Relationships

Encouragement

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed this week. Sometimes it’s hard being a grown-up, especially an anxious one. But then my mom sent me this poem, and I’d love to frame it on my desk. It speaks so beautifully to the strength we can carry with us.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
—Rudyard Kipling

How are you feeling these days, my loves?

P.S. Are you, too, a worrier?

(Banner from Secret Holiday & Co.; top illustration by Marc Johns, via Swissmiss)

  1. L says...

    I’m not a worrier but I am a warrior when we are by one another’s side. I love you??

  2. I’m a BIG worrier! I’ve been trying to work on being more optimistic lately. I hope that you feel better though! Don’t worry! Everything will work out! :)

  3. Thank you for sharing this poem. It was just what I needed in my life right now

  4. Thank you for sharing this poem. It was just what I needed in my life right now

  5. I love this poem. Have you seen this? It is Dennis Hopper reading it on the Johnny Cash show.

  6. Thank you for sharing this poem. It was just what I needed in my life right now.

  7. I absolutely love this, thank you so much for sharing!

  8. “If” is one of my all time favorite poems. What a testament on how to live life! Thanks for sharing!

  9. thank you for sharing this! i feel like i’ve developed anxiety over the last few months and sometimes feel like i can’t shake it. i love the grand canyon analogy. i’m gonna start using that. thank you!

  10. Joni Mitchell sings the words of this poem, it’s beautiful.

  11. Great post. I have been feeling discouraged as well. I will make it through.

  12. Thank you so much for reminding me of a poem I used to love. It really is perfect timing for me and I hope it helps you too :)

  13. I loved reading this. I saved it for myself for those days when I need extra encouragement and inevitably we all do at one point or another.

  14. Ha, love the marc johns illustration! His drawing always make me smile :)

  15. this was incredibly meaningful for me today. thank you and your mother for sharing.

  16. this was incredibly meaningful for me today. thank you and your mother for sharing.

  17. yay this. so needed. good luck with your presentation tomorrow. you’ll be fab!

  18. I truly enjoy your blog! It’s always interesting and enriching. I think it takes some guts to do what you’re doing. Kudos and thanks to you!!

  19. My comment is about the Kipling poem.

    (I didn’t realize there was another poem in the comment section!)

  20. My fifth grade teacher made us memorize the entire poem. I thought it too big a task at the time, and didn’t even really understand all the lines.
    It wasn’t until sometime in my twenties that I truly appreciated what a gift she gave us by ensuring that those beautiful thoughts would be there to comfort and encourage when we might need it most.

  21. I don’t usually post, although I always follow your blog. I recently made a life changing decision and have felt worry and fear as a result. My friend sent me the following poem and it calms me.

    The Blue House

    It is night with glaring sunshine. I stand in the woods and look towards my house with its misty blue walls. As though I were recently dead and saw the house from a new angle.

    It has stood for more than eighty summers. Its timber has been impregnated, four times with joy and three times with sorrow. When someone who has lived in the house dies it is repainted. The dead person paints it himself, without a brush, from the inside.

    On the other side is open terrain. Formerly a garden, now wilderness. A still surf of weed, pagodas of weed, an unfurling body of text, Upanishades of weed, a Viking fleet of weed, dragon heads, lances, an empire of weed.

    Above the overgrown garden flutters the shadow of a boomerang, thrown again and again. It is related to someone who lived in the house long before my time. Almost a child. An impulse issues from him, a thought, a thought of will: “create. . .draw. ..” In order to escape his destiny in time.

    The house resembles a child’s drawing. A deputizing childishness which grew forth because someone prematurely renounced the charge of being a child. Open the doors, enter! Inside unrest dwells in the ceiling and peace in the walls. Above the bed there hangs an amateur painting representing a ship with seventeen sails, rough sea and a wind which the gilded frame cannot subdue.

    It is always so early in here, it is before the crossroads, before the irrevocable choices. I am grateful for this life! And yet I miss the alternatives. All sketches wish to be real.

    A motor far out on the water extends the horizon of the summer night. Both joy and sorrow swell in the magnifying glass of the dew. We do not actually know it, but we sense it: our life has a sister vessel which plies an entirely different route. While the sun burns behind the islands.

