Ever Feel Overwhelmed?

Have you ever had one of those days when you suddenly realize the safety-margins of your life are disappearing into a tangle of conflicting commitments or, worse yet, hiding out under piles of silent dust bunnies?

Well if you have, welcome to my day. As I write this, I am glancing at my hands and hoping I don’t have poison ivy. (Praying, actually, because I’m REALLY allergic to that stuff.) I have been working on the road most of this year and I have fallen way behind in my real life. (By real life, I mean the one that’s always lurking in the dark corners of the laundry room, tool shed or yard.)

The day started innocuously enough. I decided to have coffee on the deck. The birds were singing from every tree, a cool breeze was blowing, and I was having a perfect morning UNTIL I noticed that the fountain in my goldfish pond wasn’t working. So I took my coffee to the pond to investigate. I fed the fish and tried to decide if I wanted to tackle the pump. But while I was watching the goldfish feed with a spring frenzy I couldn’t help but notice the wild clematis, Virginia creeper, knee-high oak seedlings, AND poison ivy spilling from every corner of the day lily beds that surround the pond. Oh, and the pump still wasn’t working. It apparently doesn’t respond to the “Mommy Evil Eye.” Arrgh!

I tried to do meditative breaths and focus on the delightful little fish forms in front of me but I couldn’t! Because you see, just yesterday I had a similar realization while catching up on six weeks worth of journaling! Again, I have been trapped by that weird womanly need to be everything to everybody. You’ve been there, you know how this works: You do all the stuff you think you need to do for everyone else only to watch your personal life and goals disappear under dust bunnies and vines. Enough!

I stomped into the house and put on my armor: long-sleeved bug shirt (check), long pants (check), sunscreen (double-check), straw hat (check), and “Steel Lady” (It’s a long story.) yard gloves and got my rake, shears, and wheelbarrow from the shed, which I now know is also covered in vines. With a fury not seen since I fixed my vacuum cleaner, I pulled every last vine out from those lily beds, cleaned the filthy filter for the pond, restarted the pump, and made a brush pile five feet high at the curb.

Sweaty, dirty, wet and pretty proud of myself, I came back in the house, pulled the screen door behind me, took a deep breath and then… saw dust bunnies piled against the baseboard as far as the eye can see. Yes, it’s going to be one of THOSE days around here. So, how are you?

6 Comments for “Ever Feel Overwhelmed?”



Again, great writing, Donna. I love the humor too. I have a water rock in our Japanese garden. It’s been functioning fine since placed there by my sweet husband six years ago but I worry that the pump will decide to konk out on me, or that the wooden plank that the rock sits on will rot through (it’s getting there) and I will be helpless to fix it. Last week I managed to investigate how deep it is by moving aside some rocks and pulling out some smaller rocks that were threatening to fall through the screen. That’s about the extent of my skills, although I’m not too shabby with the garden upkeep.


Ponds are lovely places to rest your eyes and heart. If you need a new pump, I highly recommend a pond pump from the online company Fosters and Smith. They have sturdy, reliable pumps that are easy to install and run forever. AND, you can do this! I believe in you!

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