Too Much Busyness?

I often think about how, over the past few years, I’ve created this “busy” life and today I’m mulling it over—out loud, right here.

The affliction of “busyness” has been documented and is quite real.

According to doctors at CPS Research, a Glasgow-based clinical trials company, the syndrome is caused by hectic lives bombarded with information overload from mobile phones, BlackBerrys, TV, radio and the internet. In this increasingly frenetic world, the more things we do and see, the more likely we are to forget things.

I know people are busy. They have jobs. Children to raise. Mortgages to pay. As I get older I wonder how people manage it all.

But today I’m talking about ME. I am well past those hurdles. Theoretically I could sit on my butt eating chips and watching soap operas from morning ’til night. Now of course I don’t want to do that—I’m just sayin’.

So what do I want? Well, I’d like to walk around my garden and not think about how I’m going to photograph a flower.

I’d like to watch a sunrise/sunset without my camera in hand (but then how would I have taken this gorgeous moon photo??) I’m hopelessly addicted …

I’d like to snip some herbs to add to a delicious pasta sauce for supper and not think about posting the recipe.

I’d like to not have to come up with tutorial ideas all the time.

That pretty much sums it up.

busyness syndrome

The view from our condo …

I’ve created so many things that I feel I have to do. Here’s a quick overview (in no particular order):

blog, write posts, take photos, edit photos, administration tasks, read and comment on other blogs, participate in memes, host a meme, comment in several forums, check email, write tutorials on a strict deadline, take ten different classes at once, organize passwords and login pages in Outlook and One Note, computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod, organize apps, constantly upgrade and update programs, talk with tech support because Photoshop CC is giving me grief, update to Photoshop 2014—no wait! I think I’m going to switch to a Mac before I do anything … I wonder what kind of Mac I should get … why aren’t my photos syncing, what did you just say?

I’ve created a job for myself and it’s a job I love doing. But it’s always in my head. As a result I sometimes feel overwhelmed and discombobulated. I forget things and I find I cannot multi-task like I used to. Classic busyness syndrome symptoms.

The bottom line is that I can’t help myself. I love it all!

I just hope I don’t wake up some day and regret all the time I spent on this stuff. Perhaps I will, but then again, perhaps I won’t. Maybe I’m writing my story for others to read when I’m gone. I don’t know … is it important?

I lead an interesting life with my husband, children, and grandchildren. I spend as much time as I can with them and when I’m with them, I’m with them. I hardly take any photos any more when we’re together because it just feels so intrusive.

I garden, read, walk, and visit friends. My house is clean and organized and there’s always good food in the house. And lastly, hubby and I travel quite a bit and plan to travel more when he retires. All these things tell me that I’m not missing out (am I?) what do you think?

I’m off to find something to photograph for tomorrows post …

Gather California: Why I Was Crying in the Shower

I’m home now, and coming down from a three-day adrenaline rush and I need to write about what happened at Gather California before I lose my nerve.

I’ll caution you right now, if you’re not into reading mushy posts you might want to move on … but I’m not going to apologize.

So here it is; an attempt to describe a bit about my personal experience at Gather California.

First there was a feeling of disbelief of actually meeting people that I’ve followed and admired for years. People that have inspired me with their stunning photography, heartfelt words, and amazing art.

Walking up to the front door of the house that first night and being greeted with screams and laughter, and being given the biggest bear hug from Kim (uh oh, I’m tearing up right now as I type) was, in a word, surreal. I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone reading this post how amazing it was to meet her, and what a blessing it is to know her … and to learn from her…

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

Albert Einstein

rough linen and sunflower, keeping with the times, gather california, why I was crying in the shower

rough linen and sunflower_1

rough linen and sunflower, keeping with the times, gather california, why I was crying in the shower

And then, wonder of wonders, there was the beautiful, talented, and amazing Xanthe Berkeley freshly arrived from across the ocean walking up to me. Another hug, and sincere words of welcome. It was a lot to take in and quite honestly it was a bit of a blur after that.

I remember being introduced at one point to two more people that made this retreat possible; the beautiful Myriam Joseph whose very presence is mesmerizing and her way with poetry, spellbinding. The oh-so-young, and beautiful Alisha Herrick was a new face to me, but before the retreat was over, she had touched me deeply and I’ll never forget how she made me feel.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

The days were packed full as people shared their unique skills, talents and points of view. The energy in that house was insane. I don’t think I got more than 3 or 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night because my mind wouldn’t stop, and yet, rather than being tired and drained as I so often am, I felt energized and full. I allowed myself to do, be, and feel without fear. I didn’t want to miss a thing, so I soaked it all up and stored it inside, knowing that I could sleep and decompress when I got home.

So that’s why this morning I found myself crying in the shower. I had to let the wave of emotions flow through and out of me in order to start to process them. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it all, but I have this feeling that I’ve somehow been changed. I feel like I was seen, and heard and validated, and let me tell you that is powerful.

So thank you Kim, Xanthe, Myriam, Alisha, Laura, Lynne, Suzee, Danielle, Carolyn, Bev, Marilyn, Kristina, and Pam. It was so thrilling to meet you all, and such an honour to share those three sacred days with you. It was an experience of a lifetime.

rough linen and sunflower, keeping with the times, gather california, why I was crying in the shower

If you get, give. If you learn, teach.

Maya Angelou



Images edited with the presets kk_within, and kk_dark day from the Start to Finish class at