Where Have I Been?

If you follow me and are used to my many emails popping up or tweets showing yet another post, you may have wondered where I’ve been. Or not, but let’s pretend you noticed.

Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. So much has been going on in the last few months for me and it all sort of piled up. You know when you just can’t catch a break or a minute to wind down?

I’ve been meaning to explain my absence and while I know people probably didn’t notice (as if you have more important things than my blog and Twitter posts!) I felt the need to explain to the people who have been joining the Wednesday Twitter chats only to realise the host has gone awol. I also wanted to explain why the posts I’ve talked about writing haven’t happened.

Things haven’t necessarily been bad the whole time. Mostly, I have been busy. Throughout November and December, I’ve had lots of events, a few birthdays and things to celebrate. We had a friend staying for a while when between homes so hung out with him a lot too. In that respect, things have been great. However, when time starts to disappear and I have a lot to do, I think I go into panic mode and feel so overwhelmed at the ever growing list that I end up not doing any of it.

We’ve been in the process of buying a flat for a while now. I say while, far too long! There’s been a lot of back and forth and it’s taken much longer than it should have. 5 months in fact! It’s still not completed and we have had a lot to think about.

The run up to Christmas, while enjoyable, is always a bit mental for me. I suppose it is for most people though! I have a really big family, so have to buy gifts early enough to send home, as I can’t carry them all when travelling alone. Being the not-so-organised person that I am, this takes up a fair bit of December! The shopping, the packing, wrapping and sending is one of the many joys of living away from family. My journey’s were 10.5 and 8 hours long, and then I went straight to Manchester so it was a hectic week!

On top of that I had to make sure that all of my work was done and dusted until the new year, and anyone that works in online sales knows that getting things right before leaving is super important as the amount of customers you come back to can be overwhelming too.

Just before Christmas, my Grandma passed away, and while it was mostly due to her age (the Superwoman was 101 years old!), I am obviously still sad. It was also a year since my Nan died. On top of that I had family arguments and it all came to a head and just got too much. Rather than sorting things or trying to get myself together, I stubbornly ignored everything and everyone.

As well as that side of things, I have had a lot of blog events and restaurant reviews, which are amazing and I know I’m lucky to be at them, but they do take up time and it means I’ve been out a lot with less time to dedicate to things.

So within a couple of months, I went from my steady life to manic overdrive. On top of all that were general life stresses and I’ve been feeling like I just couldn’t get back to it.

There is a common pattern when I feel overwhelmed by life, and it’s basically me shutting down. For some reason, rather than take action, I go into hibernation mode and just let life happen around me. This only happens for a day or so and then I make myself get back to it, but as things have been piling on top of each other, and a new thing seems to have been thrown at me every few days, it’s been especially hard to get out of the funk (yep, I’m using that phrase). I feel like each time I’m ready to take on life,  something else happens to make me sit and binge watch tv while crying into my mug of tea!

I’ve felt a bit of a mess really. I like to make things better and keep things positive. When I feel unable to do that I suppose I get a bit lost.

I’d love to make this post about how to get over that overwhelming feeling, but the truth is, I still haven’t figured it out. One thing that does make me realise what I’m doing though, is seeing how it affects the people around me. Maybe I could have just let that argument with my Mum go, or maybe I can put a smile on my poor boyfriend’s face after a long day. When I realise that it’s affecting more than my productivity, it’s a good indicator that I need to get my arse into gear and stop wallowing.

The day before travelling for ten and a half hours to get home to that foreign country, Wales, I went to work as normal, packed, watched a film, wrapped presents, took blog photos and more!

I was still determined to keep Christmas a happy family time, despite losing someone just before it two years in a row, despite the family drama, despite the fact that I wouldn’t be with Ryan this year. Firstly, because there are children in the family that we need to keep our spirits up for, and secondly, because we all need to make the most of our time together. I miss people back home so much and can’t believe I almost didn’t go to see them because of how I was feeling.

So nothing major here and I’m okay (for those concerned and asking), just lots of general rubbish getting in the way of happy Tina life. I’m determined to let things get to me less and get on with things this year. No excuses!

At the end of it all, I had a lovely Christmas with my family and with Ryan’s. I also had a great beginning to the New Year with many exciting things coming up!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday and hope 2017 brings many great things for you. What are you looking forward to this year?

In short for the skim readers, I’m back!

Happy New Year! Lots of love…