by Lori Dwyer on May 15, 2011 · 19 comments

I play thumb wrestles daily with the knot of hot, feathered anxiety that sits between my stomach and the muscles of my diaphragm.

It’s annoying. Irritating. It creeps up in the back of my mind when I’m doing other things, thinking about things.

And then I realise I’m feeling anxious, and I try and trace the thread of thought back to where it began.. where that hot anxiety begin to creep from my middle, up the back of my neck to sit and poke me from the base of my skull.

Most of the time,that thread of anxiety leads back to.. nothing.

My brains still working on it, I think. That pointless anxiety, it’s a feeling that I have to go back.

Back to the suburbs. Back to my busy little life, which I look back on now and don’t know what it was so full of.

My mind is taking it’s sweet time to realise that I don’t have to. If we like it here…. we can stay.

And like it here, we do.

As I think I’ve mentioned, I never had big plans. But they felt big.

Now, my plans are even tinier, less ambitious, less consequential.

It’s all quite simple. I feel like, for now, that I’ve run the gauntlet of what life has to throw at me. For now, there is no reason to stretch, to push. No reason to think I have to return to any kind of life I had before.

I think, for now, it’s enough to just be. That’s all I want from life, for the rest of it. To just be.

To appreciate the simple things. To be happy. To raise happy, resilient children.

To buy a house, make it a home. To take care of my kids. To write, while I enjoy it, as much as I can, and be grateful for the extra cash I make from it.

That’s all. Not just for the next six months, not just for the next year. I never have to push, or feel like my life experience isn’t complete, ever again, if I don’t want to.

This is it. All bets are off. As far as living on the edge goes, I’ve fucking done enough of it.

I think I just want to be quiet. And happy, as much as I can be. Inconspicuous, in real life, in a way I’m blessedly not online.

To heal, slowly, so the wound closes up right. The way I’m beginning to.

And that.. that’s enough. If I want to live the quiet life, if I want to be a goddamn hermit, I can.

I’m just going to live the simple life. to remind myself it is OK to relax. It is OK to be happy. that creeping, seeping hot anxiety, I don’t have to have that hanging around my neck for the rest o my life.

I just need to remind my mind, to train my brain, to let it go.

post signature

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Toots May 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm

This night sound daft Lori, but…are you holding your breath? That's what I do when I'm anxious & that little know feels permanently stuck. And I realise that I'm unconciously holding my breath; waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

Breathe out :)

Sophie xxx


Andrea May 23, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hooray for the quiet life and hermit like existance…..just don't let hermit like turn into isolated….keep your connections with people.


Amandala May 18, 2011 at 8:57 am

It's my first time commenting here. Months ago, a friend linked me to your site and I read two posts and couldn't read more because I was terribly depressed at the time. Just lately I've remembered you and wondered how you were doing, so I stopped back by to check up and read the last couple of months worth of posts all at once – with breaks to put my head down and cry.

And I wanted to tell you a few things, that you've probably heard before, but that I don't think enough people can possibly tell you:

All those people who think to judge you and tell you what you should and shouldn't be doing, from their COMFORTABLE perch as people who haven't just lost their partner in life, aren't alone with two small children, under a crushing heap of guilt and regret and loss – they should just sit back and count THEIR fucking blessings instead, and keep their mouths shut.

You shouldn't have to justify ANYTHING you do – or do not do. You are not exaggerating when you say you are literally surviving. Most people cannot imagine, and for their sakes I hope they will never be able to imagine, what it's like for you now. And there are FEW things you've copped to doing that I myself haven't done, as a just-plain-stressed out and sleep deprived mother of one toddler.

And you ARE doing good by telling your story, and not just for yourself, either. I know it could seem quite crass to actually say this to you, but I want you to know that reading your blog has caused me to put my life as it is now, and especially my husband, into an entirely new perspective than the one it had all slipped into. I promise you that reading your story has made at least one woman open her eyes and turn to see her big, strong, overworked, probably stressed out husband as if she could lose him the very next moment.

And for that I thank you.


Jodie Ansted May 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

One day at a time, I say.

If I start thinking about the future – imagining my kids growing older, Hubby and I growing older too, I start to freak out a bit. I just try to remember to appreciate the now.

