Pulling focus

I still have anxiety dreams that I am sitting down for my HSC Maths exam and I’ve realised that I haven’t done any study. None. It’s a nasty dream, but one that comes to me often over the years. I wake panicked, then relieved, and then spend the next 45 minutes trying to get the heart rate back down and get to sleep. Usually my mind and it’s worries then takes over then so it’s longer before sleep, or usually a child, eventually comes.

Last week I had a dream about being on a roller coaster. I know! So creative with the metaphors! I was fighting with someone, hopping on, going round, then dealing with another drama and hopping back on. I woke up at 1.30am, wide awake, then Harper woke, telling me she had a bad dream too, so we had a chat for a while about our bad dreams, until sleep eventually came. I have always been a dream fighter. Saying all the things I would say in real life given the gall & inclination to do so. I am fiery, passionate, every emotion seems bigger, brighter, hotter and sadder than in real life. I’ll sometimes cry – proper, hot, wet tears and catch your breath like it did when you were a small kid or sometimes laugh like a mad woman. In between the endless wake ups from the smallest child (yes it’s started again and no, I’m not ready to talk about it) it’s quite the business, sleeping, for me.

I’ve got so much to do at the moment internets. It feels overwhelming and beyond me, but I know that it’s not, that it’s just because I’m out of practice of doing stuff. My head is talking me out of all kinds of things at the moment “why would you keep doing that? Why did you think you could even DO that? Why would someone DO that? Why? Why? WHY?” This morning I feel a little like I’m sitting in that Maths exam – completely under prepared and panicked. I have a to do list that has to be sorted into chapters and I have 2 kids that are a little sick and tired of each others company.


I’m going to stop my head from getting ahead of me. I’m going to keep going for my runs. I’m going to do something small that I know I can do, write in on the list, do it and cross it off. See? One thing done! Even if that’s a load of holiday washing. And then I’m going to do another. And then the next. It’s all going to get done. I’m going to shut out all the noise and worry, disappointment and sadness around me at the moment and focus.

And I’m going to hop on this roller coaster and try and enjoy the ride. Even the bits that make my stomach drop. This is life, and I’ll take the sharp twists and turns over the merry go round any day.


  1. That all sounds very familiar. I’m sure you’ll get through it fine, you have lots of resources.

  2. That’s it…one small step at a time and don’t get too far ahead of yourself in your head. Block it out if you can. And definitely go for a run. It is probably the most important step you take….. I hope today takes you to some unexpectedly great places!

  3. Keep running. All the rest will fall into place. It sounds cheezy, but it changed my life, truly x

  4. Lady,
    I get those roller coasters …every bloody day. The only way i get up in the morning is to pull focus. Make lists and kiss my babes.
    Love xoxoxoxox

  5. Appreciate your honesty. I’m feeling similar. It’s a tough mental gig being a mum at home with kids and with contracts or voluntary work or commitments that must be done when the kids are quiet or happy- ESP these last wks of holidays I totally GET your space & wild dreams too!! Theresa V

  6. I have had the same bad dream since I was a child. A Chinese woman with green eyes has huge fingers nails, which she uses to cut open my belly and she pulls the baby from me. The baby starts to scream and I wake up. Hmm, yeah analyse that dream? WTF?
    Somehow I think I would rather be sitting for my HSC exams again. Since it is a maths exam I know the outcome, I sux at maths.


  7. I have performance anxiety sometimes. I don’t want to start something for fear of failure. Then I do it and realise, it wasn’t so bad. And it felt good to do it.
    Good luck getting done all the stuff you need to. You’re awesome at making things happen and attention to detail, so I am sure it’ll be just fine.
    Ps – love that you talk about HSC – no one I know here refers to HSC. It brings me back to my NSW roots. And a crampy

  8. That should be
    And a crampy calloused hand from all the writing on HSC exam papers!

  9. I have such a similar reoccurring dream. Always about math, always that I haven’t studied, that I’m completely ill-prepared. That feeling of being overwhelmed and drowning is not nice, but you’re completely right at just starting, somewhere, and then just to keep going.

    “This is life, and I’ll take the sharp twists and turns over the merry go round any day.” – So very true.

    X Laura

  10. I have the exam dream too, but it’s a uni law exam.

    When I was walking all he time I found it really helped me deal with worry and anxiety so good for you with the running.

    Hope you get everything done x

  11. Last week I had a dream that I saw you put your hand up and I said, YES BabyMac?

    Last night I had a dream that I was getting drug tested by the cops and I KNEW I was clean but the wait was EXCRUCIATING and everybody in my whole life was there, waiting for the results, ready to judge the fuck out of me. So then I woke up at 3am and haven’t been back to sleep and it’s a whole nother day we have to get through and I will goddamnit I will.

