Posts Tagged ‘stress’

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It’s 2020…

August 30, 2020

Looks like I haven’t written anything since May 2019. Or was it 2018? The Chief even asked me if he should/could delete the shortcut to my blog. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say…I’ve got plenty…the muse and purpose just wasn’t there. The Chief and I are still working out–after 27 years together (Aug. 5, 1993 was our second date and beginning of our relationship)–how we communicate with each other. And while these are my thoughts, my musings, how they are presented and received is a fine dance. If he had his way, I’d write and communicate like him–because that’s what he understands. Well, I’m not him. As our daughters find their voices as young adults, I’ve reflected on that dance. I’ll let him lead (sometimes! 🙂 ) but we’re writing the music together and I’m penning the words. (Funny thing is, he used to be the one to write poetry. Maybe he needs to get back to that…) And BTW, there is definitely an “engineer voice” as T1 is developing it and sounding just like her father, only with a lot of young adult female drama…it’s so confusing!

I took him to the airport this morning. He’s been sailing with the company officially 29 years in January. We should be planning for his retirement in 2022…but he thinks he’ll sail at least until June 2024 when T2 graduates. Who knows, though. His credentials expire in November. He sent in his documents for renewal so crossing our fingers that everything gets renewed.

The house is empty. Except for 4 large dogs! That’s right, we have three greyhounds and a borzoi now! Artemis, fka Sofie Bazzie, joined our family in March of this year–I call her my COVID crazy baby. She’s an alpha so she and Simi-Ruthie, the demon borzoi, have had to work things out. Artie’s youth (just turned 4 on August 5th) has not allowed her to successfully challenge the old lady who will be 12 in November. Hedwig will also be 12 in December and Bailey Boy will be 7 in November. So not really an empty nest.

T1 is starting her third year. She had just gotten back to campus for third quarter when the pandemic started. Most college student were mid-semester but being on a quarter system changes things. While other college students just had their spring break extended and the semester ultimately turned virtual, T1’s classes were just starting. We didn’t know whether to make her come home once the dorms had closed or to agree for her to stay in-state at the home of her boyfriend’s family. I kept asking, “Are you two adequately supervised? Are you giving them money for food? Are you outlasting your welcome?” She stayed until the end of May. It was hard but it was the right choice–too many changes would have been too hard on her. Virtual was difficult with her hearing loss though they made every effort to close-caption all her meetings. Her school is in-person and starts after Labor Day. We’re hopeful. There was just no way to keep up a virtual environment for engineering classes. I don’t know about you but I don’t have a massive distillation lab in my garage.

T2 graduated. Or walked across a stage, smiled for her three guests (me, my best friend, and her best friend), and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Because our district chose not to “grade” the final semester, if she hadn’t had 4 AP tests to prepare for she never would have attended any virtual classes. The Chief had left for sea on March 3rd in the hopes of being home for her CGS and regular school graduations. Instead he was at sea for 101 days and nights. I messed up the video conference and he never saw her regular graduation. Thankfully once our state moved into Phase 2 her CGS graduation, such as it was, was held and he was home for that. We even had family overs for a socially distanced celebration. Three months with just me and her… and four dogs. I’m not sure I ever imaged that. I will cherish the time.

T2 is at university now. She had her early decision acceptance last summer, months before any of her friends, so senioritis was BAD! She just wanted to start this new experience. I’m happy to say she’s had a week of classes and seems to be doing well. I plan on driving down to take her to dinner on her 18th birthday. I can’t not be with her on that day. If I think old lady Heddie can make the trip I will bring her with me.

And I am back at work. It’s been stressful because everything was left unfinished. There were too many unanswered questions. I watched 14 out of 16 hours of the school board meeting, seeing the best and worst of our community members and elected officials, where they ultimately voted to begin the year 100% virtual instead of hybrid. Really, the decision was between a rock and a hard place. My biggest take away from starting up was the stress of information loss. One usually hears about information loss in students over the summer–how the first weeks of school is spent relearning what has been lost, even after sending home take home packets and suggested summer activities. If I as an adult can’t remember quickly the processes I did every day for 6 months, how much will the children have forgotten? We’ve had 2 weeks of teacher training, one week of online orientation with students, and one week of online classes. I’m not as stressed.

Empty nest… typically a time when career military marriages fall apart. The Chief and I have really worked hard. And I have to say, I have enjoyed the past month–a week in Florida with him when he took his re-certification classes, and these weeks after the girls went to school. I cleaned up my desk during quarantine and found about 20 unused restaurant gift certificates! Let’s just say we used as many of them as we could! There was an intimacy that I think we both we looking forward to–an emotional intimacy that said, “we earned this, we did this, our job, and now it’s just us.” Sappy, I know. #goals LOL

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Year of Listening Strikes Again

February 22, 2013

I had the strangest dream last night. Or this morning, rather. And I had this dream within the 30 minute snooze between alarms. Seriously, I can go into deep REM sleep just like that.

