Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Crazy or Creative?

I can barely hold it together today.  Doctor visit = not fun.  Can anything else on me or in me break down?  Seriously.  I'm 42.  Not 142.  And how am I supposed to work out to get to an acceptable social weight when my head is either ready to explode or my insides are ready to do an "Alien" reenactment?


Bitter, party of one, please.


I have so much on my plate from now until December 6th (when I finally turn in my book manuscript).  Now don't get me wrong -- the things I've planned both here on the blog, in the craft show circuit, in writing assignments, were totally mine to take on and CHOOSE to do.  That's not what's getting to me.  What's getting to me is that feeling of lack of control.

One of my vintage typewriters, this one a Corona.

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Does anyone else feel like that?  That lack of control that sneaks up and builds and sits on your shoulders (usually laughing its stupid head off)?


It's the sneak attacks that make things go awry and make me want to run screaming down the street waving my hands over my head.   Planning Christmas visits.  When will I decorate the tree?  The house needs dusting BADLY and someone's writing notes in the dust.  I'm overdue to volunteer at the animal shelter.  I can't find the bottom of my desk, or my FLOOR in my office for that matter. 



Time to start making lists.


There are things that HAVE to be done -- turning in my book manuscript.  Preparing a new writing assignment.  Updating my web site for Christmas.  If I sell a couple of pieces of jewelry, I can hire someone to clean the house.  (If).  And I don't really care if Zack's LEGO creations are in the middle of the living room floor.


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 (We love the $7 grab bags at the LEGO store!)


Making a list always seems to bring me back down to earth.  Granted, more things usually come to mind when I MAKE the list, but categorizing them, shuffling them around, and realizing that some things just are NOT going to happen right away -- that tends to calm me down.

Photo I took in St.Michaels, MD

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My list is pretty intense.  Ironically, I like it that way because I feel like I'm accomplishing something when I check things off.  It also helps me keep to task, and discard the extraneous things that don't really need to be done just this minute.  But the same Energizer Bunny method I have for working occasionally requires new batteries. 


The take-away from this -- Lori, calm the hell down.  Do some yoga.  Write a prioritized list and then a secondary "would be nice if it got done" list.  Take a nap when needed, but don't run away.


I don't  know if you, my lovely readers, got a thing out of this other than Lori needs to take a chill pill.  But I hope you're doing well, checking off your lists, and if you feel like running down that street waving your hands in the air...


Give me a call.  I've got running shoes ready.




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off. She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene and is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

42 comments:

  1. I'm sure you'll manage to get everything done. I have faith in you! Some of us work better under pressure anyway.

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  2. I felt the same way for the entire month of October.

    It wasn't until the end of the month I started feeling *a little bit* better.

    Breathe in, breathe out nad definitely make the "if it gets done" part of the list.

    I always say (which I need to make a pendant for) It's better to have a busy life than a boring one. :)

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  3. Hey Lori. I heard acupuncture works really well for headaches and have had success with it for myself as well. As far as your schedule goes, sounds to me like you should just start saying no, lol. :) Your blog is lovely.

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  4. lol. My house is like yours .... crazy and crafty and chaotic. I just don't have some of the health issues too. Hugs and good luck with your schedule

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  5. I'm there with you Lori. I don't run for anything, but from all that I have heaped on my own plate, I will be running for sure just to keep up! Keep breathing.
    Enjoy the day.
    Erin

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  6. Lori, I'm sorry you are going through this. Sometimes it takes the fun out of things we are supposed to enjoy.

    Yes, I've felt this way too, many times. In fact, right now I'm feeling that little niggle of worry about all the things I need to do. I'm normally a list maker, but right now I have so much to do that my head is spinning just trying to prioritize my list!

    And your someone who is writing in the dust has made a few visits to my house too.....hmmmmm

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  7. If you're gonna "wave your hands in the air" then may I suggest you DANCE down the street? You'll get that exercise you mentioned and it'll look (a little) less ridiculous when the hand-waving begins :D
    Breathe, muchacha! Breeeeeeeeathe!

