The Picky Girl’s Diary

3rd June 2013

June 2, 2013

Weight: 170 pounds…plus a dozen Talenti gelato pints.

Alcohol Units: Dozens.

TV Shows Watched: Oh, Thousands.

It all began on New Year’s Day in my thirty-second year of being single. Once again, I found myself alone, but unlike Bridget Jones, my mother didn’t have a turkey curry buffet or try to set me up. So unfortunately, there’s no Colin Firth in this story.

There is a new job (though I’m already six months in), family drama, and a whole lot of Murder, She Wrote, however.

And as those who know me best realize, when I’m feeling pressure from all fronts, I shut down. I don’t like this part of myself, but I am fully aware of it. The thing to go first? The blog.

I’ve got at least a dozen draft reviews sitting, waiting for me to edit and publish them, but each time I sit down at the computer, I stare at the screen a bit and then just get up and go do something else.

My email inboxes are overflowing. My desks (both work and home) are disaster areas, and even my home, which you guys know I love and adore, is a bit of a danger zone as well. And I need a recharge desperately. I’ve continued to read blogs mostly, but today, I hit “mark all as read” and wished there were a similar button for life in general.

How do you best recharge? I think I’m in need of direction. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I’m off to Bedfordshire. We’ll chat soon.

  • Ti Reed

    I say, just take the time you need. If you start back up and find that you still aren’t there yet, then take more time. We’ve all been there. Your gelato mention makes me hungry for gelato BTW. I love that brand too. Pistachio is my fave.

    • Thanks, Ti. It was a horrible feeling, but I’m on the upswing, I think. Scheduled 8 reviews tonight, and I figure if I get bogged down again, at least I’ll still feel present here.

  • I try to find one or two things that I really enjoy and spend as much time as I can on them…allowing myself time to let everything else slide a bit. then I start making lists…breaking down larger tasks into smaller bits and feel so good crossing things off that I reward myself again with time for pleasures …like reading!

    • Melissa – thank you so much for this. I actually went and found an online to-do list that let me break things down in different categories. It is perfect and has made me feel much more sane.

  • Guest

    I was like this just before BEA. Despite all the work

  • Amy Shamroe

    I was like this leading up to BEA. Book Awards judging and planning consumed me morning, noon, and night. Trip prep for NYC and my upcoming conference in New Orleans following in a week was stressing me. My house was a disaster. I am, like my mother taught me, a do-it-yourself person. As in do it all.

    Two weekends ago, I took Friday night and all day Saturday off from everything. I came home from work, took a bath in lavender essential oil, listened to a book. Saturday I picked up and lounged and listened, then arranged for a cleaning lady to come in to catch my place up. By the end of the week, just taking a day and a half to unplug, having someone else get my house caught up and working only while at work, I felt a million times better. It was a tiny reboot and made a huge difference.

    • Amy Shamroe

      Oh, and P.S.- Murder, She Wrote is my go-to show as well. It is like a comfy blanket.

      • Isn’t it? It’s just so perfect. The music, the people, the town, everything.

        That is so awesome that you had a cleaning lady come in! One of these days I would like to do that. But this past week and this weekend, I really focused on pulling myself out of my slump, cleaning house, getting together with friends, writing reviews. I needed it.

  • renee

    Take good care of yourself. Learn to say No to others yes to self. And take really really good care of yourself. xox

    • I’m trying, Renee. Thank you. It’s just taken longer than normal, and that’s an unsettling feeling for me. It helped putting it out there, honestly.

  • Amy

    I just have to say: Talenti gelato. OMG, and yes. Whoever created that might well be the devil. SO GOOD.

    As for recharging…don’t know. If you figure it out, clue me in, too, please? Extra points if the answer is “eat all the gelato.”

    • I’m telling you! I’m just grateful they stopped carrying Mediterranean Mint, or I’d be big as a house.

  • Oh yes, I SO need a “mark all as read” button for life. One that would completely clean my apartment (or even throw everything out as long as there would be no dire consequences, like bills going unpaid or important notices going unread) and let me start with a clean slate. Somebody needs to get on that.

    • Oh my gosh, wouldn’t that be nice?! When you figure it out, let me know.

  • I do the same thing, except I won’t even answer the phone. You’ll get back to the blog eventually, just trust your instincts about what you need to do to keep balance in your life.

    • Yep, that’s where I got to, not even answering the phone. And I feel so guilty when it happens, but I just can’t do anything about it. I’m feeling more and more balanced. Thanks, Tasha.

  • I hope your energy for the blog will return! I always have draft reviews sitting there, and lately I haven’t had the energy to work on reviews. I did Armchair BEA instead, and went easy on myself. I’m sure you’ll bounce back sooner or later!

    • Going easy on yourself is so much easier said than done. Glad you were able to find a way to do it! Thanks, Laurie.

  • I had this problem over the winter (due to the weather and lack of daylight, I think), and it was rough. I didn’t know how to snap out of it. I just rode it out. I guess I should be lucky that the blah-ness dissipated on its own. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

    • I cannot imagine having a true winter, as I already get down here, and we still get lots of daylight. Glad you were able to ride it out. I think I’m on my way there.

