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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

You know what I say in regards to January ending?

Halle-friggan-lujah!!!!!!

I am actually pretty thankful to put January behind me and start a fresh month with a fresh attitude. While January had some great times, for whatever reason there was a dark energy around me for most of it…

I spent all of January sick. I kid you not, I had a cold that started around Christmas and never went away. This past week I have finally started to sleep through the night without waking up in a coughing fit and having to chug Nyquil. The difference of getting 4 hours of sleep a night to 7 is spectacular.

I spent all of January running from one thing to the next, feeling like I was making everyone around me happy and thankful… but feeling so empty as a result. I just wasn’t taking care of myself. Every weekend was booked to the max, as were many week nights, including my new week night work calls and therefore I wasn’t taking care of myself. (It’s funny I have read something similar on so many other blogs.)

I’d also like to forget the fact that there was a night where a crazy person tried to run the Husband over. Luckily he wasn’t successful but it was way too close to either the Husband getting run over, or the Husband having to shoot someone – neither of which are good outcomes. He tried to hide it from me but I overheard his Chief call to talk about it and thank him for keeping such a calm head and figuring out a way to arrest the guy without an outcome of death on either side. I do pretty well most of the time at ignoring what it really means to be in his line of work but that was a not so fun in-my-face reminder.

I’d also like to put behind me the night Bentley and I spent at the ER as a result of him eating my thong. Almost funny now…at the time, not funny! They induced vomiting quickly (luckily I saw him grab it and swallow it) so we were able to get to the ER and they could get it back up before any potential blockage occurred. As a result of their suggestion, I need to look into pet insurance. We’re also working hard on “drop-it” in our obedience class.

Anyway, I’m ready to move forward and not even look back!

First, I do have some fun plans coming up in February:

-A joint birthday workout/massage day with a friend
-A full on date night of dinner and a movie with the Husband
-A 30th birthday party for a friend
-A full sister day of nails, yoga, movies, and shopping (my little sister had her heart broken…a post for another time)
-A baby shower
-A visit from college friends (the best way to end the month, can’t wait!)

A few things I plan to do this month to make it more positive.

I’m adding into my calendar a week night each week, and a few weekend days that I’m blocking off and not making plans. Maybe I’ll end up with last minute plans, but knowing I have some time to recharge makes me feel better.

I’m going to stop procrastinating. I have this bad habit of feeling exhausted by the time I get home that I sit down and watch TV but the entire time I’m stressing about packing my work bag, my workout clothes, the growing piles of laundry, skimming work emails, etc. I would like to take 30 minutes every Sunday night and line up my week of work outfits and workout clothes so that each night it’s as simple as throwing it in my bag.

I’m coming up with a cleaning schedule. Having our house in a constant state of chaos has this seriously stressful effect on me that is always on my mind. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day to keep it somewhat tidy would probably do wonders for my life.

I’m getting myself back to a place where half-ironman training is fun. Becelisa was a great reminder and supporter of this. I’m so stressed about following my plan to a T that it’s not fun, I’m skipping workouts and it’s like this heavy weight on me at all times. Instead, I’m going to focus on getting 5 workouts in a week, targeting the areas I can do my best in (bike and run) rather than 6 days of workouts that feel so stressful I don’t do them at all. I’ll probably have a longer post around this as I work on it.

I’m going to put more effort into my marriage and date nights. Things are good with the Husband but we both have started to want to add more date time in and he actually sent me a great article on the rules of marriage and there a few things in there that we both want to actively start focusing on. Even though he is my top priority, it’s so easy to make him feel last (and vice versa) because it’s easier to partake in other obligations. But in reality when we do that, we fight, we feel crappy, and we miss out. Since our schedules are so opposite and for a while there every time he had time off we were doing things with friends or family which is great, we’ve just really missed out on time for just “us”.

Anyway, it feels like a lot of, “I’m going to” right now. It’s time to get to a place of “I am”.

feb

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I’m embarrassed to say that shortly after yesterday’s blog post I found myself crying in the Whole Foods parking lot. Silly and dramatic, yes, but also, some very real anxieties that I’m feeling.

