I feel overwhelmed. Stuck. Blocked. Frustrated. Can’t move forward. Can’t move back. Can’t move sideways. Haven’t been writing, haven’t been to the gym, the “to do” list just keeps on getting longer.

Know that feeling?

I live in a spacious house. All by myself. Large rooms- back deck and front porch; wide, long room downstairs; gracious loungeroom and a huge, sunny family room + kitchen. When my co-housing partner lives here, there will be the grand total of two of us

scary, isn't it?

scary, isn’t it?

But. I can’t settle my work space. Right now I’m camped in the dining room (yes, there’s a dining room as well) – computers set up on the dining table, papers strewn everywhere, books stacked…Angie, my co-housemate suggests the second bedroom is my space and some stuff is in there-  left over clothes of mine that don’t fit in my bedroom, a largeish table, full boxes and plastic crates, all my paperwork, stationery…Downstairs is stuffed with furniture- a desk, a workbench, cupboards, bookshelves, books and books and books, filing cabinets, plastic crates full of stuff belonging to both of us, all my parents’ family photos waiting to be sorted, my notes from courses I have run, old letters (of course!), boxes of Angie’s…all waiting to be sorted. There’s no garage, so downstairs is where it’s all at. My stuff, and it is stuff, is scattered in three places. No wonder I keep losing things.

Where do I settle my study? upstairs? second bedroom? downstairs? the dining room? turn the loungeroom into a work space? Where do we put guests?



I haven’t mentioned the garden. You remember the garden? One of our aims is to be as self sufficient as possible, so the garden is a top priority. Well, here I am, eighteen months later, and I’ve only been playing around the edges. Where will I create the beds? How will I make them? Where do I start? Treated pine edging or colorbond or?  If I put a tree there, will it stop the sun?  Questions, uncertainty, indecision… and I’m back where I started from, feeling stuck.

By now, you’re probably feeling irritated with me and want to tell me to “stop carrying on , just get on with it!” I’m irritated with me!

However. And there is usually an however. I have watched people talking about how they feel blocked and I have seen that they have solutions. I’ve watched them reject any options or possibilities. For some reason they didn’t want to move forward.

What does this tell me now? That I am refusing solutions? Choosing to stay stuck? Why do I keep rejecting any possible solutions?  What am I frightened of?

This is a life lesson, of course. It’s not just in our homes or gardens we get stuck. How many times have you been at a point where you have felt powerless, you can’t make a choice and  your life’s been  in a holding pattern?

And isn’t it an uncomfortable place to be? No energy, restless, I take to prowling about, unable to settle anywhere. Nothing gets done.

What was I told once? It doesn’t matter where you start, you’ll always get to where you need. Here and now, it doesn’t matter what choice I make. All that matters is to start. It’s my old friend, fear- the fear of making a mistake. What did I learn, many years ago, from Susan Jeffers? To “feel the fear, and do it anyway”. What do I have to lose?

a Spring bouquet to cheer me up.

a Spring bouquet to cheer me up.

P.S. If you have an idea about the garden or the house, I’d love to hear it. Think outside the square!





11 thoughts on “Blocked

  1. I feel for you Kathryn. I find I always put other peoples’ needs before my own. So when it comes to securing time for me, I sometimes have to put my foot down. As a society we always plan things but, put them off until tomorrow. Maybe set a goal of one thing for the week. Remember guests are not live in your home. Go and sit in the rooms that you have to choose from. See if you like the feel. It does get overwhelming when you’ve moved and trying to organise where everything goes. So deep breaths, and one step at a time.

  2. I can sympathise with the situation you are in, it’s all to easy to get swamped with everything that needs to be done, just take a deep breath and focus one one tiny project see it through to the end then reward yourself with tea & cake …. that’s how I’m going to tackle the crafting den chaos LOL

    • My reply hasn’t appeared with yours- see the cake comment below; On re-reading, I identify with the craft den chaos- I have the things my grandmother made, then my mother…how do you throw those away? I have all the cards, letters etc from my life; my workshop notes; far too many photos…Someone suggested photographing sentimental items that aren’t useful. I haven’t done it, but I like the idea. I would have a visual reminder of my grandmother’s crochet. I don’t need the actual item. I mustn’t give up- keep working at it! I’ll watch out for your progress reports.

  3. And I thought I was the only one who feels like this!!! 😉 Yes, I know this feeling well. I’ve been trying to get a little more organised recently, but it doesn’t feel very organised at all – yet. At some point this year my Landlord wants to fit a new bathroom and kitchen for me, which is very nice, or at least I’m hoping it will be when it’s done. But the thought of chaotic living for a few days each time one of those job is in mid flow is just stressing me out! 😦 So I thought the least I could do is remove some of the chaos I’ve already got, sorting out stuff I don’t need and cleaning hard to reach dusty areas. My wardrobe is so heavy in my bedroom I have to wait for a relative or friend to come round to help me move it. It’s even got smooth sliders underneath the feet, and it’s still too heavy for me alone to move. I prefer furniture on wheels, so much easier! 😀

    I saw a You Tube video the other day, (Organised Clutterbug) she was talking about aiming at doing small jobs (daily) that only take a minute, and to keep telling yourself not avoid these jobs – they only take a minute. Mm… well I tried that, and either she can move a lot faster than I do, or I’m incredibly s-l-o-w! I set a timer for one minute and started to do my daily dust of my computer and screen (an easy job) the alarm went off before I’d barely finished the screen – I was shocked!! But at least I now know it takes me at least 3 minutes just to dust the entire computer/screen. And I guess if you add all the jobs up in a day, they amount to quite a lot minutes/hours. I love her optimistic attitude though and she has some good ideas, but the one minute jobs are probably not going to happen for me. If you want to find her channel to see if she has any ideas that may help, just put ‘Organised Clutterbug’ into a You Tube search, you should find her. 🙂

    • I’ll look for Clutterbug. I’ve decided I’m a snail. Even if I work all day I seem to accomplish a very small amount. An added challenge here in this house, is that there is so much, it’s overwhelming!!! With nowhere much to sort- no garage, no place for garden things…I bought it because it’s spacious…yes, but it needs to be usable space!! Maybe you and I could set goals together and check how we’re doing. Be each other’s coach? I remember an anecdote about the writer’s mother, who had a load of soil delivered. When asked how she would get it moved, her reply was that she would move it “a bucket at a time.” I’ve adopted that principle, but… Isn’t chaos stressful? Never give up, Suzy, we’ll get there!

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