The Hamster Wheel In My Head

Life is not a big party this trip. It’s certainly not a holiday and in fact has produced more stress than I could have imagined. For several weeks before I flew to Atlanta, I was struggling. I knew that this would be a busy trip with a great deal of things that needed to be crossed off the big list in my head, I knew there would be work involved.

I felt anxious and slightly blue not wanting to leave John even though I was really happy knowing I would see my daughter and my family and friends. I think now that my uneasiness about my visit to America was my intuitive sense trying to prepare me for some of what is happening now.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it appears as though I may be here for some time. There are things happening that I have little control over which is extremely difficult for me. No one is ill, and I have been blessed with strong support from friends and family, but I am struggling to let go of fear and worry. My husband John feels so far away right now and even though he is supportive from a distance, I miss him even more since I have no clear idea when I will be able to see him or go home again.

As you may well imagine, my position on the hamster wheel in my head is not especially conducive to my writing and posting.

I wish I could say more than I am almost sick with worry, but I can’t for now. I am trying to find something positive in these events, but even with my normal glass half-full nature, it is difficult to do. The only thing I can say is that when I come out on the other side, I will certainly have a new set of experiences to influence my writing.

It feels dark and scary not knowing when I will be done with all of this, I normally handle crisis well when there is something I can do to control the outcome. Much of this is beyond my control so I am trying to ” Stay Calm and Carry On” as they say in my adopted country.

Tips on letting go would be useful at this point as it feels like everything I every knew about adversity and loss seems to have left me. I thought I was well-practiced in handling tough challenges, but perhaps I’ve grown soft in Cornwall living a low stress life with John.

Let me say again, everyone is healthy and our homes are intact unlike the sad situations of many in the American south who were affected by the tornadoes, and I tell myself this over and over hoping to ease the feeling of anxiety that is with me all the time now.

I hope you’ll be patient with my posting. It’s likely to be sporadic and I have no idea what might show up here as things unfold. Send me some peace if you’ve got any extra and please, share with me how you deal with tough times.

32 thoughts on “The Hamster Wheel In My Head

  1. Sending peaceful thoughts your way. I feel for you and understand completely. One thing I do to help me get through the stressful times is remind myself that “this too shall pass” and “nothing lasts forever.” By this I mean that I have survived stressful things in the past, and grown from them. I will survive stressful things in the future, and grow even more. Be kind to yourself and breath deeply.

  2. Elizabeth, I am so sorry to hear that you are facing difficult challenges right now. I wish I had some useful tips to offer, but I don’t. I have been very lucky in that I have not had to deal with too much adversity yet, but as I get older I do see my luck running out – storm clouds are gathering in the distance, and I know my turn is coming.
    I know that you are strong, resourceful, courageous, and creative, and through your blog alone you have a network of people all over the world who care about you and admire you and wish you well.
    You are in my thoughts, and I send you peace.
    Take care!

  3. My heart goes out to you! I’m always reminded by my teacher that I am larger than the events at hand..I’m a spiritual being who lives in the arms of God’s love… The only thing I can share is to focus on love because fear runs in the face of love…I will keep you in my thoughts… Hug! xox

  4. Take 5 minutes out when you can to imagine John and ‘home’ and reconnect to your happy place. Hope all sorts itself out for you Elizabeth, sending love xxxxxx

  5. I’ll be thinking of you and sending peace-of-mind thoughts your way. My go-to reaction to anything “big”: I give myself permission to react in any way that helps me manage and process enough so that I can do what needs to be done. There is no wrong way you can choose in how to deal with a heavy load as long as it helps you stay afloat. And one foot in front of the other, at my own managable pace, until I’m back up to speed. Be well!

  6. Elizabeth, whatever it is, I hope you will get through it quickly and with God’s grace. I especially feel for you because John can’t be there with you right now, I know what a comfort he is to you. Know that our thoughts are with you. And if you need a break, you have a guest room here in Colorado.

  7. Hello Elizabeth! My prayer goes out to you. So stuck in what was going to be a clean-up and out. I have so enjoyed your photography (and John’s) and the peace and beauty you feel in UK, of course, shows in your craft. It’s great that you realize that the struggle gives you more depth as a woman and a writer. LIke so many things in my life, in hindsight, reveal that the difficulties have led me to a better life. The trick is to realize that in the moment. Make a positive mantra to flood with +++++

  8. Hello Elizabeth! When I feel that I “don’t have enough time” it flies…when I’m waiting, it stretches. Change how you frame up this moment/time. That is what works for me….change my state of mind…it’s the only thing I control!

  9. Get as much sleep as you can, eat well and take lots of vitamins. If you can’t fix it or them, don’t try, it will only frustrate you to no end and make things worse. When it gets to be too much, take a step back and spend some time with yourself. If you are in between two warring factions and can’t choose, don’t. Let them know you are there for each of them but also let them know you refuse to take sides and quit pushing, already! Here’s hoping everything is resolved soon, for everyone’s sake.

  10. Thank you for trusting us with the concern and prayer. I know I will be here ready to read whatever you choose to share, hoping all things work out for good, and praying for peace.