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  8. IF my floors looked that good! And, IF I could run, I would be ready to go! But, :( today, because of this darn back, both my legs are numb right above my ankles, so I haven't accomplished one-cotton-pickin' thing today! I feel some of your pain! I'm a list-maker, too! Couldn't live without 'em! Hope you get all your important tasks accomplished on time! Thanks for making me smile today!

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  9. I love lists even if it makes me realize how much more I have to do than I thought I did. I love them because when I cross something off, I feel just a little bit better. Maybe I should add things to my list like drink a cup of coffee, play fetch with the dogs, catch up on blogs I follow. Then I would feel REALLY productive!

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  10. I wish I was closer so I could give you a big hug, but I'll have to do with sending you big virtual (((((hugs)))) instead. I definitely know what you mean about the sneak attacks, we've had a couple of big ones of those this year.
    Go and hire yourself someone to help clean the house NOW, whether it's a one off or a regular thing. You are working so hard and you know that you will earn the money to pay for it very soon, but it sounds like you need some space to be able to do that, that the cleaner needs to come so that you can settle enough to earn the money that will pay for the cleaning and more. In the end it doesn't matter what state your house is in, it's the state of your family and your heart and mind that matter, so if help around the house will help with that, do it, and don't feel guilty about it!
    I love the lego models! We're having to keep ours off the floor as the baby is starting to crawl!

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  11. Oh, I hate that feeling....that life just passing you by, spinning on the treadmill of life just like a little hamster. Not fun! I hope you can get it all under control, at least so you feel happy....pour a glass of wine, cut a piece of pie, clear a spot on the floor, sit down and take a bit of time for yourself. The mess (which really doesn't look very bad at all - seriously, you should see our flat!!) will wait.

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  12. Take a deep breath and enhance your Chi. You are doing great and you just need a little breather! It will all get done, but I know how you feel!!! If I lived closer I would take you out for a walk and then go and get some pie :) Big hugs going your way!!!
    Beth

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  13. Once again Lori you have said it so well...I have so many of these issues...except no Legos or adorable little guy to tend to (1 big guy and an aging cat!). With age comes wisdom and I am getting very wise about what does not need to get done...especially dusting and housework. You really do have it under control my dear...Hugs to you.

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  14. Hang in there, Lori. Take each day as it comes and just do what you can. I do understand and will add that the worse thing that can happen when I'm feeling that way is to have my husband come up and ask me to do something. It's like I'm under control and then I get this feeling like I'm going to explode. Go away I say and come back another day!

    This time of year can be especially stressful. Hope you find that chill pill or better yet - take the time to chill, work that into your schedule. ha!

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  15. If that's the current 'mess' in your office pictured there, you've got nothing on me. My mess is truly noteworthy. As for dusting... I only dust when I have forewarning my mother's on her way .. and that's last one the list after me running around to get my dished done, my floors vacuumed and swept, the cats tidied up after... Well.. let's just say my dustbunnies have no doubt evolved into sentient beings by now ;)

    As yeah, I too have piled my plate high this coming month, and while I don't regret any of it and would take it all on again ( and am still taking on more ;)silly me ) Every now and then it hits me just what all I have to get done and by when and I'm like ... " holy crap! What the heck did I get myself into?!' ... then I put on a pot of chocolate coffee... or if really stressed, just spike whatever kind I have with some Baileys, go sit on my porch and BREATHE a few moments while I settle my thoughts and realize that I can do it. I can do it because I won't let myself NOT do it. ( not without laying a massive guilt trip on myself over whatever I didn't get done, anyhow ;) )I think we're both the kind of people that ENJOY doing for others and no matter how heavy a load we're already carrying, can actually feel better for knowing that we're doing something good for someone else :)


    now go have a slice of pie. I have one more slice of caramel apple cranberry crumble pie ( what a name, huh? lol ) in my fridge that MUST be eaten.. so I shall go toss that in the mic to warm it up. I shall picture you curled up somewhere with a slice of your favorite as well, relaxing to the goodness :)

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  16. i am right there with you. i am hitting my wall and getting less and less done. somehow, we will get through. probably without running away.

