My Stress Has Stress–and I Have to “Destress?”


To say I’m stressed out seems to be an understatement these days. It feels like my stress has accumulated to the point where my stress is stressed, and I have no clue how to fix the problem. This year is somehow more exhausting than last year, but somehow I feel like I’m juggling my life better than I ever have.

My stress is now manifesting in many ways, which actually increases the feelings of stress. Go figure. I have no patience lately, my humor is waning, and my right eye is twitching. It hasn’t twitched since college, during one of my last semesters, and it’s always an indication that my life has reached a point where I’m failing. When I feel myself snap, when I feel myself roll my eyes instead of laugh, and when the tell-tale twitch occurs, I feel the agitation of stress rise up and take over.

My stress has risen to the point where a coworker asked me to take his call, so that his family could attend RodeoHouston, and I replied, “Of course I’ll take your call, but tell the Cath Lab not to call me, because I’m not answering my phone tomorrow.”

… I was only half kidding.

But, when my doctor tells me I am holding onto too much stress, and that my knees are flaring up due to life, adding in, “You need to figure out a way in which to combat your stress levels,” I’m left feeling lost.

When I hold up my hand to my son and tell him to shush, after he is starting another nonsensical argument over how he wants a rectangle with cheese and red sauce, but said object is not an enchilada, I know my stress levels are not being reduced, but being inflamed.

When we get into a debate over imaginary numbers in the car, because the iPad says 44-45 is zero, but Mommy says 44-45 is -1, I feel helpless to the irritation that streaks through me.

Stress is taking over my life, and I’m losing the battle against it.

Today, however, I am at the lake house, deciding to work on reducing my stress. The boys are playing by themselves in the sand box, and I am choosing not to micromanage the amount of sand wedging itself into every orifice of their little bodies. Instead, I am choosing to fold the mountains of clothes that increase my stress, get in a bit of exercise with my new bike peddler–which allows me to watch TV, drink coffee, and lounge on my couch simultaneously, and I put on my yoga pants without staring at the extra twenty pounds that have accumulated on my overstressed body {chips and queso don’t stress eat themselves}.

I am also not arguing with the tiny humans in my life today. This may look like grinning and bearing it when Tiny Tot asks for a Charizard Jelly Bean birthday party, or when he says all he wants for his birthday party is a lizard.

A lizard.

Instead, I’m choosing to say, “Ah,” and shut my mouth. The faster it shuts, the less likely I am to find myself knee deep in a debate over how fire cannot “eat up” a large body of water. These arguments have overtaken my life lately, which I will write about another time, and my stress is influenced by the exhaustion of telling a tiny human to quit telling me to agree to something completely insane.

There are deadlines, to do lists, and chores floating about my head, all of which I am choosing to ignore. I don’t want to feel the pressure of life right now; I want to stare at the lake and listen to giggles. I don’t want to think about how I forgot to sign up for an inservice with the college, so now I have to drive 30 minutes out of the way next week to make up for it–or how I have to schedule the inservice with my main boss, apologizing in advance for my brainlessness. I don’t want to think about how Tiny has a baseball practice at 8:30 on Saturday morning, which encroaches on RodeoHouston plans, and irritates Mr. M, who is telling me to ignore the practice for Spring Break fun on “my” time.

I don’t want to think about the tests I haven’t graded, or the lessons I haven’t planned for next week. I don’t want to think about how I should be calling the rheumatologist about my referral, which I’ll find out is an insurance issue, and I’ll have to spend hours arguing with the insurance for the fifth year in a row. I don’t want to think about how I’m not revising my second novel, because I haven’t completed all of the above items, so I feel guilty doing things for myself when I have so many other things to do.

These are things that I don’t want to think about, but they’re still prevalent in my mind. They cause the stress, like an impending doom.

Today, however, before the weekend activities commence, which will lead me into next week feeling about five days behind, I am going to breathe. I’m not going to let the little things overtake my life.

Since my stress is stressed, I’m going to try to learn how to destress one moment at a time. It’s all I have time for right now.

No comments posted on March 17, 2017 in Life, Winging It, Mom Style

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