    27doses.tumblr.com

  22. You are seriously my favorite. Every time I read your blog, I leave more enriched and I feel good about me, so thank you! This poem is perfect..so encouraging. Thanks for sharing.
    MN

    mannuellanadine.com

  23. OK, this poem is exactly what I needed to read today. So comforting, and encouraging, and exactly what we should be aiming for in life. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Oh Joanna, thanks for this poem, it watered up my eyes at work! I’ve been having the most dreadful time doubting myself at work lately, but these are truly words of encouragement and I will print and hang the poem next to me to remember that nothing must beat us down.
    Lots of love from Chile!

    Flo

  25. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 is my go-to when I’m stressed also. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not the only one who freaks out over everything. You are amazing

  26. Having the most anxious time lately, thank you for reminding me of that poem, It’s my dad’s favorite and he quotes it all the time!

  27. OH JOANNA! THIS WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED RIGHT NOW! I too felt overwhelmed today and this post was such a GREAT PICK ME UP!!! THANK YOU! I too am an anxious person.

  28. I felt this for you today Jo:
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

    And also:
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, And he will make your paths straight.”
    (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Jesus WILL carry you, He will never turn you away, He loves you so much :)
    He has great plans for you!

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

    • Thank you for these lovely words.

    • Thank you so much for this wonderful compilation of words. I just love reading faith filled posts like this. It just lifts my spirits when reading these verses. I especially like “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” I wrote that down on a piece of paper eight years ago from a very traumatic time in my life. I was working in a call center environment and one call I made I got an answering machine that left this message – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” It really helped me through a difficult time and put a smile on my face. I have it hanging up in my home to remind me to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart!!!”
      Thank You,
      Monica M.

  29. ‘If’ was one of the first poems my mother shared with me!
    I was 8 and I had to recite it at school. Mum helped through the words and what they meant.
    This poem reminds me of courage and my mum’s warmth.
    Good strong feelings.

  30. I’m not a worrier. I DO get overwhelmed. My mom died when I was 19, and I have a terribly hard time when dealing with anything that you need your mom for – being sick, getting married, my sister having a baby. I try to remember what she always told me: “Take a nap. It will all seem a little easier when you wake up.” She was big on naps.

  31. This is exactly what I needed. Thank you :)

  32. From one worrier to another – thank you! I needed this. :)

  33. I have one of Ashley’s (secret holiday) amazing banners hanging in my dining room! I purchased it last year when I was trying to balance school and work and was absolutely unable to manage any time for an actual life. We all need to remind ourselves that it will be OK sometimes.

    As another anxious worrier- thank you for sharing your mother’s message of wisdom.

  34. I feel like an un-productive lazy mess. I’ve been a little off since last Friday, and I am definitely a textbook worrier.

  35. Just what I needed. Thankyou!

  36. my middle name should be “worrier”. i used to wear a worry bead ring to keep calm at times. hang in there. and do rely on your mother, friends, husband, teachers, etc. it’s amazing how many people around us are willing to help us when we are in a funk :) like your blog friends!

  37. Sigh. I can definitely relate. I actually recently just told my own blog readers that I’m taking a little hiatus as life’s just gotten too, ahem, complicated as of late. I need a little breathing room and hey, I’m not afraid to admit it. The lobotomy though, that may be another story! Bah.

  38. How funny you posted this when everybody needed to see it :) I’m another one that can identify with feeling overwhelmed and anxious- sometimes I use my alone time in the car to let out a few tears. Even though of course I can cry and be myself with my husband, things just all seem to pour out once I’m in the car- then when the drive is over, I shut the door and leave whatever emotions inside.

    Now, I think I need to find myself a striped sweater ;)

    Thanks for posting this. It’s tough being personal on your blog, but rarely, I find, is it a mistake!