    As will you.

    Good day, BabyMac. XX

  12. I feel exactly the same. My house is a mess. Jobs piling up. It’s so hard to do anything even go for a pee with a 1 yo following and whinging and just generally getting into mischief. And then the big boy going off to school and having to wash and label all the uniforms and the expenses! !!! And now I can’t find the freaking sharpie pen to write names on stuff. I swear the pen is the las straw today.!!!!!

  13. I had a dream the other night that Jack Woog and Harper were singing Katy Perry’s Firework…..WT?? It was very entertaining though…can you imagine it! Woke up in giggles.

  14. I have that exact same dream. Freaks me out !!! In fact a few weeks before I was married I had a dream that the wedding was about an hour away and my husband and I had done no planning and were sitting on a beach enjoying a day out when all of a sudden our friends came to ask us why we weren’t at our wedding. Might I add that we were both very focused on the honeymoon and not on the wedding, needed a holiday like no-one’s business at that stage 😉

    Makes me laugh when I think about it.

    Good luck with the focus. I could sure as heck use some around here. Last week of holidays and I just want to soak up the endless kid time before it is all back to normal programming and endless lists, homework, bake sales, blah, blah, blah…


  15. OMG. HSC Maths exam dreams. Same here!

  16. I often dream that I have an Ancient History assignment due and I’ve totally forgotten to do it…the dream is so vivid that to this day (over 20 years later) I’m not entirely sure whether it actually really happened or not!
    The subconscious is a weird and wonderful thing!!

  17. It’s a January thing, I think. Or at least a late January thing. The holidays are over, routines are all about to start again and shit gets hard. I’m feeling it too. I echo what someone else said – keep running. That sure as shit is helping me right now. Here’s to getting on with it and getting through it all, somehow!

  18. Yup.
    I know exactly how you feel.
    I do the same trick with my to do list…baby steps to get up the motivation to tackle the big things.
    I am sure you will find you getting things done groove again soon.

    And I agree that running…or in my case walking…always makes everything seem better.

  19. I’ve been feeling anxious too.. I think it’s that I’ve put things out of my mind for the holiday period and now the harsh reality of return to work, kid routine, deadlines, pick up times, expectations etc has come rushing back and is a bit overwhelming..

    Good on you for the sunflower pic – way to be cheery and fight back!

    I went for a walk this afternoon, which helped. Spent first half of the walk cursing and complaining (in my head!) and the second half feeling much better. There’s something in it..

    Good luck re the little one’s sleep. I always found that mine returned to poor sleeping habits after having been away from home – easy to get out of routine when in a different environment. I found it best to go hard on breaking the bad habits when back at home.

    Thanks for sharing – I find your posts a great read. JP x

  20. I was down by Luna Park the other day with Bobby and we could see the roller coaster in the distance.It took me back to a time when you and I were on that R.Coaster and you were sitting between my legs (probably not allowed now). We had the best time,so much laughing and screaming. Imagine how boring the ride….or life would be if it didn’t have ups and downs or was just straight.Krinny

  21. Oh god, I have the same dream and I didn’t even do maths for my HSC! My older brother has the same dream too. Writing a list and ticking it off makes things more doable for sure.
    You’ve inspired to me to start running again too. I’ve never been a runner and started this time two years ago, for the first time in my life I was running! I was so proud of myself and then I discovered I was preggers and stopped.
    So, I’ve bought the runners (pretty aqua blue Nikes) and the time has come to pull them on and go, go, go!

  22. Beautifully written lady. Life is an overwhelming beast much of the time. I feel it too. We all do. Hope you’re ok friend xoxo

  23. You’re just crashing after a hoilday, always happens to me. Reality check after the break from reality. Makes me reconsider hoildays…seriously!
    Dreams …I frequently dream I’m in a lift and it starts dropping..hate to think what that means…maybe it means I need a holiday LOL!

  24. When i read this post i just paused at the computer….. I couldn’t believe what i was reading….someone else has HSC math exam nightmares???!!! I thought i’m the only one! never really spoke to anyone but my husband about it! it’s such a nightmare for me to have this dream where someone suddenly springs on me a 3unit HSC maths exam with no study… Freaks me out to no end…… just had one a couple of nights ago…. why do they keep recurring i wonder?? anyways. love your blog and look forward to your posts xx

  25. Beth, the universe does not give you more than you are able to handle.


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