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How to Survive and Thrive.

When you are in the midst of difficult times in your life, what do you do to make it through?

Do you try and find a way to hide out and escape your reality?  I do sometimes.

Life is overwhelming at times for everyone.  For those of us caring for loved ones with severe chronic illness, overwhelm can often be a daily occurrence.  Circumstances may require that we “burn the candle at both ends,” for brief periods of time, but I have found that this is not sustainable over the long haul.

Some days, we slog through the mud and the muck, minute by minute; while other days we soar through the hours relishing every joyful moment.  On those mucky days, when I want to tear my hair out in frustration, somehow I find an internal reservoir of strength to carry on.

My internal reservoir is filled little by little, as I find ways to care for myself.  The list of activities that help me regroup and find balance in my life is varied.  I keep it in the notes section of my cell phone, so it is available to update as I become aware of new things to add.  I don’t do everything all of the time, but having this personal list reminds me of the things that can comfort me when I am stressed.  Some are solitary pursuits while a few diversions involve other people.

In addition to having proper nutrition and getting enough sleep, several things on my particular stress-busting activity list include; reading a good book, watching movies, visiting with friends, playing games, knitting, exercise, meditating, taking a nap, sewing, getting a massage, yoga, my personal religious practice and writing in my journal.

A short respite from my responsibilities can replenish my soul.  I am able to re-engage with energetic resolve.  Sometimes even a few moments break can help release the built-up tension I’m feeling.

For example, this year the weeks leading up to the holidays seemed particularly stressful to me.  My son Nick wasn’t well and we had a few difficult hurtles to climb in our family.  I found myself feeling cranky and out of sorts, not at all in the holiday spirit.  My husband and I decided that the three of us would step away from our crazy schedule and stay home one evening.  We told everyone we were busy.  We were.  We watched a Hallmark movie, we listened to music in front of our Christmas tree, looking at the lights.  We unplugged from all of the expectations and just enjoyed the moment.  It was relaxing and refreshing.  My reservoir was replenished.

Take time to create your own list.  Think about your own talents and interests.  The thing to watch out for is to avoid habitual responses to stressful situations.  Think outside the box, be creative.  It is important to have a variety of activities in your arsenal to fight the battle of overwhelm.

If you know someone else who loves someone who had a disability and would benefit when this book comes out, please share this with them.  In order to get a book agent and work with a publisher, I need to increase my readership on this blog.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for your insight, Eva. You have some very good suggestions – ones that I will consider putting into practice. The word “overwhelm” is so very accurate in describing the feelings that often come during the holidays. Intentional planning and forethought is sometimes all that will open the door of peace & calmness.
    I know that God has not given us more than we can handle. But he also doesn’t expect us to handle most of the struggles in life alone. Thank you for sharing.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.