The stress confession

(Sorry, my autosave cut off the last portion of this blog post. The last couple of sentences are there now)

“Could stress be your problem?”

“I don’t feel stressed,” I replied automatically as I shielded my eyes from the overhead light in an effort to ease my pounding headache.

It’s totally not stress, I thought to myself, stress happens to boomers who work 60 hours a week, people who can’t afford to eat, and those irritating girls I went to college with who were constantly chirping “I’m SO stressed!” at even the simplest assignment. I just need to be better. Work out more. Get more sleep. Eat better. This’ll go away.

This morning I was awakened by a cat crawling over me. As I worked slowly into consciousness, I found myself panicking.

That was a request! Where’s my Request Log form? *flipping through an imaginary clipboard* Okay, okay, I found it. Activity: sleeping. Item requested: attention. Words used: “MEEEEEOW”

Wait, that’s not right.

I woke up, laughed, and gave the noisy cat some attention, thinking about how I must really need a break from work.

Hmmmmm…..

With my hands occupied with the cat, I let my mind work. Okay, so emotionally, I feel pretty good. I feel happy, confident, fulfilled, sometimes excited, and relatively creative. And physically?

I suddenly realized that there was actually quite a list of physical symptoms. The weird super early morning insomnia, the prolonged appetite weirdness, and my recent habit of grinding my teeth are all things that have never been an issue before. I’ve been taking longer to heal, had more headaches than normal, and random muscles are often sore for no obvious reason.

So, emotionally I may be fine, but I’m starting to entertain the idea that my body may be telling me that there’s something wrong.

I feel weak for blaming any or all of this on stress, but it does make sense. I recently started a demanding job, and am working more hours than I expected. Part of that job is dealing with lots and lots of paperwork, and the panic at not being able to find a certain data sheet hasn’t been limited to the realm of dreams. Additionally, most of my support network of friends and Adrian have been away for the last several weeks.

The best advice I’ve received for this elusive stress-but-doesn’t-feel-like-stress was to imagine what I’d tell someone in my situation, and then go do that. That feels a little weird, but it’s worth a shot.

Let it snow

Ah, I love watching big flakes of snow from my window. At this point, it looks like our grass has a mild to moderate case of dandruff, and I am firmly and rationally expecting to go to work in a couple hours, though my inner child is still shouting “WHEEEEE It’s snowing and we’re going to get ten feet of snow and I won’t have to go to school or work for days!” What? I can hope!

I have the distinct urge to sit around for the rest of the night drinking cider and knitting. In fact, I probably should – at least the knitting part. When I think about the presents I’m making for Christmas this year, I always think it’s no big deal – two scarves (one down), two hats, three pairs of gloves, and five toys. In the course of a month, that shouldn’t really be an issue, I mean, if that was my vocation I feel like I’d actually need to get more done in a month than that.

And then I sit down to knit and remember that I’m creating each object stitch by tiny little stitch.

Other than that, I’m trying to figure out how to do the painting my sister has requested for Christmas. The trees I’ve attempted look horrible, but if I take those out it just looks like a layer of brown color sitting over a layer of blue-green colors – or if you look closely, you might see a lake. Beach? Not so much. Arrrrgh.

Other than that, my last week or two has been an average of neutral or good, lots of ups and downs. Group project frustration is tempered by relaxing weekends spent watching Dr. Who with Alannah and spending my evening with Alex, etc. I’ve been invited to my courselink’s Christmas party and at first I was looking forward to going. Yet the more I think about it, I realize that these are…well, let’s just say stereotypically Chico girls, and there will undoubtedly be some activities going on that I would rather not take part in.

So now I have to weigh whether the fun of the first hour or so is worth the peer pressure and awkwardness of the next several hours. I can be the loner now or the loner then, but either way I’m stuck looking weird and antisocial. There are some times that I’m really annoyed by my generation.