Monkey on my back

What Everyone Ought To Know About Coping With Life

I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment ~ I’ve taken on more than I can handle.

Here’s the ridiculous to do list I’m juggling:

– Polish my 68,000 word manuscript and write query letters plus a synopsis for it;

– Continue my travel memoir about Costa Rica;

– Update my blog three times a week with inspiring articles and market it;

– Write travel articles for print media;

– Write web copy for a new client;

– Launch our new web design business in Australia.

Things not on the to do list that I do anyway include caring for a family of five and all the shopping, laundering, cooking and chauffeuring of children that entails. I also volunteer at my kid’s school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays to help with reading and spelling, and on Wednesdays I simply have to go surfing with my new surf buddies. I get up at 6am or earlier every day so I can fit in my exercise because, if I didn’t, I’d go completely nuts and my bum would be roughly the same size and shape as the rear end of a rhinoceros.

Did I mention that I am also battling suspected (by me) attention deficit disorder, bi-polar disorder and addiction? The addiction ranges from various apparently harmless things, like chocolate and checking my blog statistics 200 times a day to other stuff that I’m not ready to share with you yet. But no, it’s not that!

As you can see, something’s got to give and I’m hoping it won’t be my sanity.

Here’s My Plan

  • I’m cutting down on updating this blog from three times a week to twice a week. You can still look forward to reading Get In the Hot Spot on Mondays and Fridays. I want to thank all my loyal readers for supporting me so far and promise you that I’ll be doing my utmost to make sure that, although the quantity of articles will go down, the quality will improve.
  • I’m only getting on my computer after the kids are in bed to work on my manuscript or write.
  • I’m strictly limiting my comments on other blogs to a select few.
  • I’m taking the month off from marketing my blog.

So What Have I Learned From This?

  1. That superwoman is a fictitious character and there’s only so much one normal woman can do.
  2. That it’s important to pace yourself.
  3. That it’s good to challenge yourself, but also need to know your limits.
  4. That maybe I can’t inspire other people to get off their bums and do great things with their lives right now, because I’m too busy working on my own life.
  5. That it’s good to share. I feel so much better already just for having written this and I’m glad you know that I’m a real person with real issues, not just a writing machine.

Can You Solve A Mystery?

According to my stats there are many more people visiting this site than there are commenting and I’m dying to know:

  • Who they all are?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Why they read this blog?

Are you a lurker? If so, I’m asking you all to stop lurking just this once and take one minute answer these three questions and help solve the mystery. I’d love it if you do.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Maisy, the heavenly howler monkey in Panama, who made my day by climbing on my back.

Please add your comments below and don’t forget to get free updates by email now or with the RSS Feed, if you haven’t already. That way, you won’t miss out!

Please Support Me: Tell People About This Website

If you like this article, please Tweet it or email a friend with the link. My clever computer boffin has added a little tool to make it easier for you to email it to friends, or add it to your favorite social media website. I hear that if you Digg it, or bookmark it on Delicious or Stumbleupon, that will get more readers here. Many thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

Other Articles

>> 10 Things To Be Grateful For and Why You Should Be
>> 1o Ways To Get The Life You Want
>> 3 Keys To Living Our Dream
>> Changing Crappiness Into Happiness
>> Follow Your Dream, You Only Live Once

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaz September 7, 2009 at 1:40 pm

haha…yes once again you’ve reminded me that I’m quite normal!
probably shouldn’t post comments as I’m probably just encouraging you to check your blog stats more! haha.
no. i will still post comments.
x

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Annabel Candy September 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Jaz – Right, only checking comment, not the lurkers:) Thanks for grabbing my attention and keeping me away from what I should be doing.

Jacks – Haha! Is there a 12 step program for this or do I just need to unplug?

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Jackson Beale September 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

No time to comment, I have to check my stats also. Another person may have looked since I checked 2 minutes ago.

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Desertgirl September 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Computers and the internet can be addictive. I try to follow the strict rule of no turning on the computer until AFTER I’ve completed the day’s chores. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t. When my kids were younger I tried to restrict my internet time to school hours or after their bed time.

It is important to not exceed your own energy resources. Cutting back on obligations (the imposed and the self-imposed) is difficult but often necessary. A matter of working out your priorities but allowing for the inclusion of at least one thing that gives you extreme satisfaction. And always remember that mothers cannot be all and do all at all times, we have to prioritise and we have to have some ‘me’ time (and some ‘us’ time and ‘family’ time too).

