Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When life overwhelms August 20, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Drought-cracked earth near the Turtle Pond, River Bend Nature Center, Faribault, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo August 2021.

THERE ARE DAYS when I feel such frustration. It’s then I remember the words of my mom, clearly frustrated with six misbehaving offspring.

“You kids make me so mad I could just run, run, run,” she declared. That grabbed our attention because Mom, one of the sweetest and most loving individuals I’ve ever known, seldom lost her patience with her three sons and three daughters. And, despite her threat, she never ran.

Oh, what I would give for my mom to make that threat today. But she can’t run. She can’t even walk. She’s confined to a wheelchair, living in a nursing home. Physically, she’s still with us, although we, her grown children, have been separated from her more than with her during this pandemic.

So perhaps I am grieving more than feeling frustrated.

I’m also feeling overwhelmed. Everything that could go wrong in the world seems to be happening. Raging pandemic. Check. Floods. Check. Wildfires. Check. Drought. Check. Hatred and division. Check. Politicizing everything. Check. Selfish behavior. Check. People in Afghanistan fleeing for their lives. Check. Shootings/murder every single day, night and day. Check. Injustices. Check. I expect I’ve missed something.

I cannot recall a time in my 60-something years of life that we were dealing, simultaneously, with so much as a state, a country, a world. And that can leave a person feeling, well, overwhelmed.

How do you deal with all of this? I try to remind myself that we will get through this. Somehow. I find myself connecting to my faith in a deeper and more intense way. I do what I can to uplift and encourage others. I read. Something other than news; books that take me away from reality. A friend also reminded me to hold onto my focus word: hope. There’s a lot to be said for hope.

Another friend offers practical suggestions in a blog post, “Doing What You Can & Your Personal Well-Being,” on Penny Wilson Writes. Please take time to read Penny’s tips by clicking here. Although I’ve never met this Texas blogger, I feel such a connection to, and appreciation for, her. She writes with empathy, compassion and understanding. She genuinely cares. She’s authentic. Honest. Penny, also a gifted poet, has written often about her struggles with depression. That openness, I expect, has helped many. She also shares the work of other bloggers, including me, with untethered passion and joy.

People like Penny give me hope. She uses her writing talents, her experiences and more to encourage, uplift and inspire others. She helps me tamp down the urge to rage and, then, to run, run, run. And for that I feel gratitude.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “When life overwhelms”

  1. Oh, Audrey! Your kind words bring me to tears! To know that my writings mean that much to you, is one of the greatest rewards I could have for my efforts! Thank you for sharing the link to my post. Much love and hugs to you. ❤

  2. beth Says:

    I can certainly understand this, and for me, what helps a bit, Is seeing and finding little acts of kindness wherever I can find them. these give me hope in spite of all else, at least for a moment –

  3. Thank you. I needed this, because I, too, am 60-something, and feel the same way.

  4. I have been thinking of that saying that what does not break you, makes you stronger. How much can one take though truly. We all have a breaking point. I know I have been making time to care for myself, especially just feeling the feels in order to release and just let it go. Thank goodness for nature and getting outdoors (the heat, air pollution, etc. can make for a challenge). I have people I turn to and lean on (social distanced/virtual), however; we make it work because we need that time with one another. That communication, that connection, the support and love, etc. I think we need a HUGE Dance Party/Hug Fest when this is all over!!! Maybe we should dance more and just shake it out. I have heard laughter and scream therapy is good for one’s whole being too. Also, it is okay to simple say I am not okay today and ask for some help, support, etc. WE ALL DO! I really try to stay on the positive side and be the cheerleader. Prayers, faith, hope, etc. are great ways to communicate, connect, release, etc. Just be there for yourself and for others – building each other up versus breaking each other down – focusing on hope and the light at the end of this tunnel. Take Care 🙂

  5. Ilene Atarian Says:

    Personally, I feel God is giving us fair warning that we should be heeding!

  6. Becky Spitzack Says:

    Thinking of you.

  7. Valerie Says:

    Hope and faith and love…yet frustration and overwhelming feelings are real. It helps to learn ideas on how to deal with them.

  8. Feel joy along with that hope. Meaning that your blog brings joy of your part of the world to others. In fact, I have a friend here who thought your piece on the prairie schoolhouse was wonderful! I knew she would as she grew up reading all the Little House on the Prairie books. Her face lights up every time I tell her a Minnesota fact that she thought only existed in her imagination of the books she grew up reading. We all have to reach very deep for those moments now more than ever. Share the wealth of friendship, happiness, love and empathy. Don’t give in to the endless dark news events. We are only each one person, but each of us can hold the collective us up in these hard times. Thanks Audrey.

    • Paula, thank you for your encouragement. And thank you for sharing about your friend. I think we would get along splendidly. The Little House books are among my favorite. Laura wrote with an eye for detail, I often think because she was the “eyes” for her sister Mary.

      I appreciate your statement that each of us can hold the collective us up in these hard times. Well said and appreciated.

  9. Hope is always there and you have such a strong faith. That is the anchor of everything and what you have to hold on to as well. I know you do but it is difficult and overwhelming at times. We are all there. Praying for you, my friend.

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