After talking (word rambling) to a few friends, and reading Becelisa’s comment, I think it has finally set in. I need to stop getting so worked up about the future, and things that are out of my control. I also need to start saying no, and stop feeling guilty about it.

I was spiraling yesterday as I was getting texts and emails about weekend bachelorettes (and showers) all with at least $300 in travel costs alone coming in one after another. Then texts about this coming weekend and plans from Friday through Sunday non-stop. Then the garbage disposal broke and I went into full-blown monster mode.

I took a step back, thought carefully about all of it, what I could feasibly do, what I wanted to do, and where it made sense to say no. And so…

I said NO to the bachelorette weekend in Newport of a girl that I hardly spend time with. But I said yes to her shower.

I said NO to the bachelorette weekend in Nashville, that’s over July 4th weekend, and would end up at almost $1,000 overall. But I said yes to her shower and mini-bachelorette that I will still be flying out to Buffalo for.

I said yes to a friend’s baby shower that is only a 45 minute drive. And let’s be honest, I love baby showers and I want to go!

I said yes to a friend who’s wedding shower and bachelorette will be in one weekend in August (woohoo!). I would have travelled for this friend anyway, as she was wonderful during my wedding process but there’s a slight relief there.

We said yes to a wedding in July. We said yes to a wedding in August. We said yes to a wedding in September with house rental, travel, and present that one will tally to $950 or more, and we said yes to a wedding in November (with travel, hotel and present that one will tally to $700 or more). But let’s hope that’s it for weddings in 2014.

I said NO to hanging out with friends tonight. This one was probably the hardest but I will be spending Saturday 12noon through Sunday 2pm with them. Today, I need to work, I need to get my workout in, I want to spend time with Bentley before we board him (for the first time) tomorrow through Sunday and most of all, I want to get a good night’s sleep to kick this damn cough. I just don’t have it in me to drive 30 minutes from home for a late night when I’ll be up at 7am tomorrow, and seeing everyone the entire rest of the weekend.

And when my mind starts drifting to fears about my work schedule (that will extend from just my Tuesday 8-10pm calls to weekends too this summer) and all of these plans and how we will pay for them if we want to buy a house and have a baby I remind myself… ONE DAY AT A TIME. We will cross that bridge when and if we get there.

And I’m going to start planning and holding myself accountable for my training schedule. Every time I get myself back into the gym and complete a workout as scheduled, I feel like a million bucks. I already took someone on up their offer to hold myself accountable. 😉

I chose this word for a reason. Time to start focusing on it.

Day

weheartit.com

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This too shall pass.

I never used to understand when people talked about their anxiety why they couldn’t just get over it. Sure I’ve always been a worrier, but as a logical planner and an optimist by nature I can usually dispel my worries quickly.

Lately, my days with anxiety seem to be happening more frequently, and I feel myself dealing with it poorly. I let it take over. I cry. I get frustrated and upset with the husband. I pretty much blow everything out of proportion and then get frustrated at myself for letting my emotions take over.

Yesterday between a really hectic work from home day (which is never easy), trying to get Bentley in for his doggie day care interview (which they ended up turning us away when not showing medical records for kennel cough. Apparently it’s clear he has all other shots but no record of kennel cough) and then in what was pretty much my worst nightmare come true, picking up his poop and seeing a long spaghetti looking worm in it.

Yes, gag, I pretty much have to hold back my lunch just thinking about it.

….Time to be thankful I’m not including a picture here…

We gave Bentley his normal Heartguard Plus heartworm monthly preventative yesterday. Apparently that can kill other worms. And out that one came. We immediately called the vet and got a de-wormer and it could be worse since it’s very likely it’s just roundworms. Now we know why he vomited twice in the last week. And thankfully, we have only seen two (dead) ones meaning maybe it’s not a bad infestation. [Shudder.]