Good luck with it all!

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Annabel Candy September 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm

It’s unfortunate that I do my writing online, although the editing I should be doing right now is in print! Yes, I’m just working while they’re in school or bed, that’s why I can’t fit it all in. Not going to turn on more though! I love my blogging, walking and surfing so I guess the good part is that I am prioritizing what I like doing best:) I just need to be more disciplined. Thanks for all the fab advice, I hope I’m going to get better at all this.

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Robin Dickinson September 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Hi Annabel,

This is a great article for women AND men. I really connect with your honesty around getting and NOT getting things done. I’m getting tired of productivity superheroes who paint a mythical picture of GTD nirvana

BTW, I bet there are many people who check their blogs stats the way you describe.

My compassion goes especially to the working mums and dads with kids – especially those caring for disadvantaged and/or disabled loved ones. They are the saints and angels of our society.

Anytime I find myself “overloaded” with tasks and endless to do lists, I take a breath and a reality check – to be so lucky to be busy chasing my dreams while others are overwhelmed with hours, days, months, even years of selfless commitment and effort making a loved one’s life just a little easier.

Great to be here commenting on your excellent blog.

Best of life and full-force encouragement to you and all your readers,

Robin

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Annabel Candy September 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Robin – Thank you. You’re right, of course anyone could find themselves in the same position and I’m very lucky to be sitting here writing about how busy I am when I could be so up to my ears putting out fires that I don’t even have time to think straight, let alone write. I really want to find some of the people you’re talking about because their selflessness and commitment is inspiring. I’d like to find out how they do it but I think they’ll say because they have to. I am lucky to have choices, I hope I’ll choose my path forward wisely.

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carol September 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm

it’s quite hard to resist temptation if it’s there practically waving at you.. I know because like you, I’m a 100% net addict! in fact, I made some friends purely through social networking sites and blogs. funny huh? even socializing is possible through the internet.

as of now, i am trying to practice time and energy management. (when i get too excited over something, I tend to get drained fast) seriously, I hope it works. :)

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Annabel Candy September 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Carol – They say the first step to dealing with addiction is recognizing that you have a problem so at least we have that going for us! I think I’m using it as a tool for procrastination to avoid the manuscript polishing I should be doing. The good news is that I work best with a deadline and now there are only eight days left in September when the kids are in school so I have one.

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bipannie September 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm

great article. good connection vibes….. x

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Webwordslinger September 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Hi, Annabel,

It sounds like fun for a writer of your caliber.

Maybe the friend on your shoulder could pitch in?

Wonderful post, as usual.

Paul

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Annabel Candy September 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Well Paul, finally I think a lurker has stepped forward. Great, I never thought it would be you though, it all goes to show how little I know. Thank you, I have a whole team of monkeys “helping” me out here:)

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Teresa September 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I’m a sometimes lurker due to not thinking of anything witty or interesting to say….But I do read every blog :) and love everyone (except the cake one of course haha) Mmm is this witty enough to post ……?

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Annabel Candy September 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Teresa – You’re a true fan, not a lurker. Learning lots here ~ the lurkers won’t be lured out:)

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Webwordslinger September 7, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Indeed, long-time lurker, regular reader. Got you on my Facebook wall so I check in regularly.

Best,
Paul

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Annabel Candy September 8, 2009 at 7:56 am

Paul – That’s great, thanks for coming out of the closet.

Connie – I have to turn mine off or everyone crowds around begging to look for funny videos on YouTube because they can’t get it on their computer. Sad family!

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Connie September 8, 2009 at 1:10 am

I’ve been trying to keep the computer off when the kids are home from school. It’s very easy to get sucked into the machine. Good luck with your good ideas :-)

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Carolyn Cordon September 8, 2009 at 9:02 am

Annabel, lurkers lurk. It can be difficult when you read witty comments and can’t think of anything to write. It’s a kind of a competition.
I say good on you for realising you have a problem with overload, and you are taking steps to solve it. Just remember to always factor in ‘ME’ time. So many women put themselves last all of the time and their resentment builds up without them realising it.
ME time is very important to avoid crashing and burning. Keep on surfing Annabel. That time at one with the sea could save your sanity.

