Category Archives: Anxiety

Woe is Me…

Source: [sic]

Hello, and welcome to my pity party!

Source: [sic]

{It’s a roaring shindig, as you can tell.}

My hubby left me.
I should clarify…
He didn’t leave me leave me. He just left… for four days.

Four days! And he took Jordan with him. Jordan, my best helper. My right hand guy. They’re going hiking, of all things. Hiking. To the top of Kings Peak, which happens to be the tallest mountain in Utah.

Gary’s going to die.
{No offense, sweetie!}

I’m not too worried about Jordan. Jordan is 12, has gone on a few small hikes to prepare, and has youth and eagerness to make up for any deficits in actual hiking ability.

Gary has an artificial hip.
For real.

So while they’ll be flinging themselves off mountains, I’ll be home with the girls, Rebecca, Nicole, and Abigail. All day. Every day. No break. Abigail doesn’t even nap anymore.

Yup. Break out the chocolate.
It’s pity party time.

Join my pity party. Care to whine? Comment below! 

a punch in the face

Yesterday we went to Seven Peaks and then to a Memorial Day picnic. By the time we got home, I was sore and exhausted and more or less collapsed into bed. I forgot to take my anxiety medication.

Oops.

See, this class of medication has a very short half-life. So by 8:30 in the morning, I’m extremely irritable. Answering a four year old’s incessant questions, followed by a two year old’s constant begging followed by whining, doesn’t help.

Kinda makes me want to punch people in the face, really.
Not my kids, of course.
That’s bad.
Just people… mankind.

Hmm, writing this post was supposed to feel theraputic.
Instead I just feel like a bad person.

I’m supposed to can strawberry jam today. With 4 square feet of counter space and 2 kids under feet, it should be fun.
Not dangerous at all.

I’m also out of Diet Coke. Maybe I’ll just take a nap instead.

 PS – any scriptures you particularly like to read when you are mad/irritable/cranky/tired/mean/grumpy/sad/crazy? Please advise.

Breathing Space Retreat, Pt. 2 (Or, where I conquer my fears and leave my house.)

Kathy, Me, Megan, and Little E.

Yesterday I told you the hilarious story of how I wanted to go to the Breathing Space Blogger Retreat, but I freaked out instead and stayed home crying on Friday. Actually, it wasn’t that hilarious. Just kinda… sad. You know, in a pathetic sort of way.

So, Saturday.
I woke up, got ready, asked Gary for a blessing and a push out the door. He gave me both. Then he walked me to the car. Made sure I got in the car. Made sure I left. On the way, I focused on not thinking about what I was doing. I listened to music and attempted to zone out.

Finally, I got there. Breathe… breathe…

I found my friend, the fabulous Kathy of Danish Mama. Truly, truly fabulous lady! She was in charge of PR and sponsors for the event, and did such an amazing job. I got there at the tail end of breakfast, sponsored by Chick-Fil-A.  Then we headed to our first class. I buddied up with a neighbor of mine, Megan. She’s a new blogger on the block, with a blog about feeding your family easily! Megan, Kathy, and I went to (my) first class about DoTerra essential oils with Heather Carson. I’ve blogged a few times about greener living, and it really is something I believe in. I’d love to experiment more with the oils, so it was fun learning new things.

We then had a lunch break. There was a bit of organized chaos as we swarmed SoDa Row. Luckily, there were fabulous volunteers (all wearing black and a super cute Flirty Apron to set them apart) ready to show us the way. I got lunch from Tio’s. We ate, chatted, and crossed our fingers through giveaways. (My finger crossing didn’t serve me well.)

Jenny K. Photography

(Jessica from Utah Deal Diva, Kathy from Danish Mama, and Summer from SummerScraps and I promise,  I was to the left of Summer!)

We then had the opportunity to go check out Oh Sweet Sadie! which is an annual craft market on SoDa Row. Too-die-for cute, I had to walk away with a couple of fun things for my kids, like these darling headbands.

Jenny K Photography

Then I went into Oopsie Daisy, which is the perfect store for anyone with young children. Loved, loved, loved their Pottery Barn-esque furniture displays, but even more I loved their book and toy selection! I picked out a few kids books for me the kids. There was another class, but I was having too much fun at Oopsie Daisy to tear myself away.

Next I headed to a photography class. Can I tell you how exciting it was to be offered a one hour class by Emilie, of the wonderful Photos by Emilie? I felt like I was being taught by a celebrity, seriously. The class was held in the most gorgeous model home in Daybreak, I can’t tell you how many ‘mental notes’ I made about my future dream house!

After, we had our rather fabulous Cinco de Mayo fiesta with a chance to network with the rather fabulous sponsors of Breathing Space. Rather fabulous, wouldn’t you say?

Jenny K. Photography

There you have it. Proof that I went! I’m in the middle there with Kathy of Danish Mama (left) and Megan of Eating Easily (right) with Little E. in her arms. You know what? Despite all my scaredy pants crying on the couch the day before, I really had the best time. It was chill and relaxed and truly a wonderful retreat!

Breathing Space Retreat, Pt. 1 {Or, where I stay home and cry.}

Jenny K. Photography

Awhile back, I posted about my social anxiety, and as I was headed to Breathing Space Blogger Retreat, tips on how to beat the “Conference Blues.” I provided tips I gathered on how to beat social anxiety when headed to events like these. Of course, I ignored all my own advice and forged on, slacker mom style.

Friday finally rolled around, and I was actually excited. Around noon, I commented to my friend how much better my anxiety had been since starting this blog. After all, if I’m going to be open about all my many many issues online, I can’t exactly be scared about people finding out about my issues. Right?