  39. we all need encouragement … and more often than not, it’s the honesty that others share with us.

    mr. kipling seemed to be an honest man, informing us that things aren’t always easy. e.e. cummings said it pretty straight up too:

    “to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it’s best, night and day,
    to make you everybody else means to
    fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight;
    and never stop fighting.”

    i am not so much a worrier … but i do have my other anxieties (right now, expectations & comparison – http://sarah-nadine.blogspot.ca/2012/09/be-free-from-expectation.html ).

    like i said, it’s honesty that is encouraging. you sharing your heart informs others they are not alone in the fight to be who they are. thanks for the “press-on” post today.

    xo

  40. I am a HUGE worrier! To the point where, as an adult, I’ve taken to grinding my teeth. It’s pretty bad. It has much to do with my job. I sometimes daydream about quitting my job and not worrying anymore! : ) That being said, I love this poem because I totally had to memorize it in 8th grade! Good pick!

  41. I’ve had the worst week. I almost got in a car accident (not my fault), two people yelled at my friend and I at a show for taking “their” seats, and a customer screamed at me for asking to ring her up at a different location, she then left and came back to yell at me some more. This all has made my anxiety go crazy and made me reconsider living in this town. Luckily I got to go camping and retreat from the city madness. Escaping to nature always makes me feel safer.

  42. Beautiful poem, truly. I am SUCH a worrier. It is the one thing I would instantly change about myself, if I could. My husband tells me to just not worry, but for us worriers, we know how challenging this can be. I too, find comfort in words: poems, songs, etc. and I think having a little reminder like this around is so helpful.

  43. I have to wryly wonder if Mr. Kipling’s point wasn’t that no human can attain all that, nor call the world their own! I think the transition into autumn is always an anxious time; trust that the bumps will work themselves out given time. And yes — I’m certainly anxious these days. Just found out that my boyfriend and I are both being laid off this year!

  44. UL says...

    I have Desiderata by Max Ehrman posted on my wall at work. I glance at it here and there to calm myself, to remind myself that I am more than the problems I have to solve on daily basis. Check it out.

  45. Thank you, Joanna! And thank your mom! This is such a wonderful reminder. Things are starting to get hectic with school, and sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in the little things. This made me smile. It’s beautiful and true, something we need to hear more often! xoxo

  46. I will have to share this with my mom. She is in the middle of alot right now, divorce, and working on getting the condo (my childhood home) ready to sell, and finding a new home. I’m overwhelmed for her!
    This is a nice reminder to keep going. Thank you.
    Leah

  47. At 37.5 weeks pregnant, yes! Being overwhelmed and anxious are the order of the day. This might sound weird, but I take a lot of comfort in remembering that me and my problems and worries are all pretty banal and unoriginal, and that we are all facing our own struggles – this helps to restore a sense of perspective and serves as a reminder that we’re all connected. Anxiety, for me, is when I place too much importance on myself, which is isolating and scary… Whereas if I remember that my worries are just a blip in the bigger picture of my life – and that I am just a blip in the bigger picture of the universe! – then I feel so much more peace.

  48. I memorized this poem for homeschool in sixth grade. Just re read it recently. Chin up! You an inspiration to many people, including me! Love reading your blog and hearing about your sweet family. :)

  49. Like Jenna, I was going to ask if you have ever read “If–for Girls.” Someone included it in my high school graduation card, and I’ve referred to it many times in the ten years since then. Now I like to tuck either version into cards for grads.

    I recently became a mother, and it’s bringing out anxiety I never knew I had. Even simple decisions seem monumental when a little one’s well-being is at stake. With such a sweet, innocent life in my charge, the world suddenly seems like such a dangerous place.

  50. I stopped being a worrier when I turned 50 years old. You will too. You just put your energy elsewhere and start to realize that worrying does no good. It solves nothing, and besides…. you suddenly become too tired to worry. LOL

  51. AJ says...

    I love this poem :)

    Thank you for the lovely reminder. Yes, this week is overwhelming for me as well. Just when you think you have one corner of your life settled, other things seem to jump out and stick their tongue out at you.

    Enjoy your trip!

  52. I’ve been having what I call the September blues and this has helped a lot. I just recently moved across the country to Philadelphia and it has been quite the challenge. Thanks for sharing this poem! I think I’m going to have frame it and put in my office too! xoxo

  53. Joanna! Thank you.

  54. This poem made my day.

  55. Oh am I a worrier? Is the Pope Catholic? I know how it feels, trust me I do…

    I love that illustration! Sometimes that really is all you can do. Or as my mom would say, “Time to put on your big girl panties and just deal with it.”

