Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When Blogging v. Life becomes a fight

This is supposed to be my happy place. My Rose Valley. The place where I get creative and find peace within my artistic soul. A place where I share, teach and learn and focus on my happy moments in life, the silver lining. The cherry on top. The sugar sprinkles on the cinnamon bun. All the glimpses of good behind all the piles of chores and everyday routines, hard work, organizing, fights, problem solving, responsibilities, serving and teaching.

This is supposed to be the place where I can breathe, close my eyes and escape. Where I can dream and create the life the way I want it to be - full of color therapy, crochet stitches, designs, sunshine, laughter, pretty flowers, cheerful moments, satisfaction. But today I find myself trapped and frustrated. Sad and angry. Today my happy place is a whining overwhelmed blog post from a woman in her 40's who wants more time. More structure. Less picking up Lego pieces and more time to do her happy things. She needs to stop playing catch up. She needs an efficient infrastructure of her life. She needs more time. That woman is, yes you guessed it - me!

I am not great at time management. Ask anyone and they will tell you I am always at least 5 minutes late for everything. I love to write lists, but list writing is more a way to let go of all the ideas, thoughts, musts and "Don't forget" in my head than to actually tick them off one by one. I procrastinate a lot. I mean A LOT. Changing a light bulb can take weeks if not months. And once it is done I wonder why I didn't do it a long time ago instead of having it simmering in the back of my head like a thorn in my side hurting me, stressing me, constantly reminding me. Like getting rubbed on a soar spot over and over again...

Is this a typical female thing I wonder... This thing of taking on ALL the small things that needs to be done (making appointments, buying gifts, sending cards, calling people, organizing closets, cleaning wardrobes, fixing ripped clothes, making sure all school papers are read and signed, that the flowers are watered, that the left overs are eaten or thrown out, that the bills are paid, that Uncle George is congratulated, that we never run out of milk or mustard or God forbid the important odd ingredient Sesame oil (!!!), that everyone is happy...), in our heads just to become totally overwhelmed one day and burst. Like a computer with its memory full - BEEP! You push that last save, ignoring the warning button, and BOOM! The computer crashes.

So I need time. I am not kidding when I say I need at least an 8 day week or a 30 hour day. My 24 hours are not enough. Or, more realistic, I have to many things going on in my life. I need to de-clutter my tasks, my obligations, my chores, my responsibilities, my brain. But where shall I start? How shall I prioritize? What has to go? What can stay?

I am up to a big challenge. My Rose Valley time might have to be cut. Although that is the last thing I want to do. but what do you do in a situation like this when you have to make painful choices. I so wish I could do this every day instead of sitting in a boring office. I so wish I could design one pattern after another if it wasn't for the big spring clean, birthday month, Easter break, starting the garden month... So today I am a bit of a whiner and maybe I just need to let the steam out to be able to move on. Tomorrow is another day.

Today my tulips are blossoming. They are gorgeous. And soon the Wisteria will be in full bloom too at the front of my house. And I am preparing crochet class for tomorrow on the theme Making Flowers which I am soooo looking forward to. And my home looks like a war field including spiders, dust bunnies and mixed and mis-matched stuff in every drawer and basket, corner and step and surface... Maybe I should just take a month off everything and catch up? Would that help I wonder... If I find a magic solution I promise to let you know.

PS 1: This whining blog post is an exception. 99% of the time this is a happy place still. In case anyone thought they had come to a whiny place... :D

PS 2:  I'm only human if anyone wondered...


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  1. Oh, I understand you! Take care of yourself...

  2. Im sorry you are feeling this way. I laugh sometimes reading your blog because I can totally relate to 99% of the things your write about. Yes, your human and yes a lot of us moms feel the exact same way. I wish I could de-clutter my mind sometimes or at the very brink of a computer melt down in my head, press the escape button and go into a happy place. For me that is blog land. I love seeing all the inspiration and positive, beautiful blogs out there. Including yours. It reminds me that here is where inspiration strikes to start a fun project, or to take notice of the small beautiful things in life (by photographing them) that would otherwise get forgotten or overlooked in this busy world of ours.

