February 08, 2018

All the News that's Fit to Print

Let me start by saying that life with a puppy is hilarious, frustrating, exhausting, adorable and exhausting. Wait, did I mention exhausting twice? Our life pretty much revolves around Clover right now and we were stunned to realize that potty training would be the easy part. Golden puppies are notoriously challenging. And notoriously worth it in the end. So we muster our  strength, walk her several times a day, play with her for endless hours, buy her endless amounts of hard chewing toys, say Clover DOWN a lot, give up on keeping her off the sectional, take her to training and practice at home, go to bed and begin fresh the next day. Just thought I'd lay that out there for any of you romanticizing puppy life...like we did. But then look at this sweetie! We are seeing very clear signs of progress and the future good doggy citizen she will be.

So while life revolves around the golden one, I am soldiering on here, trying to get life to resemble something like normal. Or more specifically like the normal I'm wanting it to resemble. Since being shoved into menopause, I find myself getting overwhelmed easier, among other charming things like clumsiness, loss of ability to use my brain, hot flashes and a little extra padding around the middle. Lately part of what's overwhelming me is just...excess. Too much clutter, too much social media, too many notifications, too many books waiting to be read, too many shows on the DVR, too many things on my calendar, too many things on my to do lists, TOO MANY TO DO LISTS! I feel like I'm suffocating under layers of excess.

I'm working to reel it all in- to make it manageable. Who wants their life to feel overwhelming? Personally when I'm overwhelmed I just shut down. I find myself unable to make the simplest of decisions. It's not a feeling I like.

I'm not one of those people that glorifies busy. I crave small, quiet, peaceful, still, organized, calm and creative. Those things can't exist for me where chaos and overwhelm are living.

Happily, even with all of the time invested in the puppy, I'm still finding time to knit a little here and there. Sometimes, who am I kidding, often, I long for the occasional long lazy day of tea drinking, netflix watching and knitting. I know those days are not lost to me forever. Some days it just feels like forever!

Until then, I've been making it a point to wake up an hour early each morning and cuddle up in bed with my knitting and my cat who isn't overly fond of coming downstairs with a crazed pup.

I've also been meditating (almost) daily after having it recommended to me 3 separate times in one week, including by 2 of my medical team. While I have long considered knitting to be my mediation, I found a great app called Insight Timer that is free and I would really recommend it to you.

While I'm enjoying some of the changes I've implemented this year, I'm in very real mourning for my Sacred Day and am trying to figure out how to carve some Sacred time out for myself. Like for everyone else, it can be a struggle to find time for everything. Even while being more intentional with my time, by the time I make my way into the studio I'm often too exhausted to do more than sit and knit a few rows of a simple project or do some reading. This too shall pass. I repeat these words to myself often.

 I have a bit of a plan I'm trying- to chose something to focus on each week both creatively and around the house to help combat the overwhelm. I'm also working on a bit of a daily schedule that will help me focus my time and energy more effectively. And while I have enjoyed beautiful snowy walks in the woods with Clover every day, I am more than a little excited about spring and the rebirth that accompanies it.


  1. I can relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by even the simplest of tasks. I suffer from anxiety and depression and have done for years. I set myself small simple tasks, just one at a time. I never write a 'to do' list as it all looks to much when written out. My husband often says he will do the things I can't, but I say 'No, I will do it'. If I let him do it, well meaning as he is, it's just another way of giving in. I find prayer is a great help and helps to lift the burden of my illness. We too have a doggie, but she is very quiet and mostly just likes a slow, easy walk and to sleep the day away. I also share your passion for knitting and find it very relaxing to mind and body x

  2. It's good to hear from you. Having a puppy is overwhelming to most people, but Clover is so cute and so worth it! It looks like you're working on some lovely projects! I wish I could knit. Or sew....but I can do neither. But I wouldn't have time with all the art and reading I do! ;P

    Have a beautiful weekend!

    Ricki Jill

  3. Its been almost a year since our yellow lab puppy joined us, and you are putting into words everything I was feeling. Yes, potty training was easy, it was everything else that was difficult and I wandered around in a fog for months. There's a reason puppies are so darn cute! ;-) The good news is, the fog lifted a couple months ago, and while he is still "puppy", he needs far less "hovering" and sleeps like a dream. I've told anyone that would listen that raising children seemed 100x easier! ha ha~ enjoy your beautiful Clover ~ she's so worth it.

  4. So happy to see a post from you. You always make me smile. I love your take on life. I too am overwhelmed lately. It's a struggle. You words provided much needed wisdom. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I love when your posts pop into my inbox. They are always meditative and lovely to read.

  6. A month after I retired (in 2013) our dog died and it was only 3 weeks until a Goldendoodle entered our lives. The Golden Retriever in her makes the breed sweet and adorably playful, but what a challenge to keep her entertained. She will be 5 in June, but I don't think the puppy in her will ever leave.

    I was consumed with always doing, but I have learned to embrace relaxing. Sitting, knitting, snuggling with your dog and netflixing (just made that word up) are a wonderful way to spend your time.

  7. We are kindred spirits - I, too, tend to shut down when I get overwhelmed. I can't function at all, it's a struggle. I have to do something to get myself back on track....usually if I clean my desk it helps....when it's all done I'll light a candle or burn some oil and I feel as if I can start fresh. There are too many commitments on my time, and not enough time for me to just 'be.' I try to carve out a little time in the morning as well, before my crazy day starts, that's MY time and mine alone. It doesn't always work....this morning the dogs were squeaking to get out so I had to hop out of bed and tend to them asap. I adore them but they sure are a commitment, aren't they? Hope you find your peace, Jen. My daughter recommended that same app to me - I must give it a try. I've never been able to meditate, my mind spins off in a million directions. As for the rest of menopause? Yup it's fun. Not sleeping, hot/cold/hot/cold, thicker tummy....I'm back on weight watchers again, that's what keeps me level in the weight department. If I gain five lbs, I go back to tracking and lose it again. Have a peaceful weekend!

  8. I'm an animal lover, but I'm a cat person. Not that I don't like dogs - I just don't want one for myself/our house. I always knew from growing up with them and seeing now what my friends and relatives go through with their dogs, that I don't want one. They're like having a toddler all over again! I don't want to deal with the discipline, the potty accidents, the frequent walk, especially in bad weather, the vet visits, the responsibility. How to ever go on a day trip, a weekend trip, or a vacation? Thus all said, I know that dogs also offer unconditional love and can bring so much happiness to a household. Clover is beautiful. I know that this soon (puppy stage!) shall pass. Try to hang in there.

    In the meantime, what you said about menopause and being overwhelmed by all the excess is exactly what I feel SO much of the time! I did not know that was attributed to menopause. I just thought it was me. And then I get very frustrated and filled with anxiety...and now my new anxiety symptom is terrible heartburn, which I've never had before. In fact, I have it again right now because it's been a frustrating day. So...thank you for sharing the name of that meditation app. I'm going to put it on my phone right now. xoxo

  9. Puppies are so adorable - but so much work! CLover is a cutie! Also feel overwhelmed with too much stuff. When I try to declutter, I get even more overwhelmed, but am trying to do an hour a day when I can. Take care of yourself sweetie! Love to see your posts.

  10. We are thinking about getting a puppy. But then I read this, lol. Or our son visits for the weekend with his grown dog and even if it raining or freezing cold the dog needs to be walked. I am little too selfish right now I think.

  11. I am like you, Jen. I function best in a calm, serene, organized environment and that is not an easy thing to find in a busy life. I hope you can find some Sacred Time...and am sorry you lost your Sacred Day.

    Good luck with the pupster- Goldens are an extra dollop of challenging. lol xo Diana

  12. Jen, our fellow friend Melanie suggested I pay you a visit. We have two new Irish Doodles and they are a joy and a lot of work. I do love rubbing their little bellies and getting puppy kisses, although you have to be fast before they give you a little nip. Golden's are worth it, our 13 year old Max died last September, he was the best dog and will be missed forever. Puppy loves to help ease that ache of losing him. Enjoy Clover, she is a beauty.

  13. I forgot to add that having survived cancer at age 35 I went into early menopause and it was horrific. I am on hormones because I simply could not function anymore. I was a crying, bloated, spaced out mess. My response to anything was over the top. I wish you luck.

  14. I like your plan to combat the overwhelm... Lovely woolly makes!


Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.