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Annabel Candy September 8, 2009 at 10:37 am

Thanks Carolyn, I will do. It’s a shame people think they have to make their comments witty or interesting but I suppose it does make for better reading. Personally I’d just like to know who they are out of sheer nosiness but lurking is fine really. Not everyone who reads newspapers or magazines feels the urge to write letters to them so why should blog readers if they don’t feel like it!

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Kim September 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Hola Annabel, looks like the lurkers are going to stay in hiding. Your life would make a great reality show- I am glad to see that you are slowing down. I just read a page from my favorite book for quick inspiration- Living the Simple Life -Elaine St. James. I just ask a question and open a random page. Today it suggested ways to free up time over the next 30 days- no long phone chats, stop all escape type reading, simplify family meals,lighten up on housekeeping,etc.
With all this extra time I should be able to catch the kids up on their school work and fit in some yoga at the new meditation hut at La Cusinga! I hope you find lots of free time too! I read every blog- You’re an inspiration!! Kim

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Annabel Candy September 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Kim – Sounds like a plan! I need to check that book out. Reality show sound fun but I couldn’t stand having a TV crew following me round. Three kids and a husband trailing me is enough:)

Nazim – Thank you, I will.

Jillian – That’s such an exciting dream. Whether it will get you a job or not you’ll probably be able to fulfill your dream of working with exotic animals by studying and volunteering. I think most people who break into a new career do it by working for free in the beginning, then when they’ve got the contacts and a good reputation they can start charging for it. That’s a great friend you’ve got here, I hope that between him or her and us you’ll find all the support and inspiration you need to get started. Remember, take small steps to begin with, so you don’t burn out. I’m rooting for you:)

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Sarah (aka kokusaimum) September 10, 2009 at 1:00 am

Hi Annabel!

I am a lurker but you kind of know who I am already because I linked to your site on my blog. To answer your questions: I live in Tokyo (well just outside) but I come from your neck of the woods – Eumundi! I read your website because it is encouraging and inspiring to read, especially because you are obviously really commited to working towards acheiving your dreams.

I also read it because it reinforces one of MY big dreams. We are planning to have kids in the near future and our goal is to move back to Australia before the eldest reaches school age. When we move back we want to find a home on a few acres somewhere near Pomona where our kids will be able to play outside and escape the huge pressure that often comes with going to school here. When I read about your kids participating in Nippers, or you guys going paddle surfing together I remember what I’m working towards! – Talk about motivating! Thanks for the inspiration.

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Annabel Candy September 10, 2009 at 8:55 am

Hi Sarah, that’s great to know that you are a regular reason and I understand why too. I really appreciate your feedback as all the “How to blog” articles are saying keep to a topic, give your readers useful information but you are telling me the opposite, that you like the personal side of it too.

I’m going to be writing up my story about climbing Mount Coorora in Pomona soon so that will interest you. It’s a great area which I need to explore more. One part of me definitely wants to run away to the hinterland and get chickens, but I also want the kids to be able to walk to school and hang out at the beach. You can’t have everything can you! This summer we’re planning to do more camping as I think that’s one thing that’s amazing round here and there are so many diverse places to visit all within striking distance of Noosa – Fraser Island, the hinterland, the outback.

Enjoy Japan while you are there – we’ll be looking forward to seeing you here in Australia.

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Hilary September 11, 2009 at 6:20 am

Hi Annabel – good luck .. go well .. I’ll check back to see how you’re doing ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

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Sarah (aka kokusaimum) September 12, 2009 at 9:52 am

Hi Annabel,

I look forward to the story on Mount Coorora – I haven’t been up there yet myself but I find it hard to believe that people run up and down it for the King of the Mountain race!! Crazy stuff!

I wanted to add that I really like to hear a bit about what’s going on in a blogger’s life. I think it makes them seem more real and it also makes it easier to relate to them. Most of my favourite bloggers share something of their lives – although I guess they usually tie it back in with some point they are trying to make. I’m thinking of very successful bloggers like J.D. of Get Rich Slowly, Trent of the Simple Dollar, and Leo of Zen Habits. So, as long as you don’t blog about what you had for morning tea everyday ,I think including some personal stuff is a good thing – and it definitely works for those guys.