  56. Thank you for posting this! I just came out from an overwhelming week- dealing with a funk i’m fighting. It’s always nice to hear of other people out there who are anxious as well. It helps build a community and feels a lot less lonely and overwhelming. Thank you for posting! You are so brave and I admire you and your work so much.

  57. Joanna, three hours I got I got fired from my part-time waitressing job – for reasons of injustice and total misunderstanding! Not to mention, I was never even told I was let go; instead I was replaced while I was on vacation and had to find out when I came in for my next shift. I can’t tell you how much this post made me smile, as all morning I’ve been going back and forth between freaking out, worry, and embarrassment, to “maybe this is a blessing in disguise” and now I’ll have more time to focus on my professional event planning job. Thank you, you didn’t even know you were there for me today, but you were!

  58. My high school English professor made us memorize this RK poem for our AP class. It kinda came back to me as I was reading it on your post. Very cool! Thanks for the reminder.

  59. I am not a worrier…which is not to say that I haven’t fallen in the “abyss” at times! I think it goes along with being either an optimist or a pessimist – my mother was an optimist, and she was a happy person…my father totally opposite, and he was unhappy his entire life…and did his “best” to make sure everyone around him was unhappy too.

    Worrying doesn’t make anything better…it can only make things worse…so keep that in mind! If you can do something about the subject of your worry, do it – action is always good! If you can’t do anything about it…let it go!

    Not easy to do…but nothing worthwhile is!

  60. What a great poem, and very encouraging! I also have the poem Desiderata framed on my desk, and I’ll read it when life feels a little too much. :) Feel better!

  61. I’m a BIG worrier! I’ve been trying to work on being more optimistic lately. I hope that you feel better though! Don’t worry! Everything will work out! :)

  62. I love this poem! I was required to memorize it for Theatre Arts my freshman year of high school and still remember it to this day. Just a great poem.

  63. I’m having a crappy, overwhelming week as well. I do love that poem.. it’s been my favorite for years. Need to remember it. I am a worrier too… it sucks.

  64. My best coping mechanism, since my first year of college, was to go look at the ocean. Because, how big can your problems be compared to the vastness of the ocean? I love knowing how insignificant I am- means I can’t do *too* much damage.
    That and therapy, haha.

  65. Joanna, I love your blog! I am a scholar, and I study anxiety (the kind we all feel all the time). You may take comfort knowing that most people feel anxious many times each day. In my research, I have found that people believe that trying to calm down is the best way to cope with anxiety. However, the arousal associated with anxiety is automatic, and trying to calm down is very difficult. Instead, try reframing your anxiety as excitement. This strategy is easier and more effective than trying to relax or calm down. The next time you feel anxious, try saying “I’m excited” out loud a few times. It can help you focus on the opportunities (instead of the threats) in your life. I hope this helps!

    • Alison- I love this tip! I’m going to try it.

  66. I have the ‘It’s Ok’ print in my living room and it’s such a nice reminder every morning when I get up to make tea. Plus, this poem is beautiful :) Thanks for the wise words this morning! You’re a super awesome human, keep it up!

  67. Feeling the same way. Boo. Trying to get ready so the winter blues aren’t so blue this year. <3 <3 <3

  68. Your timing is wonderful :) Thanks for sharing that!

  69. For me, this could not have come at a more perfect time, as I was just served some very unsettling news that will turn my entire world upside down. I really needed these encouraging words. Thank you.

  70. Jo, I am a complete worrier and just had a bunch of changes (all good, but nonetheless, changes!) that have left me feeling quite overwhelmed. I always go back to this poem by Danna Faulds, “Let It Go”:

    Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
    the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide.
    The choice to fight what is here before you now will
    only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
    to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.
    Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
    through your days whether you received it gently
    or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
    Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
    explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward
    nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
    you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
    or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
    rest and peace, and certain transformation.