  • Jennifer Hartling

    I’m with Ti. Take the time you need. Take a few bubble baths. Get a massage. Get a pedicure. Take naps.

    • I desperately need a pedicure! I haven’t made it to that point yet, but I’m getting there. Thanks, Jen.

  • Charlie

    As has been said already, take your time. And marking all as read is a good idea, because even if you’re not posting yourself, reading the posts of others is still blogging, you’re not truly away.

    • You’re right. And I think that’s part of what took me so long. Reading posts about books I knew I needed to review only added to my guilt, and often I wasn’t commenting. Just couldn’t muster the energy. But I think I’m on the upswing. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  • Nadia

    I’m with everyone on this one – take time for yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰ The blog will always be there when and if you decide to start blogging again. Enjoy your time away from blogging!

    • Thanks, Nadia! The strange thing is that by the time I posted this, it was like I was already headed out of my funk. I just needed to put something out there, I guess.

  • Oh Jenn–hugs to you and thank you for this brutally honest post. I find myself in the same kind of slump more often than I’d like and this year has been particularly hard with the additional lack of energy. I actually almost sought out some help a few months ago but listened to a lecture for a work conference that felt like it was tailored directly to me (even though the conference was focused on construction safety!). I called Scott when I left the conference and just sobbed to him on the phone and that was enough to pick me back out. The blog still lacks and my email is a thing I hate but I don’t feel the crushing weight that I did. Can you force yourself into an exercise routine? It’ll be tough to start but the energy you receive from the workouts might help. Exercise and sunshine…and maybe a little it of ice cream. Hugs and more hugs.

    • Thanks, Trish. It’s a horrible feeling. I’ve actually been back at the gym for about two months or so now, and I credit that for helping pull me out of this funk. I had not missed the gym that much in literally, years. Even though a lot of good has happened in the last year, there’s been enough good and bad to really overwhelm me. But I’m feeling better and better. Plus, I found a great to-do list site (Toodledo), and it’s making me feel more sane all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh, hon! I’m sorry to hear this — sending lots of love your way. I’m skirting this myself right now — and I’m kind of hating every scheduled review I have. :/ My response is like the ones suggested below: seclusion and self-care. And really, giving yourself permission to just drop stuff as needed — I just deleted a bunch of scheduled reviews I could — which helped take off pressure. V sorry to hear about family drama – not sure if you’re the kind of person to process alone or with people but sometimes I make myself see friends, which actually helps — even though the process of getting dressed, out, to restaurant, etc makes me angry. But laughing, venting, etc. lets me recharge even if I always don’t believe it in the moment! And this might be obvious/dumb, but sometimes a boost in vitamins can help — I take extra vitamin D and B and fish oils when I’m moody, and it helps. Even an Emergenc-C might give you some energy to feel less ground down. Anyway, thinking of you — email you need anything, even a vent!

    • I just scheduled 8 reviews, and they may all be crap, but I feel better just having done it. I’ve slowly been coming around lately, and I’m feeling more and more myself. Honestly, it really helped posting this and having people comment. I hated not blogging, but I also just couldn’t seem to do anything else. Thank you so much, Audra, for the offer to vent and for the comment. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone.

  • Meg-A Bookish Affair

    I’m sending big hugs and lots of good thoughts your way! I know how overwhelming things can get sometimes. Spring and early summer seem to be so full for so many people that things can get overwhelming and crazy so quickly. Take care of yourself!

    • Thanks, Meg! I hate saying “I’ve been busy” over and over again, but it truly has been a really crazy year here. I’m hoping things will calm down soon.

  • iliana

    Jenn, I hear you. I know I react similarly when I feel overwhelmed… the blog is forgotten, the email boxes overflow, etc. I say take care of yourself first! Do things that make you smile and try not to let all that pressure get to you. Hugs!

    • Thanks, iliana! I’m feeling much better. I don’t want to say I’m back (though I scheduled 8 reviews tonight), but I am hoping I am.

  • I know exactly what you mean – too much pressure and I shut down too, you need a holiday.

    I tend to just call time, tell my friends I’m too poor to come out and cut myself off for a bit – re-group, tidy and organise, lose myself in terrible TV and recharge. Eventually the need to read returns and I know I’m ready for the world again.

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one. I’m feeling more myself and just hope it lasts. Thanks for the commiseration.

  • Kelly (

    What a great idea – using this blog as a support system. I hope our comments recharge you! I’m a first time visitor, so I look forward to future reviews, but until then, I say: take a vacation!

    • Thanks, Kelly, and thanks for visiting! I’m finally feeling back to normal and scheduled 8 reviews tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • My turn to chime in, although everyone has already voiced my thoughts on the subject. Be kind to yourself. Get exercise. I know this helps me and I need to take this advice, myself! I haven’t been on my bike or out walking on the trails since last fall! I weigh more than I’ve ever weighed, minus when I was pregnant. I’m annoyed and disgusted and know better! But I come home from work after being on my feet from 7 to 4 and I’m tired. I relax with a glass (or two) of wine before dinner and spend the rest of the evening catching up on emails and blogs. I know I should get out and walk, but I make up all kinds of excuses. I know I should spend more time reading, but I want to comment on blogs. I know I should post more often, but I’m burned out. See, you’re in good company. ๐Ÿ™‚