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SergioM September 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Hi Annabel!
I’ve read from you that achieving goals is important but it isn’t more than having fun so take your time, rest a little and don’t worry because we’ll be here :-)

And answering your questions…as you already know my name’s Sergio…Hi! Nice to meet you! :-) and I’m from Barcelona (Spain).
I like the way you tell us your experiences, thoughts, etc. Maybe I could define it as plain (all good meanings, of course), easy to read, sincere,…

I notice that who writes is a good person so it push me to continue reading and I don’t have much time for that but you’re in my favourites.

Take care. A big hug!
Sergio

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Annabel Candy September 16, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Hola Sergio y mucho gusto,
Hi Sergio and nice to meet you,

Tengo un lecter en Espagne, que excellente! Muchas gracias para sus palabras lindas y para leer siempre mi blog.
Wow, I have a reader in Spain, that’s excellent news. Thank you for your kind words and for reading my blog.

Estoy muy feliz:)
I’m very glad you like it.

Best wishes,

Annabel

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SergioM September 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm

You’re wellcome Annabel! It’s a pleasure.

By the way, your Spanish is good enough ;-) Yhanks for that lines in Spanish!
If at any time you need some help about Spanish language, just tell me :-)

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Greg October 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Great article for women and men alike.

We’re all pulled in far too many directions these days, and there’s no way most of us can accomplish everything we need to get done. Sounds like you’ve set your priorities and that should help bring some sanity to your life.

BTW — I’m a blog stat junkie. Not good, I know, but I’m telling myself its normal. Makes me feel better…

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Carol November 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Referred to you by an article from Zen Habits and love your blog! I have a friend in Australia and she and I have planned to meet…we tried to once on a LONG walk on the Camino in Spain but I did not go..work got in the way. But I am determined to go and meet her and see some of Australia.
I need to focus on what is important and declutter my life
(some of which I did when moving from a fairly large house to a condo) but I used to live in Peru and Honduras and my traveling feet are getting itchy to go again now that my daughter is raised…and married. I look to you for inspiration to live my dreams! I love someone in Canada and I hope he will go with me on these trips but even without him I am determined to go!

Thank you for such a lovely blog. I will twitter and follow you!
My friend in Australia is a travel consultant too!!!

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Sue November 8, 2009 at 3:55 am

Hi Annabel,

In answer to your short survey at the end of this article, I’m a first time visitor to your site. I found my way here from Leo Babauta’s site Zen Habits, based on your guest post on moving house and decluttering.

I suspect a lot of your “lurkers” might just be people who enjoy reading articles on various blogs–and may be greatly helped by those articles– but don’t necessarily feel compelled to respond to every (or any) single article on every single blog that they read, as to do so could eat up a lot of time. It seems to be human nature that individuals generally won’t speak up about something unless something about an issue inspires or compels them to take a stand or offer their two cents worth, which is kind of unfortunate because humanity really needs that “silent majority” to start speaking up and add their voices to issues that matter to them.

I recognize that it helps bloggers to get feedback about both the content of the articles and the demographics behind the statistics: I’m not so sure it’s helpful to inadvertently leave readers with the potential impression that they are obligated to comment, at risk of otherwise being classified as a “lurker” .

Anyway, good luck getting your too long to do list down to a manageable size so you don’t burn yourself out. Also, be careful with the self-diagnoses and labels as labels can have an insidious tendency to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

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Alexandra November 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

* Who they all are?

I’m a self-confessed lurker !

* Where do they come from?

Zen Habits …

* Why they read this blog?

Love inspirational blogs, love travel, originally Zimbabwean !

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Sheila of Halo Hill November 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I’ve just found your blog this evening, I love it and I’ve subscribed! I am encouraged and ready to change my life! Thanks for writing this blog and all of the wonderful articles/posts!

Warmly,

Sheila

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Rebecca November 22, 2009 at 1:11 am

I recently learned that being a Super Woman is a myth. I can’t do it all or by myself. Asking for help has humbled me. However, I need to make sure I ask the right people for help; those who have my best interests at heart.

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Cate November 23, 2009 at 5:32 am

Hi,
not sure I like the term, but yes, I’m a lurker. I, too, arrived here via Zen Habits where I regularly read and have posted only once.
Love your writing style and appreciate the things you have to say.
Trying hard not to get drawn into the same scenario as you describe and therefore only flit, don’t wallow.
I’ll be around – lurking.
Cheers,
Cate

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sadia habib February 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

thank you for your inspiring words – really need them at this moment in my life. love what you write and how you write – it is uplifting. xxx

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