Stressed Out!?!? Who, Me?!!

Well, here we are again.

Snack dab in the middle of another holiday season, and sliding into the end of another year.

It seems that every year, no matter what I intend, I end up getting super-stressed out. Gifts to be got. More appointments to keep than usual. Parties to attend. Traffic. Travel arrangements. Crowded stores. Projects and aforesaid gifts to be wrapped up.

It always feels like I am running down a mountain with an ever-growing snowball rolling behind me. I can feel the icy snow at my neck. The avalanche threatens. Argh!!!

Let’s all take a deep breath. Just breathe in and hold a few counts, and breathe out, slowly and fully.

That’s better.

I am doing my best to do better this year. I took a day off yesterday to play with my husband. We both run our own businesses so we work 7 days/nights a week, so weekends aren’t really weekends.

But I consciously forced myself to put aside the many pressing things to do, and we took a short drive out of town and went to a day spa.

It was wonderful. Yes, I was jonesing a bit for my cell phone by hour four. But we did it, and it did feel great.

Guess what? Those pressing things are still all there. They did not go anywhere. Nothing fell apart.

I feel more nourished and not miserable in the way I can often feel at times like the end of the year. When I historically drive myself into a worry-filled bundle of stress.

I am remembering to get sleep as I can. Maybe not as much as I’d like, but sleep nonetheless.

Prompting myself (nicely) to drink water! It is easy to start to neglect the little things that are so important and that contribute to a feeling of well-being.

I am (so far) resisting the urge to use food to give myself anything other than sustenance. When I get into what I call Stepford Wife mode – as in, I am driving myself as if I were a robot and have no human needs – it is easy for my system to rebel and turn to food as a way to get the relief, comfort and attention I am no longer giving it. I am trying to take care, pay attention, even though it feels contra to how I tend to respond to the pressure o the holidays.

I am doing my best to maintain the daily practices that keep me connected to my soul: meditation, writing, prayer, gratitude. It is sometimes tempting to say I do not have the time, but they are the things that make the other stuff more enjoyable. They are the things that keep me tethered to myself. Otherwise I am a parade float that just blows off-track and eventually I crash and it is not pretty.

I am taking time to just breathe. Pet the cat. Do nothing for 3 minutes.

Another deep breath.

How are you riding the waves of this time of year? What are your go-to’s for staying sane? Your helpful tips for enjoying the rush?

May your days be filled with moments of connection and serenity within the inevitable chaos.

And don’t forget to drink some water!

 

I link my posts here!

You-Me

I feel you there

Just behind my eyes

Behind the long-since modified smile the world sees

I no longer wear a mask

Yet I know

I know

That the me I was before

The me that has yet to live

Still lives a ghostly life within

I get glimpses when I look

With the right sight

The way a child sees playmates

Where others do not

Other times you are gone

Do you leave me

Or do I leave you

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt 2016: ghost

Thanks to a new daily post community: https://guestdailyposts.wordpress.com/guest-pingbacks/

Rescue Wanted

I’m an angry cur

I sit and lick my wounds

No longer on a chain

I stay put and don’t run off

Tremble at the feet of my abuser

Long since a ghost: no more a man

Yet his switch is alive in my body-mind

Can I rescue my self

Get myself to a shelter

Learn how to trust and to love

Retrain the cower out of my body and soul

Lose the haunted look in my eyes

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: cur

Astral Travel

I feel the life drain out of my body

Depleted of my life force, I wane

What has triggered this self-abandonment

Where do I go inside

It feels like part of me just leaves

Drains off into a void somewhere

Leaving behind a shell

My skin hanging over my bones

My mind tangled and blank at once

My breath contained and compressed

The familiar iron wall in my gut

Shut, closed off from the world

Only my breath can bring me back

I breathe, slowly, in and out

I feet the iron wall begin to melt

My brain softens, tight thoughts dissipate

And I feel me begin to fill in

The caverns of my self once again

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: deplete

Astral Projection

I learned long ago

How to leave my body

Escape what was

Incomprehensibly horrific

I saved my own life

Salvaged my sanity

(Such as it was)

But there’s a price to be paid for such traveling

You cannot escape the bad

Without missing out on the good

I could leave my body

At any time today

But I choose not to

I have other ways to cope

That don’t cost so much

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: astral

Game Day

I grew up in a household where football reigned supreme.

