Overwhelm or Blesséd Infatuation?


If you’re like me, then you often long for at least another hour or two added onto the end of a day. I like being busy . . . . I take that back. I’m obsessed with being busy for a lot of my self-worth comes from what I accomplish in a day’s time. But being busy all the time is not an ideal place to be. It can stress you out, be exhausting, and cause you to do and say things you’d rather just forget.

I’m very fortunate because I have several interests which bring me streams of revenue. I teach part-time at a community college, I work as an actress and stage director in the theatre, I have a private voice practice that combines my interest in vocal expression and psychology, and I write novels. This year alone I’ve had three books published, making my total output of purchasable publications to six—two non-fiction books and four novels.


In addition, I easily put in 20 hours a week teaching psychology, and I currently have eight private voice clients. I also act, direct, and write plays and am currently writing the band and choral charts for a theatrical spotlight on the Mamas and the Papas.

Oh, and did I mention I do a great deal of traveling? This spring I’m launching the second book of my Salmon Run series out of town in Lynden, Washington, then serving as a featured author at the Love Letters Conference in Berlin, Germany in June, and, finally, attending the national Romance Writers of America conference in New York City this July. No wonder I sometimes feel stressed.

Yet I have to admit, the pace I set for myself only on rare occasion feels like overwhelm. I think it’s more truthful to say that I am infatuated with what life has to offer. Unlike when one feels tired and used up as a result of experiencing stress, the person, who instead sees their goals and desires with the heart and mind of one being infatuated, can feel rejuvenated, inspired, and energized.

I think most people are busier than they need to be, or perhaps the opposite. They never get out of their chair. But there’s a marvelous difference between being obsessed and addicted to constantly being on the go and that of wanting to lovingly experience every precious moment of being alive. For me, it’s a matter of becoming and sustaining the experience of being infatuated. By living in the realm of infatuation, I find I can hardly wait to get out of bed in the morning to go about my day. By being infatuated I often at the end of the day get my second, third, or fourth wind. As my energy increases, so does my stamina. As a result, I eat better, I sleep better, I exercise better, and I’m just a much happier person for others to be around.

My hope is that next time you feel overwhelmed you’ll be able to transmute that experience into one of blesséd infatuation.

Gwen Overland