  71. My baby turned 6 months this month and I started to give her rice cereal. We also had a vacation and also a move out state. SO I’ve been giving her rice cereal on and off, and she has yet to start another food. I’ve been so inconsistent. With the move and the vacation, it’s just been hard. Now, we’re both under the weather. I’m super overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing the inspiration poem.

  72. This is just what I needed today. I can absolutely relate to feeling overwhelmed and anxious simply with daily things that seem to build up all at once. Thank you for this, it was so nice to read with the last new days I’ve had.

  73. Well i’m crying. Its been a hard 2 days. I’ve learned alot…some I wish I never knew. Humans can be awful and amazing at the same time. Judging from the poem and the photo, I think I’m feeling much like you are. Chin up, you’re not alone.

  74. Thanks so much for this post, Joanna. I have actually come to realize in these past few years as I move towards my upper-twenties that I am quite a worrier, something that would make life so much easier and carefree if I wasn’t. On top of that, this worrier is even more worried later waiting on BAR results. However, some of us were just born worry-warts and I try to remind myself that being such a worrier makes a person much more detail-oriented, thoughtful and efficient! Clearly being a bit of a worrier has allowed you to be able to share this blog with us AND still be a great mom and wife, because it’s caused you to be very efficient and detail-oriented!

  75. i thought it was just me. thank you so much for this inspirational post, joanna. it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. xo.

  76. i definitely tend to worry more than i should and i hate it. i find myself worrying about the strangest things too. thanks for sharing that poem.. it was very helpful and inspirational.

  77. I am a worrier too! Sometimes it’s so hard to just STOP.

    My husband and I were discussing this. He’s very optimistic usually. Fundamentally it seems like (when a difficult/worrisome situation comes up) I tend to think it will NOT work out okay … while he believes that in the end it WILL.

    Hard to change that when it feels like it’s a basic part of you. It’s annoying. ;-P My faith in God keeps me anchored, mostly, but not without struggle.

    I love that poem. I memorized it when I was younger.

  78. Yes, I am. Thanks for the poem. I liked it and I shared it with my family too. :)
    I’m dating a guy that is not a worrier and seeing him makes me learn to not worry! He’s the most carefree soul I’ve seen on the planet and he’s gone through some very tough times in his life! Have to have faith that everything works out for the best. I try to remind myself that!

  79. Hi Joanna,

    I don’t often comment here but just have to say how much I ADORE your blog, it is the only one I faithfully make sure to check every day because it always puts me in such a good mood or at least cheers me up a bit or makes me think. My friends always ask me where I find such interesting websites/ links/ hear about stuff and I think they get tired of me always raving about your blog!! :p I know so many readers feel like I do! As a new mom living in NY (Brooklyn) I find so much to relate to but I still would if I were living anywhere I think.

    I am also a phenomenal worrier! I always have been. My mom recently found a “time capsule” I had to make in school when I was 8 (such a great idea btw) and we had to fill out answers to a bunch of questions.. one was “How have you been feeling lately?” and my answer was “happy but stressed.” Always the same! And now that I have a newborn, forget about it. I’ve never known so much love, and simultaneously, worry, in my life!

    Anyways just a long-delayed shout out!

    -Molly Cain Dodin

  80. Hi Jo – I just wanted to thank you for this little encouragement.

  81. Hi Joanna,

    I don’t often comment here but just have to say how much I ADORE your blog, it is the only one I faithfully make sure to check every day because it always puts me in such a good mood or at least cheers me up a bit or makes me think. My friends always ask me where I find such interesting websites/ links/ hear about stuff and I think they get tired of me always raving about your blog!! :p I know so many readers feel like I do! As a new mom living in NY (Brooklyn) I find so much to relate to but I still would if I were living anywhere I think.

    I am also a phenomenal worrier! I always have been. My mom recently found a “time capsule” I had to make in school when I was 8 (such a great idea btw) and we had to fill out answers to a bunch of questions.. one was “How have you been feeling lately?” and my answer was “happy but stressed.” Always the same! And now that I have a newborn, forget about it. I’ve never known so much love, and simultaneously, worry, in my life!

    Anyways just a long-delayed shout out!

