (I already saw my name on the cover of those books, lining the shelves of bookstores across America… sigh.) Having time to enjoy life is also a precious commodity, even though you don’t get paid for it, and most likely have to pay something to be able to afford it… Breathe. Say “no” sometimes…

    BTW, do you want to write a travel article for the magazine I work for!?!? (Seriously…)
    James recently posted..Zombies, Cheese and Bacon Pillows – Can You Ever Go Home Again?My Profile

    • Hey James, that is so true. I have to constantly remind myself that I gave up a steady income because I had no time or freedom. And truthfully, right now I don’t actually need to make much money, it’s just difficult to break free of the pattern of feeling like I need to. I always come back to the fact that I can always go and get a job if I need to, but that it’s no longer the life I want. My time is precious, you’re right.
      Oh, and I’m writing the guide for myself, which makes it even more crazy that I am feeling pressured when there really is none! Ha! And in the spirit of being unable to say no, yes, of course I’d like to write for your magazine!! :-)

  6. You said it yourself at the start of your post, so the trick is to block out the extraneous ‘noise’. 😉
    “Friends, I know I have a great life”

  7. Sorry to hear you’re not feeling too great. I feel like this far too often – my trick for dealing with it is writing it all down, like a massive to do list, so nothing gets forgotten, but then choosing just four or five things that I can realistically do in one day and writing them on a separate list, then remembering to stop and be proud of achieving those things and forgetting about those than can wait for another day.
    Catherine recently posted..Reading List #1My Profile

  8. An honest post Sarah. I imagine you will feel even more overwhelmed as your time in Mexico draws to a close (just as I am feeling the pinch as our first presentation draws near). I agree that it is so cathartic to write it all down, I’m sure you already feel better just putting it out there. Keep on keeping on. You’ll get there.
    Kim recently posted..And now it’s time to panic!My Profile

    • Thanks Kim, yes, it’s like being in limbo, not quite here and not quite ‘there’. Of course, the truth is, I am always here, but it takes a bit of effort to tame my mind into the present! Plus, I have to take responsibility for being undisciplined when it comes to work, and rather unorganized. I have to take the baby steps towards my goals rather than thinking they are just too hard so I won’t bother!

  9. Sarah,
    I just want to let you know that you are not alone in these feelings! Life is about juggling, contradiction, imbalance, saying sorry and then messing it up again, for the second, third, and fourth time. I’ve learned that naming my fears, that dissecting the emotions that I allow to control my days, is one of the keys to overcoming them. If you blanket a feeling like “overwhelmed” or “I’m scared” without peeling back the layers, it can control you. Once we digest it a little bit more and reflect on it, we’ve gained freedom from it. Just be. Just be yourself and all of your feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Just be! It’s enough. Sending love and hoping you enjoy the rest of your time in Mexico!
    Mariah recently posted..Cape Coast: Slavery, pigs, and laughter.My Profile

    • Thank you Mariah! Your words are very comforting, and very wise indeed. P.S I love your blog and Facebook updates. you have me dreaming of Africa!!!

  10. I’ve always believed that words are powerful, and I never believe that more than when I’m feeling like you are right now… which is actually a lot of the time! I find that by taking the time to stop and actually name the many things I’m feeling it really makes them feel that much more manageable. I think it’s part of why, for better for worse, I can’t go more than a few days without writing!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Gorging on George Town: Does Malaysia’s Culinary Capital Live Up to the Hype?My Profile

    • I totally agree. Writing things down always helps! I also feel overwhelmed right now, Money, commitments, choice – such a pickle of conflict! Good luck in your next moves Sarah.
      Victoria recently posted..Year two on the road in photosMy Profile

  11. I think living a life of constant traveling is really overwhelming and there is no need to feel embarrassed about it. Yes, traveller may see awesome things, but they also don’t have a routine, which is really important I think. They get exposed to new things all the time, have to struggle with language barriers on a constant basis, sleep in different beds all the time, negotiate when they are not used to negotiating, and even struggle with bugs and viruses that come with travelling. Traveling is great, but it can also be difficult and overwhelming. I think every traveller feels like you every now and then, so you are right we should stick together and hold each others hands as much as we can.
    tammyonthemove recently posted..Surviving The World’s Most Dangerous RoadMy Profile

  12. You’re going through some big changes in the coming weeks so there would be alot on your plate. Some things will just have to go on the back burner for a while until you go through that transition. People who care will understand :)

    p.s thanks for always replying to my emails. Feeling spesh after reading this post :)
    Jimmy recently posted..The week in photos – “By any means”My Profile

  13. What a lovely post. You definitely write what a lot of other people are thinking. I think often with travels, etc, people always imagine things are always fantastic all the time. When they are often not so. the disconnectedness from home gets to you. it’s good to write about it. Life on the road is still life, and there were always be lows and problems. I hope you find your light and power through it. Keep writing, I just found your blog but it is fantastic! Best of luck juggling all those things. It is certainly not easy.
    Anwar recently posted..Visiting the Bone Setter – IndiaMy Profile

  14. I can relate right now. This month in Australia hasn’t turned out anything like what I thought. It’s been good in a lot of ways, but I didn’t do the things I wanted to do – catching up on the blog, sorting out our finances since we’re at the halfway point, doing more personal writing, running more, getting back to yoga, catching up on blog reading, etc. Now we’re 5 days from leaving for Singapore and I have barely looked at what there is to do (although I did just file our taxes, which was a big item to check off). Expectations are a funny thing and usually leave me feeling less than, worried, and disappointed, yet I continue to have them. I wish I had some magic words for you, but I don’t. Just know that you’re not alone!
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