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A Simple Life in Italy – stopping the overwhelm

by Lisa Chiodo

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This time last week I was in total overwhelm……writing, blogging, tweeting, facebook, B-School, linked in, pinterest, family, kids, house work, renovations, health issues, tired….run down…..and constantly close to tears. Ridiculous right…here I am creating a ‘Simple Life in Italy’ and falling into the overwhelm trap.

Throw in B-School with Marie Forleo and it’s incredible online community and all the fantastic things these wonderful people are sharing and I then added podcasts, you tube, opt in’s, pop ups, newsletters, e-books, and all kinds of other things that require a committed focus to learn. Arghhhh!

I was just sinking into overwhelm.

Well I’m happy to say that it’s over…..I’m not playing that game anymore.
Enough……Basta……STOP!

I jumped on a coaching call with a fellow B-Schooler and an hour later felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I set a few priorities, created a time frame to complete them, put aside time just for writing and all this week I’ve stuck to it. No more going round and round the social media loop, I gave myself permission to just Stop.

You’ll still find me over at Facebook and Pinterest just a less overwhelmed version of me.

It’s time to step back and take a look at where I want to be, who I want to be, and where my dreams are at.

simple life in italy

B-School has been the best gift and most intense learning environment, one that has given me clarity and focus. It’s an ongoing learning process and a bit like renovating a house, laying the right foundation, spending time on the preparation to get the best results. Painting a house is 90% preparation and 10% application.

Now that I’ve given myself permission to just stop I’ve actually been out enjoying life here in the valley. I’m still getting things done and using the morning for writing and then the afternoon is for getting outside, helping with the wood, soaking up the sun with the gang here at Malpertus, splashing the kids at the fountain,  and today helping Sam with the rabbits.

We are down in the stable trying to gather up seven very fast little bunnies to see if they are girls or boys. Mum has gone back in with Dad who is very happy….VERY happy! And we now realize we have no clue about figuring out the sex of a young rabbit. Either we have seven girls or we have no clue! My guess is we have NO clue!

simple life in italy

Life here is good….better than good and this is what I want to share with you. It is possible to chase your dream, to create your own version of a simpler life, to find your passion and follow it, to live with a little less yet gain so much more. It is possible to just stop the overwhelm, take a deep breath and refocus, really focus on what it is you want for your life. Find that, focus on that, live towards that each day…..

I’m creating my very first e-book, and it’s just flowing from me…..all that we did to actually get here not just once but twice. Starting with that initial dream of a simple life in Italy, how we kept it alive, and all the steps in between. A mixture of storytelling, practical steps and inspiring images, sharing with my best friend, answering all the questions and I hope inspiring you to Dare to Dream.

I’m launching the book in June….on my Birthday, unless of course I get totally carried away and finish it before then.

I’m telling you this so you can hold me accountable, ask me how the books coming along, and as always if you have any thoughts or ideas to share I’d love to hear them.

Signatureand the gang x

dare to dream

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janine May 17, 2014 at 7:10 am

Ciao Lisa,

It’s taken me all week to get the time I wanted to make for your blog. Edit, edit and edit until you get to that tipping point where you’re actually yearning to reach out again. You’ve got the perfect excuse to slow down. Don’t spoil it. Live it. On your own terms. Think of you often. un abbraccio, Janine
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2 Lisa Chiodo June 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Hey Janine how funny it’s taken me this long to get and reply to everyone….it just takes such a lot of time but so worth it. You know you are right, I always seem to be pleasing someone other than myself. Slowing down sounds perfect xxx
sending love and hugs x
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3 Susan May 17, 2014 at 5:03 am

Hi Lisa,

You are right, if you are promoting the simple life, you should apply that way of life to the virtual life in cyber space as well.

But living in a rural area or far from your family and friends the internet is a gift to be able to connect with the world. It just needs to be balanced. However, when depending on writing, and now with your e-book, marketing is part of the business. So it is okay to be on popular social media. And if you have good content, and you do, people will find you and like you. There is no need to update often or to always produce unique new content.

Thanks for sharing your feelings, it was a good reminder to stay focused, which is not easy for creative people ;-)

Looking forward to your report about e-book writing!