    -Molly Cain Dodin

  82. Thank you so much for this.
    I very much needed it today.

  83. I am not a worrier. I never realized what a great gift that was. if worry worked, we wouldn’t need it.
    That said, there are days when I try to scoot through a maze of decisions that must be made to keep going forward. Being a grownup is very difficult (though worth it) and you never outgrow it.
    Hang in there.

  84. I am not a worrier. I never realized what a great gift that was. if worry worked, we wouldn’t need it.
    That said, there are days when I try to scoot through a maze of decisions that must be made to keep going forward. Being a grownup is very difficult (though worth it) and you never outgrow it.
    Hang in there.

  85. You have an incredible knack for connecting with your readers, Joanna. Amidst any overwhelming feelings, at least know that. Recently, a friend suggested I read The Untethered Soul. Maybe you’d like to have a peek in this book, too? It might not be for everyone (it could be perceived as a little kooky, if it’s generally not your thing), but I can tell you that it is still pretty powerful and peaceful if you align with some of what it’s sharing. Just a thought for you… In the meantime, sending a group hug your way.

  86. I am a total worrier and am worrying a lot right now with my first book out.
    I also often say, even after all these years of being a parent that I’m not mature enough for this job. But somehow I’ve been doing it for 18 years. Hang in there and just keep going. We all do the best we can and your best at what you can do is just fine. What you can’t affect, hey you just can’t. I hope things calm soon.

  87. My grandfather carried that poem in his pocket during WWII. Thanks for sharing it this morning Joanna! Remember, this too shall pass : )

  88. Such a sweet, encouraging poem and post! Thanks for sharing!

  89. Can’t think of one more thing that could have gone wrong today, and I legitimately looked at my closet and said “Well, slouchy striped sweater, it’s just you and me today.” Loved this post!

  90. I have also felt extremely overwhelmed, by all things outside of my control. I usually don’t let things get me down but it’s been hard.

    This poem is perfect, to remind me that the tribulations I face right now are nothing compared to things I’ve conquered in the past, nor greater than the ones I will face in the future.

    Thank you, this is very timely and beautiful. What a wonderful mother to know what would help you.

  91. I am amazed that you wrote about this today! I have been dealing with anxiety lately, and have been trying to talk myself out of this funk- that poem was exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  92. Your posts are so timely! Just this morning I was running through my head all the things ahead and stressing how it will work out – my fiance coming to the US from Mali (we’re waiting on a fiance visa), trying to figure out how his credentials will transfer here as a veterinarian, doing grad school and working full time – there is always so much to think about and everyone has a different load to carry! Thank goodness we have people (and bloggers :) in our lives to remind us that it’s all going to be alright. Deep breaths and as the book says, don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff :)

  93. this is so good. for real – thank you for this. xoxo

  94. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed out too lately- graduating from law school with an insane amount of debt and no job prospects while waiting for the bar exam results is not so fun. I made it a point to jot down one happy thought every day this week to try to get me out of my slump. Sometimes it helps just to know that others are in the same boat, even if not dealing with the same issues.

  95. I too am feeling overwhelmed and stressed and anxious and worried. Maybe it’s the weather change, maybe it’s a gut feeling, maybe it’s being 23, but we just have to tell ourselves to “keep swimming” :)

    Thanks, Joanna!
    xo from Boston

  96. I am a worrier. I don’t stop. I am an anxious person, I literally was born that way, according to my mother.

  97. I haven’t been doing well at all. In fact, it’s been difficult to make it through the day lately. My long term boyfriend just broke things off out of the blue about a month ago, and the hurt is unbelievable. We had talked about marriage, I thought he was the one…So I worry a lot right now. I worry I will never get over him, that the pain will never go away, that I will never find a love like that again.

    Thanks for this post, Joanna.

  98. I am a big time worrier, especially since becoming a mother. We are currently searching for a home (like yourself). It will be our first time buying. We currently live in Los Angeles and are looking to move closer to the coast of Ventura. The market is extremely competitive. It is driving me nuts and causing so much stress. My husband takes it in stride, I however am so frazzled. I must remember to breathe and enjoy this moment. I love the striped sweater illustration. If it was only cool enough here!

