Putting on the brakes

Do you ever feel like you're trying to do too much? That feeling of trying to read a magazine while also talking to a friend on the phone, or eating dinner while watching TV? That horrible agitated lump in your throat. Unable to concentrate on either. That's kind of how I feel this week. I don't feel as though I have really sat down and enjoyed a meal since the weekend. Meals have been thrown down my throat quickly, distractedly, to save time, with no regard for the time they took to prepare or any enjoyment. An unwanted toasted sandwich eaten while rushing to get to my photography class, breakfast before running out of the house, lunch at 4.30pm after a longer-than-anticipated meeting. I don't feel stressed, per say, but I can feel it bubbling under the surface. Like a piece of glass almost at breaking point. I know that one smidgen of extra pressure will open the floodgates. I've talked before about my inability to relax. Even when I opened this tab to start writing my blog, my instant reaction was to also open my Google Reader and Facebook. Trying to do three things at once. I try to think about my day while also trying to do my high intensity workout. I go to bed planning what to make for lunch tomorrow. I feel like I'm never present. I'm always rushing ahead or looking behind. And I know I just need to put the brakes on, calm down, take each thing at a time. But that's easier said than done. I'm scared of not making plans during the week because I worry I'll feel as though as I do is get up, go to work and to go bed. I'm scared of a quiet weekend in case I feel that I wasted my free time. But at the same time, I'm exhausted all the time trying to catch a break. Always adding things to my to-do list. Stressing about the lack of progress in my book (I mean seriously? I'm not at uni anymore. Does it matter if it takes me more than 5 days to read a novel?). Worrying about fitting my workout in when I have plans because I told myself I had to do it four times this week. I don't want to feel like I have a constant lump in my throat. I know that trying to do more than one thing at once results in two shoddy jobs and I should just do one thing at a time. Concentrate on doing each thing well, in that moment. Eating meals slowly. Savouring them, enjoying them, not eating them just because I have to. I know this is going to be a learning curve. When I first started working full-time I couldn't fit anything in for weeks, but then I added my workouts and my photography classes and meals with friends at least once a week, and then my blog and writing commitments slotted in. And before I knew it, it was all too much. I've always been the girl who is always busy, always doing something, always rushing around. But maybe I need a break from that. Maybe I need to find time to relax. To just watch TV without trying to write my blog or read a book or do something else inbetween. Just relax, just take some time out for me, and not just calling my workouts "me-time". I found what appears to be two mouth ulcers today, which can often be a sign of stress, so I think that's a warning to take things more slowly. I'm always incredibly, incredibly hard on myself (both in my working and personal life) but maybe I need to cut myself some slack. Celebrate the little achievements and the great things I've been doing instead of pushing for the next thing. I think back on last summer and how stressed out I got at the waterpark, living with 12 people in a small house, fighting over the bathroom and long 11 hours days sat in the baking New Jersey sun. And yeah, there were tough times, but god, I was working as a lifeguard at a waterpark in New Jersey for a summer. Walking along the boardwalk at night, eating ice cream. Never short of someone to hang out with. Living abroad for the second time. And you know what? It was pretty sweet and it makes me sad that I probably didn't enjoy it all as much as I should have done because I focused on the little niggling negative things. And I don't want to feel like that about this time of my life. Because really, things are pretty good. I have a good job, I work with some great people (we had a great night out last night after work), I'm living at home so I can enjoy having a disposable income, and I have some great friends who want to see me on a regular basis. Things could be much worse, so I want to enjoy this while I can.
dress- Modcloth
shoes- New Look
necklace- c/o That's Pretty
Okay, sorry for the essay. That was a little longer than I expected. Let's talk about the outfit.  I ordered this dress from Modcloth when I ordered my galaxy skirt. I'd been eyeing this dress up for absolutely months, after seeing Elizabeth and Tieka wearing it last season. I'd spent months trying to find something vaguely similar to no avail, and eventually, because I was ordering the galaxy skirt anyway, I bit the bullet. It is one of the most beautiful pieces I own. The only problem is I am terrified of wearing it in case anything happens to it. The belt has already bitten the dust. As the reviews state, the belt is way too small to fit the waist of the dress and I accepted this, but then my Mum decided that the belt would fit and it was just a case of undoing it. I protested, a lot and she proceeded to completely snap the belt. Good job the dress fits, right? Anyway, there aren't really an awful lot of occasions where you can wear a dress like this (it's a little bit much for Sunday shopping in Aldi, don't you think?), but luckily I knew I had a big family meal coming up and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to (incredibly cautiously) wear this dress. It was a lovely day so I didn't need a jacket, so I just paired it with black tights and these nude wedges which I hadn't pulled out since last summer. For accessories I just added this gorgeous necklace which is actually a tiny, fully-printed dictionary! With a magnifying glass! These photos don't really do it justice (I meant to take some of it on its own- I will do next time) but it's absolutely amazing. If you use the magnifying glass you can just about make out the tiny writing! 
Well after all this talk of stress I think I'm in for an early night tonight. We had our end of year meeting yesterday at work and went out for dinner and drinks afterwards, but it ended up being a much later night than we expected! Our boss let us start work at 10am today though and he bought us all breakfast, so it ended up being a pretty alright day, except for the fact that we were all exhausted (though thankfully not hungover!). I've also got a quiet week planned, with the only plans for the weekend being a much-needed spa day with my Mum with a voucher I bought her for Christmas. Maybe I can do this relaxing thing after all.
Oh and if you get a minute, Michelle's post on getting rid of clothes that don't make you feel good is a bit of a revelation. Go check it out!
Have a great evening guys,

Charlotte x


  1. Oh my gosh, that dress is stunning! Like the galaxy skirt with the corset top, I love the way the lightness of your arms and shoulders balances out all the black.

    In terms of overload - it's always a work in progress, isn't it? I'll get overloaded, cut back, get BORED, take on more things, get overloaded, cut back . . This thing is, life is always changing and stress levels don't stay the same forever. There's never one final answer!

  2. Now that uni is over, just escape to a nice English countryside for the weekend for the sole purpose of relaxing and finding yourself again and no multi tasking. The dress by the way is stunning.




  3. I ADORE that dress!! I so nearly bought it too, but unfortunately (or fortunately for my bank account?!) my Paypal just would not work with Modcloth! Our great minds think alike again ;D But now you're convincing me to try and buy it again...ahhh Charlotte!! You look so gorgeous in it!

  4. Oh man I definitely know how you feel. Especially the bit about finishing a book. I'm not in class now and I'm putting so much pressure on myself to read a ton of books! I really enjoy relaxing activities, but my mind is really never at ease.
    Anyway! This dress is absolutely gorgeous on you! The fit is super flattering and the print is wonderful.

  5. That dress is absolutely lovely on you. I do hope you've manage to find a balance to relax as it is awful if your mind constantly flits from here to there but cannot focus on anything what so ever. It's terribly unproductive but also just very annoying! Thanks for the direction to Michelle's post too - I definitely need to sort out my wardrobe but seem to get clingy and um and ah over getting rid of stuff.


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