Distressed or DE-Stressed?

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).


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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30 Responses to Distressed or DE-Stressed?

  1. terrepruitt says:

    I have heard the same story from so many new moms. They forget to pack for themselves. It is really common!

    Wow, just reading this stressed me out. But you are not alone. I was thinking this was me entirely until you got to the family part (kids, which I don’t have).

    Maybe you can take some comfort (make it less stressful) that you are not alone. I am sorry you forgot #2 honor. I bet that STILL stresses you out.

    • pegbur7 says:

      It does. I still feel guilty even though #2 told me it didn’t bother her. It bothered ME though. She has always been so thoughtful about things though. Another time she didn’t tell me about a trip they had at school because we’d just bought her expensive basketball shoes and she didn’t want us spending all that money on HER because she knew we couldn’t afford it. We made sure we found a way for her to go and told her to always TELL us and then we could decide if we could handle it. She’s always been so thoughtful.

      • terrepruitt says:

        You raised a thoughtful child. Sweet.

        I know things that I have forgotten still bother me so I figured that would still bother you. I mean, you posted it, right? 🙂

        Often when I get stressed, I think about people that have “REAL” stress. If I miss a move or step incorrectly while I am teaching, who cares? It is not as if I am a doctor and nicked an artery or something. Sometimes stress can be managed better by putting it in perspective, right?

      • pegbur7 says:

        That’s true and I try so hard now to just let it roll off my back. I have adopted the mantra “BE A DUCK” (let it roll off my back like water on a duck!)

  2. suzicate says:

    Nothing quite adds to stress like the guilt of motherhood! Yes, desserts does help momentarily, but unfortunately they cling to me and cause me much more stress! Here’s to a stress-free day!

  3. Stress is horrible. I mean, it seems like when we’re stressed then all our troubles or the things we need to remember just grow about three times bigger than what they actually are. I’ve had stressful dreams because of stressful days, stomach aches, headaches… You name it, I’ve had it because of stress.
    A walk is definitely a good solution. I also find that reading a novel is helpful, because you get sucked into a world entirely not your own and you simply can’t think about other things while you’re immersed in it.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I love to read but I find when I’m super stressed I can’t get into a book because I have too much on my mind to concentrate on what I’m reading. Sometimes I wish I could “turn off” my mind for a little while. But if I CAN… I love to immerse myself in another world. I also get depressed sometimes when I finish a REALLY good bokk because then it’s over and I feel like I’ve “lost” a really good friend. I know.. I’m weird.

  4. Spot says:

    I think you and my husband must be related. He’s that forgetful all the time too. You’d think I’d be used to it, but I’m not!

    Stress is a killer, quite literally. It leads to so many physical problems. I think the best de-stresser is a change in perspective. Whenever I get super stressed I stop and ask myself three pertinent questions…Is anyone going to get arrested over this? Is anyone going to the ER over this? Is anyone going to die if this doesn’t get done? Generally the answer is “no”. So then I stop stressing over it, because it’s just not worth it.


  5. I subscribe to the glass of wine method for unraveling myself. Works like a charm.

    Dessert sounds like it would do the job as well.

    • pegbur7 says:

      For years I didn’t drink AT ALL…. when my kids were little, Now I do occasionally. I think a glass of wine might do me some good! 🙂

  6. Oh Peg, you are fine! We all do those things from time to time. We’re good a lot of the time, but sometimes you have to be bad for contrast!

    • pegbur7 says:

      I’ll have to remember that. The next time I forget something or do something stupid I’ll just say “I’m adding contrast, Linda said so!” 😉

  7. Ron says:

    “Well, we all KNOW that STRESSED spelled backwards is

    D E S S E R T S!!!!!”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….OMG, I love you, woman!

    That is hysterical! And true! For me, it’s chocolate. Chocolate seems to sooth my nerves and at the same time, makes me happy. I skimmed through a book once entitled, “The Healing Power of Chocolate”, so now whenever I’m stressed or feeling icky, I pop in a mouthful of dark chocolate.


    Great post, Peg!

    You and I are SOOOOOO much alike!


  8. Hadassah says:

    stress is a biatch!!!

  9. I have stressed out about being underprepared for Sprite if out of town with her and wrote THREE lists of what to pack, packed two days before, unpacked and repacked the day before, checked everything once more the day of, and then left it on the couch as we ran out the door.
    I laughed about it later after stressing out about it when we needed something in the bag and neither one could find it in the van. 🙂
    You’re linked!

  10. Pseudo says:

    I am a lot like you in that I juggle too much and appointments fall through the cracks from time to time. Nice to find a kindred soul.

  11. Pingback: The (Crayon) Writing is on the Wall « Square Peg in a Round Hole

  12. This sounds a lot like my wife in that she always wants to be prepared for everything, so she packs everything. Sometime I’ll have to take her on a toothbrush trip where all you pack is a toothbrush.

  13. I always worry that I’ll forget something important – which of course stresses me out when I worry about it. If I worry too much, I tend to forget, so I try not to worry. Much. 🙂 It sounds like you did an awesome job with #2 in spite of some of the forgetfulness – I hope Princess Nagger turns out that thoughtful when I get more forgetful! Great Spin! 🙂

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