  99. This is a lovely post, Joanna, and just what I needed to hear today. :) Thank you!

  100. Mmmm Joanna, I am sorry to hear about your anxiousness. It is all so familiar to many of us – especially women. I just offered the following advice to my sister last night: When you feel overwhelmed and your mind is racing, do something you love. Indulge in you. Find a way. For me that is usually a long run, yoga, shopping, a wholesome lunch our local food co-op, or martini with a friend. Give in and remind yourself that in the scheme of things it is all very very little. And you have SO much to be proud of…relish in that. Big hug! dina

  101. Jo, thanks for sharing that poem. It really puts life’s trials & triumphs in perspective.

    I was feeling really anxious yesterday (waiting to hear back from a company after an interview), and I actually called my mom and just cried over the phone. It made me feel so much better though. Moms are the best!!

  102. such a beautiful poem, every time I come across it I immediately think of Bridget Jones (the second book) though :) Not a big worrier myself, but I still get caught up in my head from time to time. I highly recommend letting it all out amongst those closest to you. They will cheer you on and love you no matter what x

  103. i had a few anxious weeks recently but am feeling very peaceful these last couple of weeks. i hope you get to feeling better!

    also, i love this line from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata:

    “But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fear and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should.”

  104. it’s ok :)

  105. Oh my goodness, I am such a huge worrier. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But I am always full of positivity for other people, isn’t that always the way? You can give great advice but never follow your own.

    Lately we’ve all been sick in our household, and when you have a toddler (as you know Jo) you never really get on top of a sickness, you just sort of ride it out until it’s gone. So I’ve been feeling run down and tired.

  106. I definitely feel you! I have felt that old worry creeping in more lately! But, good news is I am wearing stripes today:)
    Anne

  107. I love this poem. I memorized it for a school contest in the 5th grade, and had forgotten about it until now. Beautifully worded.

  108. This is my boyfriend’s favorite poem. His parents put it in a letter to him after his high school graduation. It really is inspiring!

    I’m a worrier and a planner and I worry even more when things don’t go according to plan, but that’s life! Nothing is according to plan!

    The only thing to remember is you can’t control everything and worrying won’t help anything. The best we can do is be prepared.

  109. I am a huge worrier, very comforting to know someone else is too! Bane of my life. This is my dads favorite poem, he used to make us learn it!

  110. When we were growing up, my grandfather promised us grandchildren (11 of us) $100 each if we memorized this poem and recited it to him. Even to this day, I still remember it! Thanks for the reminder :)

  111. So immensely helpful right now, you have no idea. Thank you for this post.

  112. This poem is beautiful — such an inspiration! I too have been feeling a little overwhelmed these days — working full time, running an independent magazine, doing a bit of freelancing on top of that and trying to maintain that tricky work-life balance :)

    Whenever I get too overwhelmed I usually hug my dog or take her for a run with friends. But I’ll definitely be reading this poem a lot too! Thanks so much for sharing, xoxo

  113. Good luck, and I hope you feel better!

    I use to be a big worrier, but I’ve let go of a lot of that after being a parent (well except for worrying about my son of course).

    I’m having one of those overwhelming weeks too. I woke up at 1:30 am today to get started – I had so much to do! And I’m 9 months pregnant.

    It’s one of those weeks!

    Tara
    http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com
    http://blog.chron.com/madabouttown/

  114. That poem is called ‘If for Boys’ – have you read ‘If for Girls’? My great-grandmother gave a printed and framed version of that poem to my grandmother when she was a teenager. My grandmother gave a printed version to me and my cousins when we were little. Mine looks similar to this, but with different colors: http://www.etsy.com/listing/91101723/1924-framed-print-if-for-girls-jp-mcevoy

  115. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, though I’m a worrier too most of the time. My husband on the other hand, has been feeling really stressed and worried for the past couple of weeks and I’ll definitely be passing this poem onto him. Hope the rest of your week goes well!

  116. That’s so wonderful.

    I have been feeling rather under the weather these past few days – today being the worst of them.
    Kind of needing that someone would say that it’s okay to feel not okay.