My family, it is said, bleeds burnt orange blood – the color of the University of Texas Longhorns.

(All but me, that is. I was the only one of my family (immediate and beyond) to NOT got to UT.)

Games ruled our lives. I am not kidding. A few points of proof:

My Dad long-referenced the day of my birth as being “a dark day, the day the Longhorns lost to Oklahoma” in some bowl or other.

My grandmother’s funeral: afterwards, all retired to my grandfather’s house, and yes, a UT game was watched.

Everyone had a plethora of UT clothing and hats, and other paraphernalia, all of which came out at game time.

Social and family events revolved around annual season tickets.

I never got “it.” I mean, I went to games growing up. I was in Texas, after all, and so football was enmeshed into our social culture. I was on the pep team, and we faithfully baked cakes and toilet-papered the houses of the football team members before every game. (But this, I would argue, was merely an excuse to try to get myself noticed by one of the cute players — it had zero to do with being a real fan of the game.)

I hated the TV being on for those hours, and the loud yelling at the screen. It felt like noise pollution to my introvert ears.

Looking back, it is no accident that I went to a college that had no football team and then to a university known for its tennis team. I wanted no more to do with football and happily moved out of Texas and away from the Longhorn stampede that I had been running from my whole life.

Fast-forward decades. I meet and marry an Irish American man. Once again, it seems to be no accident. He had no idea what American football They have a whole other game over there that they call football! I’ve ensured my escape from the drone of football on the TV and yelled expletives during games.

It is not that I do not enjoy professional sports. I do. I love an occasional baseball, basketball, even football game IN PERSON. But on TV? Nah.

Then it happened. Somehow, in getting to know my father, my husband and I were invited along to a Longhorn game. He started being curious about the sport and the team and I suppose it was an easy subject for him to broach with any member of my family.

But this interest, which at first seemed harmless and sort of sweet (and smart,) in time ballooned into a full-fledged passion.

His interest in football also turned into an interest in all American sports. And not just interest. He really loves them.

The TV now usually has some game or another (or those incessant hosts talking about games or players) on most of the time.

At first, this really disturbed me. I mean, it felt like I was right back at my childhood home again, trapped, held hostage to the sports on the TV and those who just had to watch them.

But I soon realized that my husband works from home a lot and likes to have it on in the background. He really enjoys it. Life is too short not to do those things that give one pleasure, right? And so I have learned to let it go.

I am grateful for a second TV. I am grateful for earplugs. I am grateful for earphones and music and podcasts and audiobooks. They are my friends.

And on big game days, like today, the Super Bowl, I really give in and even join him to watch. I may be looking at my email a lot, or knitting, but I sit with him, because, well, he likes me there sometimes.

And that, I can do. It is the little things, after all.

 

 

 

A Funnel Cake Life

Sometimes I still think everything would be fine

If I just had a deep-fried Twinkie or two (or three)

Or perhaps a few handfuls of Lilac chocolates

A half dozen chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven

A pint of Moose-tracks or Honey ice cream melted just to the right consistency

A big bag of Jelly Bellys, assorted will do, but plenty of Popcorn, Chocolate Pudding and Cherry, please

Some Banana Cream Pie

A box of salt water taffy

And unlimited funnel cakes

My sugar days are over, alas

But I still long for its soothing, sticky-sweet promises

Carnival-candy dreams for a happy life ahead

The high, the pleasure, the fullness, the love

I miss it all

But I know better

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: funnel