But see at this point yesterday – I was running late for a meeting, I was behind on work in general, I had just been turned away from the doggie day care interview after I had just packed up Bentley in the car and drove there, which I was banking on working out so that we can board him over New Year’s when we have a wedding, and then I found the worm. And I need to figure out how to see my friend for her birthday on Saturday night when the dog walker doesn’t do after 2pm on weekends and clearly we can’t send him off to day care or boarding and the husband isn’t sure yet what his work schedule will be. But part of me is annoyed anyway because that same birthday friend is in a ridiculous feud with another friend and therefore skipped out on my birthday because that friend was attending. And the husband leaves for Miami next week meaning I’m alone with the puppy for a good few days. And then my closest friend who I love dearly is turning 30 in a little over a month and is so bummed about the feuding friends (we spent an hour on the phone last night discussing) and not being able to plan something that everyone will attend and have fun at. And somehow I just want to find the best solution because of all people, she deserves a damn good birthday.

And then I got mad at myself thinking who am I? Since when have I been so bad about dealing with stress and anxiety?

Everyone else in my life comes to me in crisis and I can easily dole out fixes. So why does it sometimes feel so catastrophic when it’s me?

So after running to Whole Foods and getting out of the house for an hour, I just told myself to knock it off.

This too shall pass. It really will.

Bentley has worms. Gross, yes. Like really gross. But he’s on the medication and he will be fine. I think the medication made him slightly out of it last night because for the first time in weeks he peed on the carpet and seemed so confused about it. (Otherwise as far as I can tell, he feels absolutely fine, he’s jumping through the agility tire and tunnel we bought the first moment he wakes up!) So he can’t go to doggie day care right now, oh well. The dog walker is coming once a day for a 30 minute walk on days the husband sleeps, and it seems to be perfect for Bentley. And for New Years, we’ll figure it out. The husband’s parent’s (who are not dog lovers) have kindly offered to watch him if needed.

And work will always be work. I need to get my butt in gear and just get things done.

After all of this I spent about two hours last night cleaning. I let my guilt of not playing with the dog go out the window and he just followed me around as I unloaded the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, cleaned off counters, did laundry (including his beds and blankets from his crates), swiffered, and changed our bed sheets and duvet. Just having a clean place makes the anxiety dissipate a little.

Now on Saturday most likely the husband will be home for the evening and will feed Bentley then crate him around 9:00pm, which truthfully, he’d be fine until 6am if I wanted to stay out that late. Which I do NOT. But I won’t have to stress out getting home by a specific time. I’ll go see my birthday friend, have dinner, stay for a few hours, and head home and be in bed hopefully by midnight.

Today I’m talking with my half ironman coach (I’ve had a few calls with the company to make sure we’re the right match…we are!). Umm…the training plan will be starting on Monday. MONDAY. I am so excited! While people would think this would add more stress it’s just the opposite. It will force me into working out and having a routine – both of which I love and I’m in need of.

I took off next Friday the 13th and Monday the 16th from work since I have a few days to burn. I’m still having the dog walker come on that Friday. I plan to get up as normal and head to the gym and maybe do a little shopping and just enjoy a few hours to myself. And that Saturday morning I will be going on a walk with my best friend and Bentley giving us time to catch up. Then on that Sunday I’m heading into the city with another friend for our 60 minute birthday massages. Heaven.

This too shall pass. So time to making the passing, even when chaotic, enjoyable.

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I’m more than ready for my beach vacation next week.

Moving went smoothly, well as smooth as it could have gone I guess. Since Thursday (first day in the new place) I have spent hours upon hours unpacking, cleaning, running errands, and building furniture on top of working ten hour days and sleeping.

At the end of last week, I was just a peach to the husband. I’m exhausted. Sore. Cranky. And best of all I got my period yesterday.

But I love, love, love the new place. In all of its quirks and outdatedness, I absolutely love it.

I love my new routine. I love my new commute. Short, quiet and easy. I love the super sunny kitchen and how refreshing it feels to sit down and have breakfast at the island. I love that the husband and I have eaten dinner at the kitchen table rather than on the couch in front of the TV. I love that our bedroom feels like this big open airy loft that is completely separate from the rest of the apartment. I love how safe I feel parking in the driveway at any time of night. I love how we’re so close to restaurants, grocery stores, and many other shops. Everything about this place just feels light and easy. I can’t wait to fully finish unpacking, have cable and internet installed, and finish decorating so we just feel fully at home there.