It wasn’t exactly a good dream. I’m trying to listen to what it is telling me–everything in the dream relates to the stress in my life. Talk about garbage download!

The dream took place in real-time–it was about this very day.

The weather was bad but they hadn’t canceled school. I am hoping and praying the weather holds or passes and T2 All-District Chorus concert, which is being held at one of the remotest schools possible, happens as scheduled. You see the proposed make-up date is for my annual scrapbooking/birthday weekend. UGH! I do not want it to be rescheduled. Call me selfish. Additionally the make-up date is the day T1, the Chief, and T1’s award mentor are supposed to visit the campsite where her project will take place. A little less selfish sounding if I throw that in, don’t you think?

In the dream I am actively trying to listen to weather reports and whether school is canceled. (I was doing this just before I hit snooze, assuming no immediate reports were a good thing.)

Suddenly I hear someone calling my name. Then a strange high-school aged boy comes into my room and asks if T1 can take two sandwiches to school for lunch. What on earth is she still doing home and why is a teenage boy in my bedroom asking a question for her? I go out of my room and to the front door only to find T1 is standing there in a pair of penguin pajamas she hasn’t worn in like three years so you can only imagine what it looks like on her pre-teen curvaceous 5’5″ frame now. I believe the teenage boy says something to the effect of “It’s okay. I can give her a lift to school.” Uh no. And not dressed like that. I order her to her room to change and get a lot of eye rolling. I tell said unknown teenage boy he can go on his way and I will drive her to school.

Then T1 and T2 appear in my room both wearing shorts. T1’s are bordering on Daisy Dukes. “Are you nuts?! It is snowing! Go change! And if you are late for school it is not my fault!”

My cell phone beeps. I have a message. I know who it is from. But my phone is dying. When I try to turn it back on, I get this “On Fire” icon letting me know that the phone is on the verge of exploding. (I have an MP3 player that is the biggest pain to load playlists and it has really been frustrating me lately.) Interestingly, the phone is also slightly chewed. (With the Chief gone and the dogs not getting their daily exhausting walks, they–really just Crookshanks–have gone after the remotes and my phone in recent weeks. My phone was spared but my case and clip were not and it is now naked.)

I finally get the phone on without the impending explosion. I call into voicemail. It is a hushed voice, like the person called in the middle of the night.

“Listen, I didn’t appreciate what happened tonight. I don’t appreciate your complaints or picking on me. I’m not at the same organizational level as you. Get over it. Stop putting me down. And what about you? You want to go hiking? Then go hiking. 6 inches of mud never hurt anyone. Stop putting it all back on me.”

This stresses me out and feels so real that I am wrenched awake. Heart pounding. Did this person really call me? What part of all this was real or just my sleeping mind barfing up all the stress?

I was meeting this person in just a few minutes. I actually had to ask if they called. Yeah, I know–I could have just checked my phone. But I know what the cryptic questions and hushed words were all about. Stress and frustration.

I’m more upset about the cryptic words than I am about the fact my pre-teen tried to walk out the house dressed like who knows what. I have to laugh about that part.

I think I’m supposed to listen to the words or what they’re not saying. I have to not take some of this stress, or maybe all of it, so personally. I have to listen long enough for a chance to better myself and the situation. I have to make sure I’m not the one always on the attack. Had I been? Does this other person see it that way in real life? This person has a very thick skin and gives as good as they get but I have other people in my life who also had really thick skins that in recent times have just proven that their skin has grown too thin (either to my actions or stress in their lives) and their backlash happens in such a strong and hurtful way whether warranted or not. Have I pushed this person too far in my frustration with the situation?

Should I just walk away? That is the “taking it too personally” response. I will never get anything positive out of it if I listen to that voice.

Take a deep breath and listen. Ask questions to improve myself and situation. It isn’t personal and even if it was, you just can’t please everyone. No one can.

So what would Freud say about this one…?

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Baby, Its … Wet, Rainy, Cold, and Blah…

December 20, 2012

Wow. My mood just took a nose dive. It is a lot of things. Little things that shouldn’t matter. Little things that get taken for granted.

Not the least of which is the Chief. I wish he were home. I wish I could take away the stress he’s under. I wish I knew what to say, what not to say. I definitely don’t want to add to his already stressful situation.

T2’s asthma is back. T2 is also 10 years old and acting like it.

T1 is enjoying the fact she knows what buttons to push and digging in.

I can’t watch the news. I’m sick of all the political postings. Isn’t the election over? Oh, yeah but we have new things to talk about to divide us. Fiscal cliffs and guns.

My house is a mess. I have to wrap presents (but thankfully only have one or so more to buy).

Trying to keep track of too many things … things I really can’t and shouldn’t say no to. I’ve gotten rid of most of the other things I can say no to–still a pretty big and important list left over.