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  17. Lori,

    There are days when I think crazy and creative are more or less the same thing. Sometimes it's wonderful, but sometimes it's stressful!

    Maybe this will work for you -- when I'm overwhelmed and feel like there are too many things to do, I use a timer. I clean the studio for 20 min, or do dishes for 20 min, and I'm always astonished how much I get done in a short amount of time. Sometimes I'll even budget my internet time -- say, an hour a day, no more.

    I hope that helps a little! This month is going to be crazy for me, and I'll be using all my little tips and tricks to stay afloat. :)

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  18. Oh yes, I frequently get the spinning out of control feeling. Usually it is of my own making and most often it is because I have not made a list. The list does help to prioritize. The legos will be there in the morning, so will the dust, and the things on your office floor. You can always do those things later. Please take some time for yourself though. There is nothing better for feeling calm than taking a little time to breathe, even just 15 minutes. Hey, be sure to put some things on your list that you've already done. Nothing like a little instant gratification in the crossing off department ;-)

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  19. I was thinking your office looked pretty neat too. Mine looks like my house got robbed:) I love that image of running down the street waving my hands in the air...accompanied by high pitched screamming I might add.

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  20. I feel your pain- both figuratively and literally! I always find it amazing - when I really stop to think about it- what does NOT REALLY needs to be done - we can let some things go- give yourself that permission!

    Oh and please listen to your body- it took me way too long to realize it - those symptoms are not just an inconvenience- they can be some serious warning signs. I always said, I am a work at home mom so I can put up with the head and stomach now and then. Now I know it isn't true- take care of yourself first. (stepping down off my soapbox now...)

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  21. I think notes in the dust are a great way to communicate!!!! Breathe! Breathe! Oh, I sometimes make my lists in the dust! Then you don't have to dust at all!!!!

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  22. So much good advice from all your other commenters. I like the list idea with two columns: 1)ToDo and 2)TaDa! Just imagine saying it to yourself: To Do: dust the living room, (then when finished)"TaDa!"

    Emanda

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  23. I think lists are a good thing, although you couldn't tell it from my house! However, that is one of the cool things about having 3 kids, assigning those jobs! I like the comment about the timer. We do that right before my hubs gets home. Not cause I'm scared of him, (LOL) but because it makes him feel better to come home and his house is in order. Since there's no calories in it, I'm sending you a virtual pie!!! <>>

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  24. You call that a mess???HA! If you were here right now you'd feel like dancing about the current state of your home. 2 things. I have a note on my refrigerator that I wrote and hung up there a few years ago when i got so overwhelmed my husband thought I was having a nervous breakdown. The note reads "To the management- We are leaving- we can't take the overcrowded conditions anymore! Sincerely, The Dustbunnies" It made everyone worry but it made me laugh and that is what got me through. Next, someone once told me a saying that you can spend your whole life cleaning and dusting and organizing and then you die. By the time the 3 days for your wake and funeral are over the dust is back. Spend your time on the things that will matter long after you're gone. ((((Hugs))))

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  25. Aw, Lori. I don't know how you do what you do, but I do know that there are an awful lot of people who think you are amazing. I have three children (ages 5, 3 going on 4 in a few weeks, and 20 months), a husband in law school (sometimes it feels like we never see him *sigh*), my business... the housework... trying to get my eldest to kindergarten each day... some days I feel so overwhelmed I sit down and cry a little. But then I have to laugh at myself because I'm so fortunate to have what I do. If my house is a little messy (ok, ok a LOT messy) well, my kids are happy... I get more time to create... and creating makes that whole breathing and not panicking thing easier for me LOL. So does jogging, so if you really do want to run... let's go! ;) You'll be ok Lori, you are one of the most capable women I've ever "met". You constantly inspire many of us with all you do :) but we love you for you, for who you are, for your incredible ability to do so much and yet... because you are human and a mom and bead-y and we can relate to you. There's nothing wrong with being human. And if you need a 15 minute pie break? Take one :) You deserve it!

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  26. I'm hopeless with lists. I either lose them or leave them behind and sometimes I'm going so slow it's possible I'm going backwards. Probably why I don't accomplish a lot in a day. But I'm sure you will eventually get those things crossed off your list(s). Definitely get someone in to clean, that's a huge load off your shoulders right away.