Saluti
Susan
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4 Lisa Chiodo May 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

Crazy isn’t it Susan, it even made me laugh when I was talking about being so overwhelmed with my coach. Getting my virtual life and real life aligned is taking some time to work out. I want to share it, but I also want to be out living it x

Thanks for asking me about the e-book, I’m learning much about my writing process lol xx
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5 Krista May 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Oh luv, thank you for this. :-) XOXO I’m SO proud of you for slowing down and making the choices that work for YOU. I’ve been doing that too and life is so much better. :-) I feel happy again instead of utterly, completely overwhelmed. XO Wish we could sit down for a good long visit and a cuppa. I think of you so often and you give me courage. :-)
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6 Lisa Chiodo May 17, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Krista I know that each step I take gets me closer to my dream and to actually enjoy it all. I think we’ll have to have a skype cuppa, I’d so love to do that. So I’m starting to look at choices that work for US as a family and how I can combine things in a fulfilling way and share so that it makes a difference to each person reading along. xx
Every time I see your gum boots I smile, bright flowers and soul warming meals, you give me JOY…..x
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7 La Contessa May 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm

BRAVA!
On the book and slowing down…….I only do e-mail, my little blog,and instagram.Thats enough for me!I do have FB and PINTEREST but only look at those like twice a month.Yesterday,I went out into the garden and cleaned the pile of papers under my desk!That felt VERY GOOD.
So, Tu sei molto brava!
PS.It is very hard to sex a rabbit!
When do you head over to PARIGI?????
XX
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8 Lisa Chiodo May 17, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Oh Dear Contessa,

We head to Paris in June and the photo shoot is booked in for the 24th….it still seems like a dream.

Finding balance online seems to be a problem for so many people these days….I’m happy that I have so many wonderful distractions and we have a daughter of some friends coming to stay with us and she is lovely, can’t wait for some extra woman power here.

As for the rabbits who knows, we don’t have a clue.
sending love xx
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9 Wynne May 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

It is SO easy to become overwhelmed, even as you try to “live the simple life.” I agree, that trying to keep up with social media adds to that feeling. I limit mine to ONLY FB.

I’m glad your friend in B-School was able to help you get a handle on things – what a relief indeed!

I’m trying to take your advice and focus on what I really want, but I, too, seem to be pulled into different directions and like you, trying to find an income in the middle of it all. Damn the need for money! ;)

As for your book…I can’t wait!

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10 Lisa Chiodo May 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm

You are very wise Wynne, social media is a bit of a passion for me especially fb. Ahhh money the bane of our existence xxx
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11 Lisa Wood May 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Congratulations on your eBook – cant wait to read it ;)
Getting off facebook gives one a lot of time!! And I like the idea of working for a few hours and then exploring outside, is it warming up more for nice long walks?
I think following a dream is the best thing ever to do.
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12 Lisa Chiodo May 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Lisa it’s so beautiful here right now, Spring has the mountain covered in wild flowers and the days are warming up. We went for a walk today when the kids were at school, you know living out of the box can always be tough, and we have no income at the moment but I wouldn’t swap for quids xxx

sending love to all the gang xx
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13 Val May 11, 2014 at 10:58 pm

To you E Book Why not add in some of Sam’s family recipes. There are so many different Italian dishes and a little food talk is always mouthwatering. You have so many wonderful veggies and fruits that you could make some interesting dishes. Also how to make the rich tomato passata that the Italians bottle for the year ahead. Just a thought.