  11. If you cant be in you most favorite and peaceful place, then take your self off to a quiet corner, sit and be comfortable, slump your shoulders and then the rest of your body, now reach down to your happy peaceful and most favorite place and put yourself into the picture.
    now you are in control again, take your time and dont come out until your ready both mentally and physically, this is also a great thing to do when you need to escape. I hope this helps, remember slow your breathing and let your mind go where it needs to. My wife and I will send calming and loving thoughts your way too.
    Tony Sanders

  12. when I am in a similar place and everything feels like it is falling apart in big or small ways I find comfort in TS Eliots Four Quartets especially this part:
    With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And at the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time
    Through the unknown, unremembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple-tree
    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
    Betweem two waves of the sea
    Quick now, here now, always

    A condidtion of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of things shall be well

    sending you love and light Meg

  13. I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through some rough times right now. I know that you are a very strong woman but even strong woman need support and love and can ask for help in times of trouble. Please if there is anything at all that I can do to help I hope you will not hesitate to ask me. You know how to reach me. : )
    whatever it is i pray that you find peace and resolution soon.

  14. Allow yourself to be where you need to be for now, forget the agenda and the plan, they will all fall into place as time and energy allow. Sending you strength and peace to handle life’s speed bump and hopeful you are stronger in faith and character on the flip side of it. We will all be waiting with open arms when the storm passes. xoxoxo

  15. :hugs:
    I hope that whatever it is will pass quickly and allow you to be in the arms of your sweet husband again soon.
    For me, rough times are best dealt with by making sure that I eat right, drink plenty of water, get frequent exercise, and write in a journal. Plus, I think about all the people who are thinking of us and praying for us, and it brings great comfort.

  16. I’m so sorry you’re having a tough go. Remember it will not always be this way. There is hope.

    One thing that has really helped me in my anxiety is the site Meditation Oasis. There are free downloadable meditation podcasts of about 20 mins each. I download them to my ipod, and then make sure to take time to actually do one. They have a great meditation on letting go, one on trust, and deep rest. The site is at:

    I hope it is helpful to you, and that whatever you are facing soon settles down. Thinking of you Elizabeth, Jeanne

  17. Dear Elizabeth,when I have to face tough times I think of William Ernest Henley`s poem.This time it is for you:


    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

  18. Sorry things are not as settled and happy as a visit home should be dear. Will keep you in my thoughts as I cross the pond tomorrow evening. Connecting thru Atlanta as we are heading to Manchester this trip – will wave as I fly over and send down loving thoughts!

    Hope everything is resolved soon and that you can have some enjoyable time before going back to John and lovely Cornwall. Still sad we will not see each other – next time hopefully.

    Hugs – Mary

  19. Very sorry to hear that things are worrying for you. Any tips from me tend from the very pragmatic to the esoteric and are in fact a bit rich given the frazzled state i get into at times when I am worried. However I offer them to one very determined person – you!
    1. all the hygiene factor stuff around eating resting and in your case exercise to settle your mind and give your body its rein.
    2. Take times in chunks – an hour at a time – and figure out – waht can you control and do something about it – and try your damnedest to let go of what you can not.

    This too – as will pass. Hugs from a dying computer somewhere in Oregon, Mxx

  20. It will pass. You know that, it’s just hard to wait for it to pass. Breathe. Spend time in green spaces. Write.

    Sending a hug.

  21. Thinking of you and sending Inner peace your way. When things get overwhelming, I try to shake off the anxiousness with working out or getting out in nature. It’s amazing what a little salt air can do! Hugs to you!

  22. I heard today that everyone has storms but the eagle soars above them, faith and hope and love is what keeps the eagle up. Praying for you to find rest and peace above the storms.

  23. I ask for guidance that whatever the problem is be resolved for the highest good of all. Then do my best to let go and let God. I’m sorry you’so troubled, my friend. God bless.

  24. Dear Elizabeth, I’m so sorry to read you are struggling and far away from John as well. I’ve had my share of personal struggles and the only way I’ve gotten through them intact is faith that God has a plan for me. When I’m in a pit, I talk to God, constantly and seek reassurance and I always find it in unexpected places. I also have a book of meditations from the Psalms I find comforting. I write everything down in my journal and then reread it each day to see that I really am okay and making progress and then I let my faith guide me. I also believe we are sent challenges to help us grow and to help us move beyond a certain point. In these personal struggles, we find out how strong we truly are and we learn to appreciate so much more. I don’t know if that helped at all but my heart goes out to you. If you need to talk, I’m here by email. My prayers are with you and yours.

  25. Thinking of you, Elizabeth. The one thing that gets me through difficult times is knowing that I am strong enough to see them through and that — thankfully — they always end.


  26. Just stopping by to say that I am thinking of you and I’m hoping you are finding some peace and resolution.
    Happy Mother’s Day – hope you are with your daughter today.

  27. Elizabeth, just caught up on your news, so sorry to hear that you are in a ‘dark’ place at the moment. You’ve had a lot of good suggestions, I can’t think of anything else but I know you will get through this, hopefully it won’t be too long.
    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help for either you or John. Will be rooting for you.


  28. So sorry to hear about your struggles..whatever they may be. For me – the best antidote to the worst of days – is always time on my mat. Even if I don’t have it in me to physically practice..the peace I feel at the sound of my breath – always tames that monkey mind and the never ending run on the hampster wheel.
    Sending good wishes your way…

  29. I’ve been away but sorry to hear that you are in a stressful struggle right now. Wish I knew some way to ease the anxiety it’s causing you. Just to say thinking of you and I know you have the resources and support network you need to see you through.

  30. Oh, Elizabeth I’ve just seen this and am sorry you’re in that place of fear and worry. What has helped me is to reduce down to ‘one breath at a time’ — remember to breathe, and try to eat healthy but if you can’t eat, try to drink some water regularly.

    One breath at a time … cheering you on.

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