    I hope you dont stop blogging and new creations or patterns to me isnt the only reason for popping in to read your blog. I like the down to earth, here is my life as it is, Im only human but I can make some awesome crochet things "feel" that to me, is your blog. Your relatable so take your time, reorganize, take a breather. If you figure out the magic solution, please fill me in on it :)

    Birgitta x

  3. Annette, life can be equally beautiful and overwhelming. During our 40s, many things begin to change. We change, our hormones and bodies change. We become aware that time is ticking, that there is so much we want to do and maybe not enough time to do it all. So we cram, we hurry, we try to squeeze in every bit of enjoyment amongst caring for family, working and doing chores. And some days, the things we enjoy must be sacrificed. Those are sad days indeed. But there are still days when moments of enjoyment can be had, whether they're in the budding wisteria, the blue sky, a child's smile or the feel of yarn and crochet hook in your hands. I encourage you to take time for yourself every day -- 30 minutes -- even if it means ignoring the dust bunnies and spiders. Neither of them will bother anyone, anyway. On a day like today, take a deep breath and know that this too shall pass. And the yarn and your happy projects will be there when you return to them. :) Hugs from your new blogging friend, Mary at

  4. I really dońt know what to say. I am also a very bad organizer, my house is dusty and i did not clean the toilet today but i am retired and there are no children in the house. So my responsabillity is not the same as yours. I hope so that you will find a good balance in your life with place for creativity because you cannot live anymore without your hook, that is sure!!!!!!
    Keep calm and breath on !!!!!

  5. Poor you Annette, it's never good to get overwhelmed by things is it ?
    When I go into overload mode I find that if you break each task down and look at how long each thing will actually take to do , more often than not it doesn't add up to much time and this really helps to keep things in proportion and not risk getting completely paralysed by everything. Make a list and cross them off one by one, this helps loads.
    Kate x

  6. Ha ha I totally get you, and yes, it's good to get it all out and have a moan. We all need to do it from time to time. I'm sure there are so many who sympathise. I have felt frustrated and like my head will explode these last two months. The chaos in my house has been unbearable and it has impacted every part of my waking day and consumed my dreams. I've had so many headaches. My head has felt like it would explode at any given moment. A few more hours in a day would be lovely wouldn't it? However, I still think there would never be enough! I'm like you, procrastinate far too much and am never as organised as I should be on a day to day basis. I would love to be less scatty, but i've realised it's really who I am, i'm not sure with no matter how much will power I can muster, I could change.

    So I will carry on, and you will too. Chaos will pass and things will settle a little more to give you more of what you want. We appreciate it more then when we get it!

    Have a lovely week my friend xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. Annette - first of all don't beat yourself up about your post today! You are only human as you say. Your blog followers will be here happy to read your posts whatever they are. That's why we read them, because there is truth in them. Time management around family and work is hard - we have SO many things we strive to do and do them perfectly. Sometimes perfection gets in the way. I recently read a blog called Flylady (from America). Its a bit sickly sweet at times and its yet another thing to read and absorb but there are some helpful tips in there to digest and perhaps put into action. I certainly don't stick by the rules but occasionally the words ring in my ears and I can get some tasks completed without feeling too put upon. Hopefully, no one is judging you - only you are. Take a deep breath and don't crash and burn. I suspect your blog followers will "catch" you if you free fall for a bit! Sending kind and calming thoughts, Rebecca x

  8. Hej Annette,
    Jag känner alltför väl igen känslan. Allt man vill göra, allt man behöver göra för att må bra. Och allt man måste göra. Allt som helt enkelt inte *går* att säga nej till. Och som mamma så gör man ofta ett rätt så rejält extrajobb med allt fix kring barnen. Det syns inte, men det måste göras och det tar tid.

    Allt behöver inte vara för evigt. Man behöver inte bestämma sig här och nu, ibland handlar det om att hitta en "coping strategy" tills man kan se lite klarare på saker och ting. Det gör att man kan behöva ta en paus. Skala bort det man kan och måste för att hitta tillbaks till de prioriteringar som en behöver göra. Från saker som du egentligen mår bra av men som istället för att ge energi blir krav och då tar energi.

    Hoppas du hittar din energi igen. Och om det tar tid, så låt det ta tid. Du hittar med all säkerhet tillbaks.

    Hälsar Irene

  9. I think many of us, 40-something women, have been there...
    And there is no simple solution or advice how to resolve this "thing in your head"...
    Just try to remember that at the end of the day, only a few things really matter :
    - is my family happy/healthy/fed (with or without sesame oil ;-) )
    - am I happy
    And never forget, postponing to do something is not a sin, and nobody judges you on what you do/don't do, since everybody is busy with his/her own life !

  10. Hi Anette,

    I'm so happy to hear that I'm not the only one :-). I think it's indeed typically women...making list, just to try to make your head empty. I always end up with 30 lists and 10 times the same things on different lists haha.

