Making a major life change is difficult. Making several at the same time is not for wussies.
I updated you last week on how we’re doing – quite well, actually. But not everything is sunshine and lollipops. I’m still looking for work (not quite in panic mode yet), and I’m finding it insanely difficult to get a driver’s license in my new state. Combine that with the normal emotions involved with major life changes, and I think getting a little blue is par for the course.
Of course, I am a worrier by nature, so I have this natural tendency to focus on the negative, and can sometimes become paralyzed by it.
I have found that the best way to combat this is to do something. Whether it’s working on organizing a space in our new home, rewriting my resume, or just doing laundry, accomplishing something tends to keep the stress/tears/freak-out away. It also helps to cut myself a little slack, and remember my Grandma’s great advice: “All you can do is your best.”
For now, I’m managing the worry and stress, and counting my many blessings and the many, many positives that have come with these major life changes.
Two days back to the routine, and I’m under water. We had a rough morning, Boy-wise, in part because I had a stressful evening, and failed to make sure he was all set for our morning routine. Sure enough, the one pair of pants he wanted to wear today got left at dad’s, which resulted in a near-meltdown, resulting in being later than usual to school, and a second near meltdown… I was toast before we even got to 7:30am.
And stressful things kept popping up at a maddening and unusual rate today. Now I am finally home, and having to drown out the meowing with my iTunes (his obsession since Christmas has been cats, and even “dressing up” and acting like one)… gradually turning it up every couple of minutes as he gets louder. Pretty soon I’ll need to put the noise cancelling headphones on…
Deep breath, think of positives:
I got back on the bike this morning, after being out of my workout routine for about a week and half
It’s really difficult to hang on to stress while listening to Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
The near meltdowns of the morning didn’t bleed into The Boy’s school day
Don’t Worry – that’s not my hairy arm! (stress by bottled_void)
This week is one of those where I just know I’m going to be stressed out, and after the huge meltdown this weekend, and The Man leaving, I’m rather dreading it. I have an evaluation by my boss, multiple after school meetings that will last multiple hours, the landlord is due to come over to inspect the house to see what needed repairs there are, and I have an evening school event. I also have to be “on call” for a nonprofit board meeting, you know, one that I backed out of because I was so busy this week…
The bright spot is a Girls’ Night Out right in the middle of the week — I just hope I can enjoy it with the rest of this going on. And I hope the forecasted snowstorm doesn’t mess that up!
I also hope The Boy is OK with a babysitter for two nights in a row. Usually it isn’t a problem, but after this weekend, I’m a little skittish.
All I can do is take it day by day, hour by hour, and just try to stay as calm as possible. Oh, and remember to breathe. And maybe stop for some sweet tea on the way to work, or pick up a magazine to read for the evening…
In the immediate aftermath of a “rough morning” (which usually includes some lost thing, screaming, blaming, slammed doors, etc…) I am shaken. Someone will say “Good Morning!” and I can barely respond. I will often cry in the car on the way to work, not for a specific hurt, but because it is a release from the anxiety and tension that were at sky-high levels only moments ago.
Usually, a rough morning means a crappy day, because I am distracted and upset, which leads to less focus on work, which leads to less work getting done, and so on…
But today, I made a split second decision that helped me recover. I decided to take the surface streets to work instead of the express way, and I decided to stop at a convenience store that I know carries my favorite sweet tea. I picked up my tea and some peanut butter crackers, and happily munched and drank on my way to work. By the time I got there, I was MUCH better off than I usually am on a rough morning. I won’t always have the time to do this, because rough mornings often lead to being late to work, but I have found a coping strategy that works, and it makes me happy.
It’s that time of year, isn’t it? Everyone feels it. And mostly, we do it to ourselves. Fill up those calendars with things to do, and then wonder why this season is so stressful.
Part of the problem in our house is that I teach band and choir, and The Boy is involved in band and choir, which makes for multiple concerts and mandatory attendance. (Luckily, The Boy’s band concert is actually during the day, and I will miss work for this special event! Er, I mean… not “luckily”, but, well, you know…)
Add a birthday (and a birthday party) in the middle of all of those rehearsals and concerts, and it can be beyond hectic, especially in a single-parent household. How do I do it? Carefully scheduled mental health personal days, babysitters, and the mantra “this too shall pass”. Don’t get me wrong — I love this season: the music, the neighborliness, the giving, the traditions. The stress, though? That, I can definitely do without.
What do you do to ensure it is a season of good cheer instead of Bah Humbug?
Without realizing it, I have slipped into a funk. I love to cook, and haven’t had the energy, I’ve been sleeping more, and still feeling exhausted, I’ve been letting the housework go (and go, and go), and I haven’t as … Continue reading →