Managing overwhelm

What really gets me down are the hundred-and-one ten minute chores that pile up while I'm looking somewhere else. Not the big projects, the new bed to be dug or the tree to be pruned, but the packet of poppies that really needs to be planted this week, the bulbs I bought last week that I really should pot up, the square foot of quack grass that has to be dug out before it spreads.


How do we deal with this kind of "pest"? It's really tempting to just go read a book and forget about them until tomorrow, but.... that doesn't really solve the problem, does it? Some days I have energy to take them on, but some days I just need to do one, congratulate myself for the accomplishment, play a game of solitaire and then pick another.


The key is getting started by doing something small. Even ten minutes outside can generate some enthusiasm. So breaking up projects into small bites, maybe five minutes, maybe fifteen. Maybe even just one minute to get some pots out of the basement.


First priority, of course, is caring for plants, especially for those that need water right now. Planting the ones that have been waiting to get in the ground is next. But as much as possible do what you feel like at the moment.


Paying attention to what I feel like doing pays off in extra energy. Giving myself permission to relax when I've accomplished something feels satisfying, pushing on to the next chore leaves me feeling overwhelmed.


Easy does it - a good motto for this kind of "pest control."