Embrace the simplicity in life, hon. xx


Hear Mum Roar May 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Happiness, contentment and inner peace are some of the most underrated things in the world, aren't they? May you have all three


River May 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I'm doing the simple life thing myself.
I don't organise or plan every minute, don't make commitments on my time apart from work, I just go with the flow. Drifting…and I'm happy.
Just as you are now beginning to be.


Crystal Cheverie May 17, 2011 at 2:52 am

Absolutely nothing wrong with wanting simplicity. I totally get the whole fighting-with-your-mind bit – I think everyone to some extent has it ingrained in them that they have to "do something" with their lives. Well, creating a real home, raising your kids to be strong and happy, writing, working on being happy again yourself – that IS doing something.


Maggie May May 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Your writing clearly comes from a place of deep integrity and honesty. I'm so sorry for your loss, and thank you for this.


Caz May 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm

What a beautifully written post. I think you have described so simply what we all really want- a simple life of happiness free from all the burdens we carry with us.
Keep moving forward with your healing. The wound will heal soon


Miss Pink May 16, 2011 at 11:40 am

This is how i feel. I am happy with smaller goals. My biggest goal? To someday own my own home. That's it.
I think that so often the smaller beautiful things in life get overlooked with so many people having such big goals, feeling they need a trifector of great achievements to call life "successful". A high powered, high paying career, a perfect family life, and a busy social life. Just thinking of all that exhausts me!
Anxiety is awful stuff. I think worse than depression because it's more like an explosion, you have this little nagging feeling which is nothing and then suddenly the world is spinning out of control and you feel like everything is crashing down on you.
Stay in paradise. It's your safety blanket for you and the kids, and there is nothing wrong with finding comfort in a safety blanket.


A-M May 16, 2011 at 8:58 am

Lori, you are not alone. I am heavily into just 'being' at the moment. Simple, moment by moment living. Thank you for reminding me that it is ok to do so. I am in no hurry to get anywhere too. I breathe in the day, and breathe in my boys and that is enough. You are wise beyond your years. A-M xx


A Daft Scots Lass May 16, 2011 at 12:03 am

I'm so pleased to be reading this post. It makes me happy that you're on the right path.


rageagainsttheblackdog May 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Hi Lori,

Somewhere at someone wrote something along the lines about not wanting to take on too much in case they turned from a human being into a human doing.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just being, especially in your piece of paradise.

Enjoy it and heal at your own pace…if someday you want to go back to the 'burbs you can go…they certainly going anywhere, but you don't have too.

All the best,


Nicole May 16, 2011 at 8:33 am

Agree with Squiggly Rainbow , something I must take on board also re: my own anxiety levels. If I'm not doing something, or trying to do everything at once my anxiety levels really creep in & make me feel worthless, as if I should be doing something every single minute of the day. I can't even sit on the lounge for half an hour to eat my lunch, I have to eat it on the go to ensure I'm kept busy. Ugh. Going off the track a little here. But back to the OP, Salamander has hit the nail on the head. Wise words. xx


Kristina Hughes May 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Sounds like you're in just the right place. Hopefully the peace and tranquility will filter through to your mind soon enough. Who needs the burbs anyway unless your life is somehow dependent on the city? xx


Salamander May 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm

You deserve to be happy, whatever that takes. If a quiet, simple life in Paradise is right for you and your babies, then so be it. If you are enjoying anything at all, that is amazing, and wonderful. Sending lots of love to you, sweet girl xxxxx


Squiggly Rainbow May 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I love the way you have articulated that, I might try to remind my mind the same thing! As for anxiety – I have had many life trauma's that have added to my anxiety and we have moved three months ago to our simple life. Apart from taking my kids to school – I am a bit of a hermit – and I love it. Why does one need to concern themselves with over-rated fast-paced living. Being settled and peaceful is something that seems to draw some to solitude. xo Rach


Lynda Halliger-Otvos May 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Sweetie, your future is all in your hands; the warm water-side towns are the best places to take it all slowly and peacefully and simply. I hope that you find contentment with your beloved children as the tropical languor settles over the three of you. Sending calm loving energy to you and the Littles.


Mary May 16, 2011 at 7:08 am

How much do I love that human being versus a human doing!

Love Love Love

and love to you – I do believe that your decision to move to Paradise proves your instincts are true and good.

PS your writing in the paper was extraordinary –


Previous post:

Next post: