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Too Many Windows: An Ode to Overwhelm

Updated: May 23, 2022

I wrote this poem back in 2019, but never got around to sharing it on here. Its a poem about overwhelm, what it feels like and my favourite way to get out of it.

When life gets busy as it often will,

And you find it impossible to ‘just chill’

Your brain is swirling like a twisting tornado

One giant mess of mixed up Playdoh.

Kids birthday parties this weekend, don’t forget

The presents, the cards and its clarinet

Recital next week, finish early from work

And bring a donation - don’t look like a jerk

Kids space is taken, now onto the house,

The washing, the cooking, did someone say MOUSE!!!!

Get the man in, and sort out the leak

Shit! I haven’t phoned mum this week.

The minutiae of daily life get priority

And then in one moment you think “What about me?”

“Where am I going? Who will I be?”

“Am I good enough, what do they see?”

With questions spinning like circus plates

We wonder is anyone else suffering this fate?

Please take some solace, it isn’t just you

Who finds all this adulting too much to do.

Overwhelm plays out like a busy computer

Writing emails, presentations and a document footer,

And just as you hit “buy now” for the show

All of a sudden, it starts to go slow

“Goddam You!” I shout at the frozen screen

Force quitting as much as I can whilst I scream.

Your brain is just like this Mac or PC

Every thought is a window taking up capacity

When too much is open, no process completes

So start shutting things down - take out a blank sheet.

List all of your ‘windows’ taking up space

Then start with the one that’s easy to face.

Take baby steps until its closed down

(Do you feel your forehead reducing the frown?)

Get rid of the belief that it all needs perfection

And just start yourself moving in any direction.

As your memory’s freed up, you’ll feel a bit lighter

Maybe your outlook starts turning brighter

In future remember, come back to this verse

And exorcise the ‘Too Many Windows’ curse.

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