This week’s Spin Cycle is brought to you by STRESS. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need stress BROUGHT to me. I have enough, thank you very much! Actually, that is not really true. I USED to feel like I had a lot of stress in my life. I was stressed all the time. Even when I seemingly had nothing to stress over I stressed over thinking I’d forgotten something I was supposed to be stressing over. Have I lost you yet?
When my kids were very little I stressed that I’d be a ditz since I was a new mom and forget something important. As an example, when #1 was just a wee little baby we went away for a long weekend. We drove several hours to the next state to see some friends of ours (through my husband’s work).
I was SO stressed that I would forget something important for her. I packed and unpacked and repacked because I was so stressed that I wouldn’t have enough diapers, or clean clothes for her. What if she pooped out of her clothes (as she had done in the past) and we didn’t have enough clean clothes with us (as I had done in the past)…. Or what if she needed this or needed THAT. We didn’t have a lot of money at the time and it wasn’t like we could just run out and BUY her whatever she might need. And we were going to be hours from home so we couldn’t just RUN BACK HOME and retrieve whatever it was that I’d forgotten!
The end result? I packed MORE than what we’d need for her in an entire WEEK and when we got into the hotel room and started to unpack? I had forgotten to bring anything for hubby and myself, other than what we had on our backs and something to sleep in! I KID YOU NOT! Hubby had to actually go down to the hotel laundry and wash our clothes at the end of the night so that we’d have something to wear the next day! Yeah, that’s how stress affects me.
Another time, when the older kids were in high school, #2 was being honored at a board of education meeting. A VERY big deal… or to us and her it was anyway. I put it on my calendar at work, I put it on the fridge at home, I put it on my pocket calendar in my purse. I reminded hubby the night before. I left myself a note on my desk at work. The next night around 10 pm I remembered that we were supposed to be at the meeting at 7 pm…. I was horrified that I had forgotten. I felt like SUCH a failure as a mother. When I asked #2 WHY she hadn’t reminded me she said it wasn’t that big a deal and she didn’t want to “bother” me. It WAS a big deal, but that’s the kind of kid she was (is, even though she’s not a kid anymore). I was just so stressed and overwhelmed with everything else I just COMPLETELY forgot. Not that it wasn’t important to me or that I didn’t care. It simply flew out of my head.
When I’m super stressed, it seems that it really affects my memory. I sometimes really worry that I am suffering the effects of early signs of Alzheimer’s. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and I have at LEAST two aunts that have it and it seems lately my mother’s memory has been slagging a lot so I really and truly DO worry that something like that could be in my future and worrying and stressing about it, of course, seems to only make it worse. My son in law always says that everyone who lives long enough eventually gets Alzheimer’s but it seems to affect some more than others and I fear being one of those.
I have forgotten untold numbers of doctors and dentist appointments. I always tell the desk girls to CALL ME ON MY CELL PHONE the day before or I WILL forget. No doubt in my mind. Some days I feel like you could remind me in the morning and by the afternoon I will forget. Heck you can tell me something and I will walk in the next room and forget before I come back. But that is how stress seems to affect me.
I feel my life has calmed down a lot and I don’t feel near the stress I used to. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older. Maybe it’s because I don’t REMEMBER that I’m supposed to be stressed… yeah, THAT’S the ticket. So maybe there’s something to be said for getting older. My body doesn’t work the way it used to, but, heck… since I can’t remember I don’t CARE.
When I do feel stressed the best way for me to de-stress is to go for a nice long walk BY MYSELF. Walking gives me time to reflect and think. And the rhythm of walking itself seems to calm me down and give me pause to reflect and de-stress. And I get exercise to boot.
I used to try what that lying commercial used to tout but it never worked for me….I’d scream “CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!!!” but, that bitch never took me anywhere! I think SHE ran away from home if the truth be known. Seriously, I TRIED relaxing in the tub and it does feel nice, but until recently all that did was ADD to my stress level because then I was afraid of what was happening while I was in the tub. What should I have BEEN doing while I was lollygagging in the tub?
I never have really been much of a “me” person, it’s always been more about my family and my kids so taking time for ME wasn’t in my vocabulary. I didn’t know HOW to take time for me. I felt guilty taking time for me and that only ADDED to my stress. But, now that we have an empty nest, I would THINK that I might enjoy a little more me time… if I can ever find it.
And the most enjoyable de-stresser? Well, we all KNOW that STRESSED spelled backwards is
D E S S E R T S!!!!! Yes…. Give me a nice (small) dessert and a cup of coffee and all my troubles seem to melt away. Perfect anecdote to a stressful day (a nice margarita wouldn’t hurt either, LOL).