That was noon. At 1 p.m., I threw all that out the window and started freaking out. Little things were tripping me up. I wasn’t able to get my hair done in time, my suitcases were all behind a literal 5 foot pile of paper towels.
Don’t ask.

Suddenly, everything seemed impossible. I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to go. It was too hard, to scary. Staying home seemed like a good option. But I wanted to go. Cue the crying.
It was really lame.

While I was alternating between crying on the couch and crying in my bed (for hours, people! what was wrong with me??) I was missing out on fun things like this:

Jenny K Photography

these fabulous classes like making cupcakes with Megan Brown of the Sweet Tooth Fairy

Jenny K. Photography

and the Stepford Wives dinner

Jenny K Photography

and sleeping in fabulous Daybreak model homes like these!

Finally, around 7 p.m., I resolved to go. Mostly because my husband decided the best tactic to handle his basketcase wife would be to annoy me until I left the house out of spite. (He told me this after the fact.) (Unbeknownst to him, I was only planning on going after a trip to Target for some serious shopping therapy. And a cute overnight bag.)

I did my hair, donned my fabulous outfit, and looked at the directions. 38 minutes away? By the time I got there after Target, it would be pushing 9 p.m. Was there any point?!

After another round of crying, I decided staying home was the best option after all, though I was afraid that I was just delaying another breakdown. At one point, 4 year old Nicole asked me why I was feeling shy. I told her I didn’t know. She asked me earnestly, “Is it because you are afraid to show them your fabulous ways?”
Yes, Nicole. I was afraid to show them my fabulous ways!

I will hold you in suspense about whether I stayed home and cried (again) or actually ventured out of my house.

Make me feel better. Have you ever skipped out of something you were excited about due to last minute anxiety?

{Anxiety} How to Beat the Blog Conference Blues

Beat the Blog Conference Blues

As a child, I was blessed with an ability to never feel insecure in any situation. This caused my mother endless amounts of grief as I bounced around stores, loudly singing, loudly talking, and loudly asking her to buy me things. The teenage me gave her the same amount of grief, but with an awareness after social situations that I probably looked like a complete idiot during them.

As an adult, I have a keen awareness before social situations of what an idiot I will potentially make myself out to be. Not very long ago, this was such a crippling can’t-breathe-get-me-outta-here awareness that I tried not to venture into social situations unless I had no other option. I’m slowly working (and forcing) myself out of my self induced shell.

As a blogger, I often see events going on that I would so love to attend, but the anxiety is too overwhelming to consider. As I come out of my shell, such events seem slightly less terrifying. One such event is the Breathing Space Retreat in Daybreak, Utah.

This beautiful retreat has a few things that appealed to me: first, affordability, at only $75 for a weekend ticket! Second, location, as it’s within Salt Lake valley. Third, it offers fun classes like beginning knitting and photography!

Lastly, it offers the taste of a blog conference, without the sheer overwhelming numbers of a big-time blog conference: it’s excluded to 75 people! The size of the conference is perfect for me. It will get me out of my comfort zone (75 people! wow, that is a lot of people I don’t know!), without plunking me down in the middle of 500+ attendees. I can do 75 people. Right? Right??

As I work my way out of my “shell,” I’m starting to realize… I’m not the only one  ready to pee their pants in a social situation. I’ve pulled together some tips from other bloggers ready to hit their anxiety head on at a conference.

1. Be Recognizeable! Kristi, from The Daily Dribbles, posted a real-life picture of herself, admitting,

The thing is, I’m naturally a shy person. If you know me in real life, you’re probably laughing at that statement. Once you get to know me, I’m not shy at all. In fact, I’m quite outgoing. But if you don’t know me, and I don’t know you, and there are lots of people involved (like at a blog conference), I feel overwhelmed and oftentimes, just go and sit by myself and wait for someone else to come up to me. That is not me being a bitch. That is me retreating and hoping that someone will take pity on me and start a conversation with me.

2. Don’t Compare. One cool thing about the Breathing Space Retreat is that while it’s for “bloggers,” blogger is pretty loosely defined by anyone who happens to have a blog. If you’re coming, and your blog has a follower, singular, (hi, Mom!), enjoy what you’re learning from more established bloggers. Dianne, of Will Write for Food, offers this advice:

Someone is always going to have a better book deal, more readers, more speaking opportunities, more ad revenue, nicer clothes, more prestigious freelancing gigs, better writing skills, and more hangers-on. I’ll never win, playing that game.

3. Shut Up, Listen Up – Awkward with conversation? Then leave the conversation to others. Debrorah, from American Christian Fiction Writers, offers this valuable insight:

Listen five times more than you talk, and when you do talk, make at least 50% of your words QUESTIONS to others about themselves, instead of talking about yourself. I know when I’m nervous I have a tendency to talk WAY too much. I’m learning that if I make a conscious effort to shut my mouth and just LISTEN, I get far more out of any encounter or meeting.

4. Make New Friends… First – If at all possible, attend the Twitter chats, Facebook convo, and real-life meet ups before the event. Suddenly the strangers that you’re about to spend an entire weekend with won’t seem to strange! A tip from socialanxietydisorder.about.com:

If you will be attending an event where you do not know anyone, make a point of trying to get to know at least one other fellow attendee prior to going. Although it may be awkward to try and get to know someone in advance, you will be glad to see a friendly face when you arrive. Make plans to meet up for coffee or a meal during the event and you will feel less like an outsider amongst an unfriendly crowd.

Whether you suffer from blog conference anxiety or not, I hope you’ll venture out of your comfort zone to join me at the Breathing Space Retreat! If nothing else, you know you’re not the only one there who is taking deep breaths, trying not to be horribly awkward, and making a concentrated effort not to pee their pants and run.

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