I've been having nightmares: let me tell you about them! Oh, I know the definition of a boring is someone who insists on telling you their dreams, but bear with me, please.
In the first dream I am running a Colour Analysis Workshop. My clients are lovely but, as I reach for the tools I need, my entire family invade my studio space; bringing with them furniture from the rest of the house, piles of old clothes and even the contents from my childhood dressing up box! I can't find anything under the mountains of stuff and grow increasingly panicked.
In the second dream I am taking an exam which comes in three parts. The first is a written paper. It is hard and I know I got only half the marks. The second is an obstacle course and I get stuck at the first challenge - a vast pit of slimy, sticky mud. The third part is a presentation. I am confident here because I know I am good at speaking. As I step up onto the podium to start, I realise I cannot find my notes. Instead of my clear notes in the folder, there are pages of unrelated materials; all torn and messy. I cannot give my presentation and ignominiously fail the exam.
I don't think we need a degree in psychology or dream analysis to see what is going on here. I feel as if my life is descending into chaos. The joint demands of my business and family – that includes my extended family, for whom I have administrative and financial responsibilities – are overwhelming. I feel inadequately prepared for all the challenges in my life and thus a failure.
On 11th September I wrote about dealing with overwhelm. I wrote about getting everything out of your head and onto paper. I have taken my own advice, but it still seems all too much.
But, what to let go?
"Why don't you give up your business and just be a stay at home mum?" asked my younger daughter yesterday? But I love my business, and we need the money.
"Can't someone else do the family and trust finances?" ask the close friends to whom I have confided. Well, no – not really; nobody else has the skill and a professional costs too much.
And – the family – well – family, you know?
So, for the sake of my mental health, I need to find a way through.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the first thing I am doing is making time to do some relaxing things. I am spending time making Christmas cards and tomorrow I'm having lunch with my sister.
I'm scheduling, and not beating myself up when the scheduling slips.
I'm committing myself to swimming 500m each morning: it's my mediation time as well as exercise.
And I'm writing it all down here and sharing it with you. It helps me, and I hope it might help some of you, if you too are in overwhelm.
A Moodscope member.
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