Unfortunately, on top of all the recent chaos… work has been tough. I felt like I failed for the first time in my new role at the end of last Friday. I am in the process of having risks turn into actual issues, I feel like I’m not on top of things completely, and truly, I just feel burnt out. I’m doing my best to think of this all as a learning experience, but man, I hate failure. I need to pull it together and focus this week and do the best I can so that I can just enjoy next week.

It probably doesn’t help that for the last 3 weeks during the moving and other chaos, I have been skipping the gym (going maybe 3-4 times total) and eating take-out galore. Mentally and physically at this point, I’m just so checked out.

I’m turning around my focus this week so that when it comes time to my relaxing beach week with a book in hand, I’m happy. Until then, morning workouts. Working efficiently. Get apartment shit done in the evenings. Eating healthy. At least 7 hours of sleep.

Is it Friday yet?

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I was just reading Thought Catalog’s article, 7 things your future self would tell you now and I loved all 7 things, but one stuck out.

Let yourself let go of what keeps you all pretzeled up inside.

This past Friday at work I had my very first panic attack. An actual, chest tightening, couldn’t catch my breath, choking on sobs while calling my childhood best friend in a work bathroom stall, panic attack. I was at the point of being irrational to be honest, and it’s embarrassing to even admit it (as those I know who have had them, I could never understand why they couldn’t rationally calm down) and yet there are obviously enough things I’m internalizing that made me finally snap.

The combination of my Grandfather’s girlfriend passing, work stress, not getting to see the Husband and moving were some of the bigger things you’d think caused it. But really, they weren’t. They were probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.

And my childhood friend knew the real cause… “it’s not your job to be the parent.

I carry a lot of responsibility for my sisters and by default, for my parents in a way. It’s really hard to explain but somehow I’m in this role of trying to protect my parents. I have been since they got divorced when I was about 11. I love my sisters and parents dearly, I really and truly do. But.

Last week – I sent my father and step-father their gifts that the Husband and I picked up during our honeymoon and a sweet card. I made sure it would arrive on the Friday before Father’s Day since my Dad and his Husband are always punctual about getting us our birthday or whatever celebration cards. On Friday night, my sisters ask, what did you send Dad from all of us for Father’s day? Every year, birthdays, Christmas, Father’s day, I do usually send something from the 3 of us – some years it’s just a gift card – and other years it has been hours of work on a photo calendar of sorts – I always plan it and have to pay for it – but sign it from all of us. This year, I didn’t. And somehow, it became my fault that I hadn’t sent something from them and that my Dad wouldn’t be getting anything from them (late, if at all) because of it.

Add in that my Mother was trying to get to my Grandfather’s, my older sister was avoiding riding in a car with her for other reasons which was upsetting her, my younger wasn’t happy that I couldn’t pick her up and instead I asked her to come to me (so the Husband could sleep since he had a night shift that night and the extra hour it would take to get her would be worthwhile for him to sleep) and then she started saying it was a burden for her to come to me and then just wouldn’t come (via text to my Mom, older sister and myself) and I lost it. There’s so many more details to this, but it would take weeks to write.

The worst part is that I do all of this – the planning, the gifts from all of us, the rides, biting my tongue about so, so, so many things to not cause any additional stress or chaos on my parents – because I don’t want them to be hurt. I don’t want the fact that my two sisters can’t get it together to send cards on their own to hurt my Dad’s feelings. I don’t want my Mom to be burdened with chauffeuring around my other sister when she has a million other things going on. From high-school on, because both of my sisters were so difficult (in different ways) I had to try to be perfect and fly under the radar – get perfect grades, have good friends, work practically a full-time job, don’t ask for rides, don’t ask for money and don’t cause more stress to anyone.

