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The Wheel is Turning but the Hamster is (Almost) Dead


In over two years of blogging on this site, I’ve never gone more than a few days without writing a post until now. It’s been nearly two weeks since I wrote anything at all, unless you count the mountain of scribbled Post-its taking over my desk. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say; I’ve just been too exhausted to say it.

I’m one of those people who is typically never late, never fails to follow through on a promise or commitment, never says “no” without a darn good reason. But lately it’s been harder and harder to remember a time when I was able to be that person on a consistent basis.

I can’t even begin to describe the personal drama that has swirled around me since 2013 began. Family members moving in and out of my house for various reasons. A string of disasters that have involved lots of time, money, or both. Having to refer out some of my clients because I’m so far behind I feel like I’ll never catch up. Some things I’ve been struggling with since last fall but can’t talk about publicly. Worst of all, many of my closest friends and relatives don’t have a clue what’s going on with me because they’re all dealing with their own stuff and I choose not to burden them with any of mine.

On the surface, things are going well. My business is surviving (knock on wood), my son is having a fantastic year at school, and I’m not homeless or starving. I tell myself, It could be so much worse. And that’s true, though it doesn’t always feel like it. I’ve survived far worse and I know I’ll survive all this stuff.

That said, I’m tired. I couldn’t tell you the last time I slept more than 2-3 hours at a stretch. And it infuriates me when someone says, “Just take a break!” or “Get some rest!” or “Hire someone to help you!” because none of those suggestions would change the fact that I’m drowning in a pool of bullshit in my personal life. Work is the one thing that keeps me somewhat sane right now and I usually welcome the escape.

Some days, though, I feel like setting an auto reply for all my emails that says I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN. PLEASE STOP REQUESTING AND/OR EXPECTING THINGS FROM ME AND LET ME CATCH MY BREATH.

When there are days (or weeks, apparently) that I don’t post or tweet or put up funny pictures on Facebook, just know that’s what I’m trying to do. Catch my breath. If I can ever accomplish that again, I’ll be good to go.


  1. *hugs*

  2. Andrea, we all love you!

  3. Sorry to hear you're feeling this way, but I can sympathize! The book "Boundaries" by Dr Townsend & Cloud really helped me with this sort of never-stop-never-stop feeling…. though of course there's the problem of finding time to read, haha! When in doubt, reflect on your thriving son and the example you want to set for him. You and he are the family that wants to thrive, not just survive! *Hugs*

    • I second, third and fourth this comment!!!

      Andrea, I was just coming over to say exactly what this commenter suggested. You need to remember that you have a family- you and your awesome son. Anyone else might be relatives, but, here's the important bit: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. They are grown ups and should, by now, be able to handle their own lives.

      I know… Trust and believe, I KNOW, how it is when family is in trouble and needs you. I've been there and done that. BUT- You've GOT to look after yourself first hon. And you've got to say no sometimes. Just as a matter of self preservation.

      ((hugs)) Best of luck and hope things are better soon.

  4. I'm here if you want to chat or email. I'll DM my phone number too. *hugs*

  5. MutantSupermodel says

    Oh I hate it when things get frantic like that. Absolutely hate it. Hope it all settles down real soon for you.

  6. Just do the best you can and keep it moving. You have to do whatever is best for you and it would be pretty crappy to expect that you always follow the same posting schedule forever and ever. Life happen and sometimes you need to to take a break from blogging to sort things out. I have been having less time for blogging lately myself and I feel guilty but its just the way things are. Hope your personal life settles down.

  7. Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. Thinking of you!

  8. Maybe I shouldn't be the one to say this, and I know you need to support yourself and your son, but maybe you could scale back your work load a little bit. Sleep is important. Without it we really can't function or do anything.

    I really hope things get better. It sounds like you're in a tough spot right now.

  9. Anne - Unique Gifter says

    You can do it! On the upside: your incoming cash flow is great, so that's one less worry for you.
    Best of luck with everything, we're rooting for you. ahem, in a non-australian way 😉

  10. Hope all is well, pal. Blame it on the '13' in the year or something, and hopefully you'll feel better.

  11. Unfortunately we all have those periods in our lives where it's all a struggle. Hang in there…we'll all still be here when you are ready to write more 🙂

  12. You work harder than anyone I know in the personal finance blog world, so I certainly hope work is a release for you. If there's anything I can do to help with anything, please let me know!