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14 Lisa Chiodo May 14, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Maybe in the next one Val, once I start writing about being here in Italy. I know Sam loves a book called Mangia Mangia…..I’m going to focus more on our life here and the day to day things like the garden, food, the lifestyle and creating a simple life xxx
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15 Sarah Hudson May 11, 2014 at 10:22 am

I feel your pain Lisa – last week living the dream was turning into living the nightmare! I felt like giving it all up, ditching birdie hill and just turning off the computer and phone for good. I felt so overwhelmed and out of my depth – like a mouse on a FB/Pinterest/Instagram wheel!! Then I decided to take my power back, email a person who was bullying me and turn the computer off from 7pm. I’m still not out of the woods and not making much money but I feel clearer about where I want to be and how I want to feel.Hope it lasts for us both! Happy Mother’s day too xxx

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16 Lisa Chiodo May 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Sarah I have to congratulate you, I’ve watched and loved your Birdie Hill site for so long. Get rid of that bully, just awful trolls and I saw a post this week from Caz at Ytravel about the same issue. Luckily I haven’t had that happen yet but we did have some awful neighbors back in Qld who made life hell for a while. We ended up with the police involved and I was so happy to move, it only takes one creep.

I’m loving your new image style and I think we could bounce ideas if you ever want to Skype. I’ll send you the link to that article. xxx
Don’t let the turkeys get you down, sending love xxx
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17 Anne May 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Hi Lisa , I can imagine how you feel , wanting to speak to people , share everything new that you are doing etc , but so glad to read you have given yourself permission to STOP , I have changed my habits too and leave the computer to two sessions a day , if it is sunny but if it is rainy and cold , I go on it when I want. I always say to my husband , you can always do computer work at night when the sun has gone in :-) take care xx
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18 Lisa Chiodo May 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Taking time to just Stop and re evaluate where we are and what we want to achieve. I’m like a cat chasing the light jumping from one idea to another. Now I have writing time in the morning and the afternoon free for the kids most days. I’m a total loss at night and can never concentrate and get so tired (low iron and low blood pressure). xxx
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19 jann May 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Ciao Lisa. These days you can be in the most remote corner of the world, and with social media, still feel overworked. Boo :( It’s hard to draw boundaries…
Are you doing your e-book in ibooks author? I’m working on one too (in ibooks author), and it’s so much fun to have complete creative control! Buon lavoro, Lisa–can’t wait to see your finished product. xxxxbaci
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20 Lisa Chiodo May 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Ciao Jann, how exciting and yes boundaries are hard to find. I feel just awful when I can’t keep up with everyone contacting us, it’s a full time job by itself and the part I love the most about being online. I haven’t heard of ibooks author, I”ve been putting it together in scrivener and word. I”d love to hear more, will yours be an e-book? Maybe we could skype sometime, so much to chat about. xxx

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21 Charmain Giuliani May 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Go grrrrl!

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22 Lisa Chiodo May 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Love it xxx
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23 Ann Cand May 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

You’re absolutely right – the social media are so exciting when we first discover them, and then comes…. overload… overwhelm… and it’s tempting to just give up and shut down.
Speaking from my own experience, too many posts from the same person in one day can sometimes tempt me to Hide that person, or just skim over without reading them, i.e. it’s self-defeating. I also worry about the friends who aren’t on FB, for instance – they’re being overlooked!

All the best to you, good luck with your book!

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24 Lisa Chiodo May 10, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Ann it’s so true and I share many photos on our Renovating Italy fb page. I guess I see that I can’t be everywhere and if I shared things here daily it would probably as you say just be deleted. I have blogs I love to follow and even those take time, once a week here is enough I think, I think the people who love our story will find plenty to keep them loving Italia like we do, especially this wild mountain side of Italy. xx
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25 amie storer May 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

So happy for u Lisa. Riley said to say happy birthday to Luca. Hope he had a great birthday! Xoxoxoxoxox I love it when I finally get some time to sit and catch up on your blog. :-)
Amie xo

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26 Lisa Chiodo May 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Amie, it’s so nice to see you here. Luca still says he wants to see his best friends William and Riley and we have the photos I took of the three of them on the computer which he loves to look at. Can’t believe how quickly they are growing, how does Riley like having a little sister. xxxx
sending love and if you have skype we could organize a call x
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27 Ingrid May 10, 2014 at 11:25 am

Great – it often helps to take a step back to look at the big picture and move forward!!

Living the dream is not always easy but it’s a happier place to be!!

Ciao xo

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28 Lisa Chiodo May 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Oh I hear you Ingrid, I wouldn’t swap for anything. Now we just need to get some kind of income and we’ll be able to worry a bit less. xxx
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