    Well wish you good luck with organizing things, and indeed a messy house can annoy you a little bit, but I always try to remember: a clean house is a wasted life!

    With regards.

  11. Oh Annette, you have just described me....100%, down to the very last detail....and being a single mum with four children doesn't help my situation one little bit.....if you find a solution please, please let me know.....until then, enjoy your tulips, wait patiently and hopefully for your wisteria to bloom, and think happy thoughts.....we can be sisters together looking for the elusive answer to our dilemma -xx-

  12. You are only human and not on your own :-) Absolutely normal!
    When in doubt, I remind myself, that my grandchildren will not remember how clean my floor was, but what fun thing we did together :-)
    Take care,

  13. Hello I read your blog but have not posted in comments before . I completely understand how you feel. I am much like you. I thought once I retired I would be very organised, tidy etc etc. I'm not! I prefer to look after my grandchildren when needed , be there for my family - they are spread about a bit. Spend time with my husband and craft. Every so often I have a bit of a meltdown and blitz the chores etc. However I am not and cannot be the sort of woman that has a beautifully tidy, dust free shiny home! I also sometimes forget a card here and there etc. It is not the end of the world. I'm glad you posted. It's good to know I'm not alone with my untidy, dusty etc etc home and life :-) xxx

  14. I know just how you feel - and I guess it is the same for many, many women too.
    I took on too much at the beginning of the year, and really couldn't shift the headaches. A few visits to the doctor, to rule anything horrid out, and her advice - book some massages ./ acupuncture and make time for myself. Tricky - but it is working so far - and oddly, I'm more able to tackle the other stuff too! Good luck. x

  15. OOhh I really know what you are it this time of the year?? I 've heard so many friends complaining about the same!
    I try lo let go..( grr..thats's so, so difficult..) but it's the only way to servive! ( like men do all the time.... :-) ) A Big hug, enjoy the beautiful en loveley things in life! There are so many!! Big hug XMir

  16. Oh my dear girl, how I feel for you.
    I am on the other side of all this. The boys are grown and happy in their lives. My Husband of 40 years sadly passed away and I now have all the time in the world. And, would you believe it, there are still not enough hours in the day!!!
    A tidy house is the sign of a wasted life :0)

  17. Hi Annette,

    Nodding along. It all sounds totally normal but it really feels horrible when you don't know what or how to get out of it. I have recently been in this space where everything was getting on top of me. I wrote a Post a few weeks ago called "Dire Straits" if you want to make yourself feel better :-)

    My blog is my happy place too so it was an unusual post for me to write but funnily enough after I pushed publish I felt a whole lot better. It's still quite chaotic on the home front but I'm not so fussed about it.

    Sending hugs from Australia.

    Mel x

  18. I quite understand. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all that we have to do. I'm retired and I still make lists - keeps me on track. I highly recommend going easy on yourself - prioritize what needs to get done and add in the fun stuff. Your post didn't sound like you were whining but rather stating the facts - sometimes that's how we come up with a solution. Take care and have fun. ♥

  19. Whine away, girl! Some of us are indeed not über-planners, that's just the way our brains are wired. I shout you a cappuccino from South Africa, the you go gather your lists, and I'll tackle the pile of ironing (of which I do the minimum, only school uniforms and my husband's shirts & chino's)
    All the best, the cobwebs will clear :-)

  20. I completely and utterly understand you :)
    Thumbs up for more hours a day (to crochet) and less need for sleep ;) Until then: try jazzercising as often as possible. It's a life saver, I tell you :)
    And pretend you don't see the pet rabbits in every corner. They're only there to please you ;)

    Big hugs,

  21. Oh how I know how you feel, and so does everyone else by the comments that have been left. It's difficult sometimes to find a balance between the things we want to do and the things we have to do. I mean I do want a tidy house but don't want to spend the time doing the tidying. And work! Oh that is sooooo inconvenient! Sometimes I am trying to do speed housework so I have some craft time later, and my nearly 2year old is causing havoc and mess in another room and I find myself thinking about how it will be easier when she starts school. Then I stop myself because I know that time will come soon enough and I don't want to wish her babyhood away. I think it's a skill to be content with where we are right now and that is what I would like to achieve anyway. Be gentle on yourself, only blog when you feel like it - don't make it into a 'have' to do thing. BTW thanks for taking time to come over and visit my blog and leaving a message, take care Sam xx

  22. I can totally relate to your story! Only I'm in my mid 30-s with a 2-year-old, but still... My house is in desperate need of de-cluttering and cleaning, I could do with some extra sleep and quality time with my husband is very rare! I try to do the best I can and I try to enjoy the little things in life.

    I recently found some time to watch a great movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I can highly recommend it to you. It had a great quote: everything will be fine in the end. If it is not fine, then it is not the end. Take your time and in the end, it will be fine :)

  23. Ciao Annette,
    forza e pazienza...
    un abbraccio dall'Italia

    p.s. i tulipani sono meravigliosi!

  24. We all need to vent from time to time, nothing wrong with that! Just remember to breathe, do the things you can, and the rest, can wait till you have time.(If like in my house, it will definitely be waiting, cause no one else will do it! ;D) Hope your day is good!

  25. Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry you're having one of those days. I know exactly how you feel. I get to that point often. A good vent is a place to start. I hope you get back to a place of peace soon. Blessings :-)

  26. Oh my dear Anette, please don't beat yourself up for having a whine now and then. We've all been there, done that and got the t shirt, youre a wife, mother, homemaker, creator of beautiful things and you work and these are but a few of the jobs you do daily.
    I could do with a dog sitter today to occupy my dogs whilst I quilt but I haven't got one, frustrating but hopefully tomorrow they'll settle whilst I sew. I'm sure none of us mind, it proves you're human lol. Take care my lovely and take some time to refresh your batteries your follows will wait patiently for your return. We enjoy your blog to much to wander off elsewhere:)

    Big hugs to you.

    Peg xx

  27. YOU ARE NOT WHINING!!! You are just a very busy woman who has a lot to do, not enough time and needs to let off steam occasionally. That means that you are perfectly normal and I hate to say it, just like the rest of us. Don't worry, we understand and know that you will be here as and when you can be! Take care and I sincerely hope that you are feeling more yourself again very soon. xx

  28. I can completely relate! My house is rarely clean, kids laundry always waiting to be folded and put away and some days it makes me crazy, other days I tell myself it's ok, it's more important for me to give myself a little time, everyone will be better off for it. Thank you for sharing, it's nice to know I'm not alone on this:) sending a hug from San Francisco, CA

  29. I can completely relate! My house is rarely clean, kids laundry always waiting to be folded and put away and some days it makes me crazy, other days I tell myself it's ok, it's more important for me to give myself a little time, everyone will be better off for it. Thank you for sharing, it's nice to know I'm not alone on this:) sending a hug from San Francisco, CA

  30. When I was working full time and bringing up children (I'm in my 50's now), when I was stressed beyond belief I used to ask myself - are the kids happy and fed, have they got something clean to wear and was there food in the cupboard? Beyond that I tried not to get too het up. Life is too short and nobody remembers you for leaving the dishes until tomorrow or not cleaning the oven (I still don't clean the oven), they remember you for yourself, the happy creative person. Today will pass, tomorrow the dust bunnies won't bother you!

    Take care!

  31. take a breathe! you are human....and if it helps, my life is much the same and I don't even have a blog.....but I love to procrastinate and read others blogs when I really should be using my time more!

  32. hehe big hug my friend!
    I was going to say write lists...dont worry you'll work it out.
    Maybe you need a blog break?
    I do love your beautiful not a completely whiney post x

  33. I think we are all the same so don't feel that you are on your own, there is never enough time in the day. It doesn't matter if your home is not spotless or if it's untidy, life is too short, take time to do the things you

  34. Oh, I feel so awful now about reminding you by email about my wool order. I am so thoughtless. Be good to yourself, shut the computer down, pour yourself a coffee (or a glass of wine) and go outside to enjoy the garden in Spring. Life is more important than chores and sometimes you just need an hour or two for yourself and your sanity.

  35. You need Go to her getting started page. As she says...the state of your home didn't happen in a day and it can't be fixed in a day. I think as women we just wear so many hats and we are on call to so many it's easy to get tangled up. Flylady helps you with basic routines and the house just seems to take care of itself. I find it easier to be creative in an orderly house as it frees up my mind. I love reading your blog. It is a warm and inviting place to stop by. Best wishes from Melbourne Australia

  36. I have just read this after coming in from two hours of scrubbing garden furniture that has been allowed to get filthy after years of neglect. Your words could have been written by me - and everyone else who has commented here it seems. My problem is I often do make time to do the things I like and then feel completely overwhelmed to find the rest of my life has become disorganised and full of things screaming 'fix me, clean me, cook me, declutter me, prune me, fill me, empty me etc'. You have got some great advice in the comments everyone has left. I think maybe we are all helping each other because your writing and the comments left make me feel less of a freak and more of a human being whose mind and ideas run at a far faster pace than her body. Go and enjoy your tulips and remember you are not alone. xx

