I actually came up with this saying. Really.
It's the only way to get through life when it threatens to overwhelm you like a sea turtle in a tidal wave.
I don't know whether it's the time of year, the weather, or just the state of the world today, but many people I talk to seem overwhelmed with life right now. I'm no exception.
Now, some people are overwhelmed all the time. Maybe it's their makeup - they don't know what to do unless they have some drama in their lives - legitimate or otherwise. These folks can get a bit annoying over time.
Others really ARE overwhelmed. These are usually those amazing people that keep getting hit with one thing after the other and manage to be thankful for what they do have. These are the people you respect and admire for how they deal with their lives in the face of what seems like constant adversity.
Then there's the rest of us. Most of the time we go about our days, facing "normal" problems. Maybe it's a situation at work, or a spat with our significant other. Maybe it's a health issue, or the trials and tribulations of raising children. Maybe it's a temporary financial setback, or a decision that has to be made that is causing us to lose sleep.
The overwhelming part comes in, I think, when we are faced with more than one of these at a time. This is when I look to the heavens and say, "OK, God, enough!!!!"
I did just that last week. I had a laundry list of things that were overwhelming me, to the point where I had lost all focus on ANYTHING. So many things had "gone wrong" that I felt like I was just sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I felt guilty - guilty that I couldn't handle it. Guilty that I was allowing all this stuff to overwhelm me. Guilty that there were people dying in Haiti and I should count my lucky stars for what I had and quit bemoaning all my problems. But that didn't make them go away.
And no, I didn't exactly go and make dilemonade. But I did confide in a few trusted people in my life and asked for support - and received it. Note - I didn't tell EVERYBODY. This is when you become annoying. And I felt bad even confiding in those I did - for everyone has their problems. But they were willing to listen, and willing to offer encouragement and support, and I realized that if the tables were turned, I would have done the same thing for them. That's why they're in my life.
The other thing I did was try to take it one step at a time. It was very easy to tick off my list of things that were wrong, then throw up my hands and reach for the wine and wait for them to go away. Luckily, I have this new-found wisdom that I've said comes with reaching 40, and I knew I had to make headway with at least one of my demons or nothing was going to change. "If it is to be, it is up to me." It's kind of like being stuck in a traffic jam. You can sit there for an hour, or you can drive an hour and a half out of your way to get where you are going. I'd rather drive the hour and a half, just so I am at least moving - getting somewhere.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed, first of all, don't go it alone. Find someone to help you out, knowing that at some point you will be on the other end giving that help. Secondly, take some baby steps to try to do what you can to alleviate some of the issues. You may not solve them all, but at least you'll have that sense of accomplishment that you've made a little headway.
Life's going to throw you a lot of sour dilemmas that you're going to have to juggle. Know that whatever you are going through is just a pothole in the road. There's a lot of them this time of year, but eventually, they get repaired.
And "just keep swimming". No, I didn't come up with that. Dory did. :)