How it took me three days to force myself to make the zucchini bread and four days to finish this blog post–even though it was so easy to do once I stopped thinking about it.
(Long title for a post, huh? But it sort of says it all…)
Ever have those days, months or years? You know, when you have to talk yourself down from the ledge? How you have to coax yourself into leaving the house or trick yourself into using that grated zucchini you took out of the freezer but then the thought of mixing up the ingredients to make a zucchini loaf makes your heart beat uncontrollably?
Well, that’s the kind of week I’ve had. Right now, the zucchini bread smells wonderful—18 minutes left on the timer. The dishes are clean, and there’s a pot of green tea steeping. This is hardly the household or the feeling I left with this morning as I panicked about what I was going to teach. And then the panic tripled when I saw the bag of defrosted zucchini and wondered how I was going to use it up.
Why the heck get so worked up, Rach?
I guess I was on idea overwhelm because I’ve been writing a short story every day for the past month (for NaNoWriMo), teaching three classes and figuring out where I want my “potting” to go. Plus last week, I was supposed to make a zucchini loaf for PD day, but couldn’t picture waiting up until 11 for it to finish baking. PD days—or any day I have to sit on my bum all day—overwhelm me (even if nothing else is going on in my world).
I was fine. I’m fine. I’m usually fine. But, once in a while, I forget that I am fine. I have all of these ideas popping out of nowhere and I feel like I need to get it all done NOW!
Oh, for the love of lists!
Anyone who knows me realized all of this is silly. I am a woman with a plan—in fact, I tend to over-plan. My kitchen is cluttered with lists of what I need to accomplish. Generally speaking, I am efficient and I am organized. But when it falls apart, it really falls apart. When I get overwhelmed, I’m really overwhelmed.
Does this have anything to do with writing?
(or substitute your own creative pursuit(s))
Yep. It sure does. It always does 😉
So, I did some research on the creative mind overwhelmed and instantly felt better. She calls the phenomenon “idea overwhelm.” Shih’s article suggested keeping a list of ideas—hey, why not? I’m an expert at list-making, right?
When so many ideas and must-dos flood your brain but you’ve got X amount of time, you’ve got to pick and choose. The night of the unbaked zucchini bread my mind was choosing sleep over baked goods for PD-day. As soon as PD day finished, my “overwhelm” subsided and life returned to its usual chaotic pace without feeling unmanageable.
A little extra reading 🙂
And here’s an interesting article I came across—not really directly related, but sort of J It’s about how our brains create ideas.