Catching Up to Overwhelm

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Sometimes, I think taking a vacation should come with a label:

WARNING:  Your week of bliss will be followed by weeks of mad scrambles to catch up on what you would have been doing if you hadn’t taken that vacation.

We LOVED our week in Belize, on the wonderful island of Ambergris Caye (pronounced “key”, BTW).  Warm trade winds, spectacular nighttime lightning shows over the ocean, turquoise waters for snorkeling, and delightful, generous people made it special.  We want to go back – and maybe live there someday.  I’ll be writing about some of the amazing experiences we had in a couple of upcoming posts.

But back to reality.  When you read this, I’ll be away at a writers’ retreat, following a three-day writing conference where I’m hoping to absorb the electric energy of fellow writers and giving a presentation.  My writing tribe will be there – and that’s who I’m sharing the retreat with, on an island in the San Juans (Washington) where the rain will encourage us to brainstorm and plot and laugh.

Preparing for this on the heels of vacay makes life a little hectic.  Time-sensitive business projects means I have deadlines.  Throw in various household challenges like the height of canning season and trying to finish two bathroom remodels, and I’m wondering where the peace and relaxation of the island went.

Oh yes, evaporated into overwhelm like the shallow waters of the lagoon.

Do you ever feel like that?  There’s so much to do.  It isn’t that you’re an excessively overbooked person, but the tide of all things seems to rise at once, leaving you swamped.  Between Mother Nature gone wild and individual humans losing their humanity, the world feels like a crazy place.  How do you grab back control in the madness?

I take one small step.  I close my hand around one thing and take care of that one thing until I’ve made significant progress or it’s done.  Then I move on to the next one thing.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

Sanity returns.

How do you fight the overwhelm?  Please post your tricks in the comments and we’ll all be happier people!

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