Getting Overwhelmed

I woke up “early” today, at 9:39 am to be precise, and I am, in this moment, trying to transition from the anxiety of nighttime to the, hopefully, calm state of daytime.

Sometimes it feels like my brain is my own worst enemy.  For example…

Yesterday turned out pretty cool. A friend and I drove to Rochester to pick up our t-shirts that we will wear when we belly dance on Saturday in a Shimmy Mob for the first and last time. But oh, the stresses attached to this endeavor.

My friend found this program last year when it was too late to sign-up, so we vowed to sign-up this year. In the meantime, we split from our troupe and had to deal with that issue all year.

Naturally, when the time came to sign up for Shimmy Mob, our old troupe suddenly decided to participate here in our little town while we decided to join the team in Rochester. Awkward!

Then the choreography turned out to be a bear to learn, meaning that we had to put our own personal dancing on hold for the past two months. We had questions for our out-of-town team that were hard to get answers for. Well, we could have just stayed with our old troupe for that!

It was looking like everything would be last possible minute and that was quite stressful.

Then yesterday we got word that we could pick up our t-shirts early. Yippee! We would know early if they fit and could actually do something about it if they didn’t. We’d know what color so we could plan accessories accordingly. We could talk to a team member instead of meeting them all for the first time on Saturday. And as a bonus, she lived in a part of the city I have been to frequently, so our trip was uneventful in a good way and I could have that added feeling of accomplishment yesterday.

Every day I wonder if normal people just take things like this in stride and waste not a moment of thought or worry on tasks such as yesterday’s undertaking: The Great T-shirt Unveiling!

Years ago I was one of those people who could just drive to “the city”, meet a new person, get a t-shirt, drive home, and let the experience melt into the past without dwelling on it. How I miss those days and that self.

There has to be a happy medium somewhere in there. Maybe that is a definition of wellness: Doing things with some kind of presence of mind and without getting stuck in the fear and worry.

Saturday will come and go as does every other day of my life. Shimmy Mob will be memorable for what happens and for what I learned. It will turn out to be not as bad as it felt at times while we struggled with someone else’s choreography. And I will have no desire to try it again. Not because it was hard but because my time will be better spent on my own creativity which I tend to put on a back burner far too often in this life.

Then again, nobody knows what next year will be like and maybe it will be something else altogether.

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10 Comments

Filed under anxiety, art therapy, decision making, depression, emotional health, exercise, friends, growth, healing, human nature, planning, pressure, progress, stress, Uncategorized, wellness

10 responses to “Getting Overwhelmed

  1. Well. Yes, life can get overwhelming, even the fun parts. Good for you that the two of you decided to go for it this year. And good for you for sticking it out and learning the choreography, while at the same time deciding that you’d probably be happier another year just doing your own thing.

    I’ve been doing a broadly similar thing with sewing these last few months: I took on a ‘mystery quilt’ challenge, where you collect your fabrics (mostly scrappy from your stash) and cut out x-number of pieces of whatever shapes are called for and eventually put them together according to a pattern you didn’t see in advance. I already knew I wouldn’t want to do a full sized quilt, so followed the instructions to do a half project. I’m doing a table cover instead. (Kind of a cross between a table cloth and a table runner.)
    This challenge has involved far more new skills than I had anticipated and one purchase of a tool that I just couldn’t do the work without. Sometimes the learning has been frustrating but overall I’m pleased with what I’ve learned.
    Ultimately, I wasn’t that wowed with the final pattern, so have reduced the size and changed the shape of my planned project, but am persevering with at least a minimum recognizable version of the ‘mystery’ quilt. I’m planning to use the leftover pieces to ‘play’ and make my own design for the back. And, no, I won’t be in a hurry to do another big project of somebody else’s vision!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think the biggest problem with these “mystery” group efforts is that you’re involved with someone else’s vision. And keeping some parts of it secret only added to my tendency towards anxiety. That happened with the Shimmy Mob. You can’t hear the music or see the choreography until you have joined and paid. I’m sure some women did quit when it got too hard and figured at least they supported the project financially. But my friends and I resent the secrecy because it was sold as a choreography that anyone could learn on their own regardless of experience level. That just wasn’t true. Then it was a big secret over what color the t-shirts were. That’s just getting silly in my opinion. I feel like the founder of Shimmy Mob has some control issues…. But, a good learning experience all around.

      I hope to see a picture of your quilt soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I can see where the secrecy would compound anxiety. Though I think it’s meant to ‘add fun’ in terms of anticipation. But there are limits!
        I will post pix on FB when my project is finished–currently on hold because I have a few weeks of paid work, so can’t spend whole days at a time in the sewing room. (But I’ll still sneak in an hour here and there, because generally it helps me relax.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes the struggle to do everyday things can be overwhelming! Looking forward to see how it all goes.

    Keep moving forward at your own pace, you’ll get there. X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JC

    Try the middle way as the Buddhist call it. Not too happy, not too sad. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s I found out that stress was my biggest enemy. Stressful situations and anxiety would make my hand tremor as though it was going to fall off. But if I were too excited about something good that was happening, my hand shook just as much. So being too excited can cause stress also but the middle way keeps you focused in the center.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Being too happy is usually not a problem for me, that’s for sure. I will do some thinking and reading about the middle way. Today, I’m kind of stumped about life again and I could use something that comes at it from a different direction. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer Butler Basile

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said – to myself and my therapist – that ‘this isn’t even a big deal!’ about some mundane task or event that’s causing me anxiety. Well, it shouldn’t be a big deal, but I guess that’s what anxiety is. I’m glad you didn’t let it ruin your plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad, too! But there are times when I give myself permission to decline an activity, or delay it, when the anxiety seems too overwhelming. No more teeth-gritting and pushing through for no reason other than stubbornness or pride or habit or people-pleasing. I’m going for balance and self-care now.

      Liked by 1 person

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