    And there you are posting this lovely poem with a picture of ‘It’s OK’
    I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  117. it honestly must be in the air. the past two weeks have really been tough on me, starting with work and letting it trickle into everything that i do and love. i have thought and rethought about my priorities in life and am learning to approaching things in a new way that makes me both happy and proud. The greatest realities that I have learned recently when dealing with my anxiety (at least for me and I do wish that I was better at it) is that sunshine makes the best medicine. By that I mean, shining a light, making those around you aware of your feelings, ideas, and dreads instead of bottling them up. When all else fails, turn to marc johns.

  118. That banner is so cute. And what a sweet poem!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  119. I’m a total worrier too – I have to keep myself in check and work really hard to cultivate a sunny outlook, This post was exactly what I needed today. Thanks!

  120. That is one of my favorite poems!!!

  121. Loved the poem. I am feeling like my old self again these days, but had a very rough patch a few weeks ago. I has a miscarriage at 8 weeks and my mother went into the hospital for a possible heart attack (She is doing well now).
    I was in a daze of miserable, self-pitying pain. And then my sister sent me this poem. Oh how it made me cry and eventually let go.

    She Let Go (by Ernest Holmes)

    She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
    She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments.
    She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the “right” reasons.
    Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

    She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
    She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
    She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

    No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

    There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that. In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the Sun and the Moon shone forevermore.
    http://judysavestheday.blogspot.com/2012/09/just-let-go.html

  122. I’ve been “in the weeds” (as they say) the past month and I can relate. Everything has been overwhelming, I feel like I’m stuck, and on top of it all I had the mother lode of cat illnesses strike my house. It was a disaster and I spent a ton of money dealing with it all. But things are starting to even out now, so I feel qualified to tell you it’s going to be okay, you’ll get through it, and you’re tougher than you think. :)

  123. Moved to Manhattan 2 weeks ago and feeling completely stressed and now worrying that I’m missing out on enjoying this really exciting time (and having time off work to explore), and of course I’m not enjoying it enough because I’m too busy worrying! Vicious circles, I think I need one of those banners facing my bed when I wake up in the morning.

  124. Thanks for this, darling! We all love you and need you in some way. You inspire so many of us, so hopefully you can find some extra strenght on our comments and support. As for me, well, I am about to make a huge life change in the next months, and even I am VERY happy about it, I have my moments where I freak out and cry myself to sleep. I would also recommend you Flowers of Bach ( I got them at Whole Foods) It works wonders for me. XOXO

  125. fantastic – thank you for sharing! You are lucky to have a great Mom :)

  126. Thank you for the encouraging poem! In the midst of keeping up with work, marriage and friendships I can let the worries of life get the best of me too.

    Thank you for your honesty and the inspiring poem- moms always know just what we need to hear, right? And perhaps you can find encouragement in knowing that being a good momma is in your GENES too! Hope you have a great day!

  127. Perfectly timed for how I am feeling today…thank you so much to you and to Rudyard Kipling for the inspiration!

  128. this is very nice. I think i needed it this morning. I hope first that you feel better. I am the same. i worry a lot and I just realized that I am a person full of anxiousness at times and though i thought I keep it concealed very well it peeps out at time. though I have a right to worry I guess its not going to make it pan out any better any quicker. if i had a sweater i would put it on and take on the day.

  129. this is perfect!

  130. Oh gosh, thanks so much for this. I totally needed it this morning.
    ~Gaia

  131. Thank you, Joanna – that is EXACTLY what I needed this morning. It is one of my favorite poems!!! Keep your chin up – you are an amazing person and wonderful mom to adorable Toby!!!

  132. Hi Joanna!
    If only you could know how much these words help…
    Thank you for the poem. And this marc johns’ illustration is going straight to my “inspiration” file.

  133. This post comes when I need it the most. I’m SUCH a worrier. I literally worry about everything and have been known to make myself sick because of it. I need to relax, and I think keeping this poem some place accessible is a great start.

  134. Oh, don’t even get me going about worrying! You know it’s bad when you start to worry about why you’re worrying so much. Hang in there!

  135. I’m right there with you, Joanna. xoxo