Picture the scene: You have schlepped around your home gathering dirty mugs and sticky bowls and you have loaded the dishwasher and fed it one of those tablets that dissolve your oesophagus if you swallow them and turned it on. You are owning the dishwasher situation, which is a small but significant indication that you are in control. Of something.
But then, on your way to run a bath, you see it. One mug. But it was a soup mug. So it smells. And it looks kind of… mossy. In a disgusting way. And you missed this mug. It evaded you. It is laughing at you.
And your first thought is, ‘Why me?’ And your second is, ‘Why now?’ And then you might just walk past it – leave it festering on the table and in your imagination. Or you might wrench open the dishwasher mid-cycle and throw it in and then shut the door and think, ‘Please start up again, please start up again.’ But it will hurt you, a little, this mug. And that is because you are living in The Overwhelm.
The Overwhelm is the place where we are trying to excel at our careers, maintain one or two relationships even with people we don’t like very much, drink water, have a social life that lasts beyond 9pm, wear clothing of some kind, text everyone back within 3-5 working days, stay sane-looking enough that we don’t scare people and yet, that mug, has just made a mockery of all our efforts. Like the dropped sock after the white wash has gone on. Like the dress that doesn’t arrive in time for the big thing. Like the wheel of death on the screen and the printer not recognised and all the dropped stitches that keep us on The Brink. But, The Brink is… winning, right? Of course right.