  13. Very sorry to hear about all the stress you've been under, Andrea. I hope things begin to settle down for you soon.

  14. Right there with you, except that I am fortunate enough to have the editor at my main contract say, "OK, let's try it differently" when I told him my particular hamster wheel was squeaking to a stop. Wish that I had THE ANSWER for you but of course I don't. No one does, because no one knows the particular mix of stressors/responsibilities that you're facing.
    Feel free to vent to me privately via e-mail (SurvivingAndThriving [at] live [dot] com), because sometimes blurting it all out helps a little. It's like lifting the lid on a pot on the stove, to let the steam out before the whole thing boils over. Also send me your mailing address, please, so I can send you a pony.

  15. I feel for ya. I have been there and that place is no fun. It was one of the main reasons why I started focusing on other things because I was driving myself crazy.

  16. I'm so sorry you're struggling, Andrea. It really is hard when you feel like everything is weighing on you at once, especially in your personal life. Hope things improve for you soon. Like Donna, I feel fortunate to have awesome clients willing to understand and work around my issues. I wish you all the best in overcoming your challenges.

  17. I have no idea what I should say but I guess you don't need any advice. But I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you. Much love from Europe!

  18. "I’m one of those people who is typically never late, never fails to follow through on a promise or commitment, never says “no” without a darn good reason." People like this are the ones I admire the crap out of and usually the people I trust the most. Good luck with everything and hit me up anytime to talk. You're doing it.

  19. I hope things get better soon for you. There are plenty of people that I'm sure are there to listen if you need someone to talk to, myself included!

  20. teinegurl says

    I will wait even if you didnt write a post for a month! you should put this site on a hiatus for a month and see if that helps. Also with the private things your dealing with my the therapist (your old job) now needs to be the client. If your family and friends dont know about this site vent here. How will they find out?? Anyways hope all is well. I'm glad Jayden is enjoying high school so much especially after he previous years experinces and teachers.

  21. Budget & the Beach says

    Sorry you're going through such a rough time right now. I can't imagine what it must be like to get 2-3 hours of sleep and still function. My schedule was just busy (but drama free) and I STILL was exhausted, even WITH sleep. All I can do is send you good thoughts that things get better. You can always email me…if you have time. 🙂

  22. xoxo. I'm here, lady, should you need a voice in the computer or on the phone.

  23. 🙁
    I'm sorry to hear how insane things have been for you. I hope you know we all are keeping you in our thoughts!

  24. Andrea, as someone who understands all too well that feeling of not wanting to burden friends or family, let me just say… Your friends care about you. We want to help you where we can, even if it just means listening to you vent about what's going on with you. Do not let all of this personal stress boil inside of you. Don't be a silent sufferer. If nothing else, talking to you about your stuff would take my mind off my own crap, so please email me if you ever want to talk! I care about you, and I'm only a few hours away if you ever need me to kidnap you. *hugs*

  25. Andrea, I’m so sorry to hear that things aren’t going well. It sounds like there isn’t an easy solution, but I hope things get better soon and you get some sleep! *hugs*

  26. studentdebtsurvivor says

    Hoping things get better (or at least a little bit more bearable) soon. 🙁

  27. I understand how you feel. We go through this kind of feeling once in a while. I hope you'll get past through it soon.

  28. I'm so sorry life is being so hard! Good luck! Please email me anytime to talk.

  29. Sorry your having a crummy time right now! It gets better…and a glass of wine helps.

  30. I'm just gonna say it and you can slap me later: Getting enough sleep will not make the drama disappear but you know as well as I do that sleep deprivation can drastically alter your perceptions of the situations. Unplug, literally, and go to sleep. Everything will still be there waiting for you (unfortunately) when you wake up.

  31. It sounds like 2013 has been a shitty year for just about everyone I know, myself included. One bright spot is that Jayden is enjoying school; that takes a little of the burden off of you!

    This stranger cares about you. DM me if you want to vent "anonymously" and I'll share my gchat with you. Strength in numbers, girl!

  32. I hate to hear that you are under so much stress right now. I will be praying for you, Andrea! 🙂

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