I hope today gets better. I hope the Chief has a better day.

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Hmmm…

October 19, 2012

So I body-checked T1 into the wall and took down two 14 year olds. Not sure if I should be proud of that but after subbing 5th grade for two days it felt so good!

Ask me about all my aches and pains in the morning.

Where have I been for the past month? Riding the continual roller coaster that is my life. The Chief came home.

Surprise! Hey, welcome home; take a nap ’cause I’m subbing so I’ll see you this afternoon!

Now that I think about it, because you’re home and the house is in the middle of being painted, can you change out the mirror and light fixture while the crew is working?

What? The old one was a fire hazard?! Surprise! It is just like being at work–did I say welcome home yet?

I actually did feel bad about that. I really do make it a point to let the Chief get his land-legs before throwing my massive to-do list at him. But really if he hadn’t taken down the fixture before the guys painted, if we had discovered all the not-to-code problems later, it would have been a waste to have had the bathroom done. Now the bathroom looks awesome–and it is to code too.

I’ve been subbing quite a bit. All by request too. Half-day here, full-day there. It takes a lot out of me but not as much as it used to. And I’ve turned down jobs too. Two days in a row is max for me. I need to recharge my batteries after that. Or run down and plow over teenage soccer players…

T2 has been declared “Normal.” Okay, yes, what I saw was unusual but according to her blood work everything returned to normal. So it wasn’t a defect in her blood–it was her blood reacting to something. Either the viruses giving her the ear infections or the antibiotics for said viruses. We even looked at a very common condition that many (I’m talking many) people have and don’t even know it. Now according to my one very knowledgable friend who keeps me sane in situations like this, one “normal” result for this condition does not necessarily mean that is the case. But it is not a life threatening condition so I’m not going to sweat it at the moment.

I can just imagine T2 at doctor appointments in the future listing all her mystery illnesses–before she even gets to the whacked out genes and family history! Honestly, I’m really wishing she didn’t have these mystery illnesses. It would be a lot less stressful for us. Especially because it only seems to happen when the Chief is at sea. At least the Chief was home to get the good news.

I’m pretty certain I posted this … my mom has breast cancer.

My.

mom.

has.

breast.

cancer.

I wear my pretty butterfly shirt on the days she has chemo. That development was a shock to us. I think I’m still numb. My sister had a call back on her first mammogram but it was just a calcification. Mom lost her hair. We’re not talking the thinning I’ve had since starting MTX. No. Her’s came out in clumps. She asked my brother to shave the rest.

My mom has cancer.

Actually, she’d had a non-melanoma skin cancer before. But this is different.

Did some reading. Seems that on those commercials that list all the side-effects of the drugs I’m on just to be able to walk … “And other cancers” means non-melanoma skin cancers and metastatic breast cancer. Um, hello? I’m pale. Very pale. I already have half her genes anyway so who is to say the drugs will have anything to do with it anyway?

I still get goosebumps when I think about the most amazing and real way God answered my prayers this summer at camp and yet I found myself morbidly asking why? Why answer my prayers? Why heal me? Yeah, the thoughts of my own mortality mixed with the realizations that my parents, the Chief’s parents just aren’t getting any younger. After all, my father had spent a month in the hospital prior to all this. Did He answer so that all my ducks were in a row? Closure before the bottom fell out?

I don’t know. I’m still numb. Sure other people’s lives are worse off. Other people’s parents are ill, far more seriously than my mother (she is only Stage 1 and prognosis is very good). T2 is NOT sick … abnormally normal, but not sick. The Chief is an amazingly supportive husband and the girls and I lack for nothing.

But I have panic attacks every week when scouts rolls around. I can only physically and mentally sub for two days in a row max–what would happen if I actually had to work full-time? The Chief and I are still working on things … getting closure was only the beginning and I have such a long way to go. Between me and him I still have to figure out how much is/was the PTSD, how much was me and how much was him … we’re in uncharted marriage ground here.

Speaking of uncharted territory … my 12-year-old. I’m supposed to be keeping track of how she behaves when it is just me and when the Chief is home. Actually, I’m beginning to think it may be more telling to look at her behavior and moods when it involves or doesn’t involve her sister. Jealousy is a green-eyed monster disguised as a blue-eyed girl in this case. And I’m still left wondering how much of it is the PTSD, how much is just me and how much is her … and how badly have I already messed her up? And how do I help?

That is what I have been up to. Thanks for stopping by!

BTW, choice number two with the “oriental rug” and black dress has gotten the overwhelming approval. I’ll post on the event after it takes place next month.

And I go for my first mammogram next week. I’ll post about that too.

Oh, and I know God answered for His glory–I’ve just got to figure out how He wants me to show that, to live that in my life. I know He’ll give me that answer too, if I just look harder and finish what He set in motion.

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