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  27. Sounds like you need some pampering.

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  28. Unfortunately, I'm all too familiar with the feeling you are describing, Lori. I'm in a "bit of a state" myself lately.

    I like Sarah's 20-minute suggestion and think I'll give that a try for myself. I completely lose myself in time.

    (Thank you, Sarah!) And best wishes to you, Lori!

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  29. glad i am not the only one who gave up on cleaning my desk, moved to the floor and now can't see my floor! hang in there, breathe and you will get through this chaos and create another!

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  30. Ugh, I can relate to the feeling and I just take each day as it comes, check off that NECESSARY list, and pray! lol

    You'll do it. All my best.

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  31. Oh Sheesh...I need to make a list!
    Extreme Empathy.

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  32. Dear Lori TAKE A DEEP BREATH and as my daughter would say Mama "this too has come to pass" I have the faith in you. Yea and list helps greatly.
    Be Blessed to be bless

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  33. One step/day at a time! Schedule some fun things to anticipate after your deadlines. Focus on who is important (and I agree with Jo re: getting a cleaner now for mental health's sake). This too shall pass, and you're going to wonder where November went! And after the dust settles, call me and we'll meet for pie. :)

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  34. Yes, I can totally relate to feeling like your body is falling to pieces. I often feel about twice my actual age. And I have that fear too, what else is going to go wrong?

    I'm guessing that a lot of us jewelry designers have a similar chaotic mess in our studios right now! Tis the season! And judging from your picture, it appears that at least someone in your house is happy about the piles! What cat doesn't love to pick around piles of things? :-)

    After the snow we had this past weekend, our house looked like a winter snow gear explosion. So my husband told the boys, "kids, we're going to take 30 minutes and help mom clean up the house." AMAZING how fast things got cleaned up and organized! Has it stayed that way? No. We're too busy living life, ya know?

    This is getting long, but all of this to say that you are busy living life. You're busy because some pretty cool things are happening in your life...a book, a creative Lego master, and a successful jewelry business...just to name a few. Take a deep breath because you are full of life!

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  35. Beth Stone taught me "A house is not a home until you can write "I Love You" in the dust." I live my life by "need to have" and "nice to have" lists. Take a deep breath and do not let 12/6 stress you out. I'm here for you!

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  36. Oh, running shoes...for the exercise I haven't had time to do because of my stupid list of things :)

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  37. I am a list person as well. I need them to keep me somewhat organized. I totally understand about the house situation. I have dust bunnies bigger than my dog and can't see my studio table because I have so many jewelry projects on it. So much to complete, so little time! As far as the Lego creations, rather than viewing them as toys on the floor think of them as new "abstract art" in your home!

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  38. I hear you - and sympathize, big time!

    HOpefully your health issues w/straighten out a bit so you can feel better while tackling all that life's throwing at you!!

    P.S. - I miss legos on the floor - even tho I swore I never would - I really, really miss them!!

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  39. The utter lack of control I have over certain parts of my life (mainly, my parents' health) drives me nuts. Absolutely nuts.

    I already know that I don't deal well with change - it's like a slap in the face when big things come out of nowhere and I have no control over them.

    Oh, and did I mention I'm a control freak? Wonder why...

    I'll run down the street with you any day, Lori.

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  40. You are not crazy - you just described me!!! What gets me crazy is feeling behind or that I am letting someone down :-) I think I'll go eat some pie

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  41. So many thoughts on this post... so little space. First and most important, "social acceptable weight" should be stricken from everyone's vocabulary... other than that - do you live in my head?

    Yes - I feel out of control and particularly when my house is messy/dusty/chaotic AND my first line of defense is a list! So grounding.

    Good luck with your lists, dust bunnies and the next few months. And remember - ENJOY ~~T

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  42. Oh I know just what you mean. Because of my fibro, I am now taking a med that kills my short-term memory so if I don't put everything into my outlook I forget. Then I end up scrambling to get everything done. Makes me want to pull my hair out.

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