  37. You sweet thing. Yes this is the life of a Mother, working woman and wife. I hate to say it but it is true. We all feel this way, there is not enough time in the day. I am so busy with work, our new little one and all of his appointments and my family, house, and parents that I rarely have time to knit more that a row or two in the evenings, and far too often I am too tired for even that. It doesn't seem fair, or right but we women have to keep it all running smoothly. Take good care of yourself my friend, and it is your blog you can whine if you want to. It makes you much more human to all of us.

  38. Yes, I too understand and have had similar experiences. Something that helps me at such times is to take a still moment and to remind myself that I have a whole body and not just a head... that might sound ridiculous but in times of stress I find everything is in my head...just to take a moment to feel my feet on the floor (for example) is very grounding.
    My house is very dusty ....I laugh and tell people that dust is a protective coating! :-)
    One needs time to create each day... I start going down if I don't...creativity is essential for a healthy life, and it's one of the first things to go when life it's pressing in on us. Well, that's my experience anyway!
    Sending you love and hugs,
    Tracey xxx

  39. Lovely Annette I read your blog this morning and it rang so many bells in my house too. I am in complete agreement with you and know exactly what you are talking about. In my own life there is too much going on, much of it unpleasant at the moment so no time for keeping in touch with my lovely virtual friends but you are all so important and actually keep me going. I know that we all understand how difficult life can be and how strong we all are as a collective community. I mentioned you on my blog this evening. You are such a lovely lady Annette and I always enjoy reading your news so try to be a little kinder to yourself. We are all here together and care about each other so a little rest from blogging now and then will not be the end of the world. Have a wonderful weekend and spend some you time with your lovely family. Big hugs and loves

  40. Annette, it's good to let the angst out sometimes, it's really ok. Have you ever heard of Parkinson's Law? The idea is that any job will take as long as the time available. I (who hates housework) find that if I give myself a set amount of time (could be 10 mins, as long as it takes the kettle to boil, as long as this wash takes etc) it's amazing what you can get done. I can empty the dishwasher as the kettle boils. Hoover downstairs and fold 2 loads of washing as the next wash is on etc. Little goals of essential tasks that get done in a fixed time, leaving me feeling that I have achieved something and then deserve some needed hookery time :)

    Best of luck, sending restoring hugs,
    Jilly :)

  41. I sure most of us can relate to this, I know I can, my ill health means I have been put in a strict pacing program each day, I only have 1 hour and 20mins of activity time, the rest is bed resting so as you can imagine, there is too little time and way to much to get on, I'm sure you'll get back on top of things soon.
    Clare x

  42. Enjoy the spring and first things first wishes always,Anita

  43. So many people feel like this, but that doesn't make it any easier for you. It's nice to come on a blog like this and see that nobody has it sorted all the time. Sending you prayers & electronic hugs. The things that matter: spending time with your kids, because they grow up in the blink of an eye, taking care of yourself, because there's only one you. The rest is the rest, and must keep to its allotted space and not take over your soul. xxx

  44. Dear Annette, you are only human!!! And an incredible creative one!!! It is good to post a thing like this, because I think every woman recognizes this. I love your blog, but if you don't have the time to post something, don't feel obligated to do so. Take care, Maryvonne xxx

  45. Thank you so much for your lovely honest post! I have just started following you and know I'm going to enjoy your blog-but only if you have time�� take care Annette xxx

  46. Annette,I enjoy reading your post a lot.They inspire me to write more about my day,feelings and perspective.My resolution was to get in shape,stop smoking and eat a healthy diet,well....The diet changed I joined the YMCA here and haven't gone,and I haven't tried to quit,but today I received your email and It sunk in,I too need to make a journal, write it down,and take the baby steps to my self,I am a doer too,but dreaming is so much easier and I must learn to make some of my dreams come true.Thank you for sharing your thoughts,My day today is to do:My to- do- list, for a healthier me.Which in return reflects my loved ones and friends.
    Thank You again.

  47. I love this post! Because I can so relate! But I don't want to think about that closet that Really needs to be cleaned out id rather stay up to late reading this beautiful blog. You are making your dreams come true! And have inspired me to push myself to make time to be creative.


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