I stress so much about making sure my parents aren’t burdened, or their feelings aren’t hurt, or they aren’t stressed . And right now, we are all pretending and overlooking some pretty serious things– and I’m taking that stress, eating it, and letting it grow inside. For all of that to finally boil, alongside those other stressors, like a friend or two who honestly make me listen to hours upon hours of their life happenings without a single question about mine – and I’m tired.

I’m tired of playing therapist. I’m tired of playing peace maker. I’m tired of playing parent. I’m tired of always listening and helping. I’m tired of biting my tongue and not asking for what I want or need. I’m tired of trying to protect everyone’s feelings and happiness over my own.

Or maybe it’s more important to say… I’m tired of it being unfair. I’m tired of playing therapist to those people who don’t ask or care about my life. I’m tired of playing parent – because I’m not one. I’m tired of helping take away other’s stress and worries at the cost of my own happiness. I’m tired of always trying to be my best self – to those that give me their worst.

I’m surrounding by so many other good, positive, and giving people – and it’s not that everyone has to be positive all the time – more so – they don’t have to be energy drainers. Being around these good people – gives me energy. Gives me happiness. Pushes me in the best possible way. Doesn’t burden me in the slightest. It’s a 2-way relationship with them. And so for a while I’m going to try something.

I’m going to spend my time with those people. I’m going to speak up to the others, who maybe even without meaning to, or because I have enabled them, drain me. I’m going to try to be my 28-year-old self, finding my way into adulthood, focusing on my job, my husband, having some fun, saying no to things I don’t want to do, and finally, no longer being the parent of a 30 and 24-year-old.

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Just one of them days

Sometimes I forget that it’s not always easy.

My run last night was brutal. 2 miles and yet for some reason the entire time my body felt heavy, my stomach felt bloated, and I was panting. All I had to do was 2 miles.

B was back in my dreams last night. Luckily I don’t remember it except his face was quite vivid in my mind when I woke up. 

I woke up at 6am to people in the courtyard in the building next to mine yelling their life updates to each other while shoveling snow.

This morning I checked the scale and I’m up 7lbs since September.

Then my apartment fire alarm battery died, causing the loudest most annoying beeping for 5 minutes while I scurried for a chair, balanced one foot on the chair and one on my couch to get the damn battery out.

Then my toilet broke. Yup, it kept running so I took the lid off trying to be all proactive and fix it. Some tube thing snapped off causing water to squirt EVERYWHERE. Luckily it stopped but I’m not sure I can flush again…

Not to mention the microwave died.

And the tub faucet won’t stop dripping. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Oh and the ceiling light by my closet had a drop-chain to turn it on and off. The chain snapped out. Enter my having to unscrew the light bulb in order to turn the light off. Only, that means the electricity is still flowing.

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As somewhat of a type-A person I have a really bad procrastination habit.

For example, when I was finishing grad school a few months ago I would leave papers until the last-minute. Literally until the last-minute. I would be up at 4am just starting a 12 page paper in hopes of getting it done before my 7am shower time for work and then my 5pm run time to get to class.

The funny thing is I would stress about it for the entire week prior. In the back of my mind it would be there, nagging me. And yet I’d do anything to put it off. I’d clean my apartment, watch endless tv, take short naps, call my Grandmother who can’t hear, I mean really just about anything. But during every one of those activities my stress level would rise and rise about the impending paper deadline.

Yet it was a repeated habit. It happened with every final paper and project.

And lately it’s happening elsewhere.

At work I got a couple of huge and difficult new projects. In my mind I’m finding ways to put them off or focus elsewhere. Yet I was becoming so stressed about them that I’m having nightmares and I’m thinking about them all the time. I swear I found my first grey hair two nights ago.

The real issue is that I’m uncomfortable with these new projects. I’m not sure I know how to do them so rather than face that, I’ve been ignoring them and completely procrastinating. But that does no one good, especially myself.

So today I bit the bullet. I got two of these projects worked on, one of which is almost complete. And you know what? It’s not perfect, but I feel like 6,000 pounds has been lifted off my shoulders.

Seriously it’s time I learned my lesson. Sometimes you just need to get it done.

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