July Is Over

I was dreading July this year. It would mark a year since my step-father’s death. I wasn’t sure how anyone would handle it. I knew there wouldn’t be a big fuss made but sometimes anniversaries can hit harder than you expect.

Maybe it was because there always seemed to be some minor issue happening but July passed, not with ease, but quickly for the most part.

I had hoped, by now, things would have fallen more into place. That a system or rhythm would be worked out but that hasn’t happened.

Yes, I mostly hoped this would happen for my benefit. Selfishly I wanted my life to get back to what it was before. Was that naive? Overly optimistic? Just plain stupid? All of the above?

I’ve lost my balance and instead of righting itself that imbalance is pushing into all facets of my life. It is feeling difficult to make it through basic life. Making me eat too much and do too little. Making me depressed.

Dealing with my own day to day when everyone else needs something from me too; dealing with work so I don’t go broke. I don’t think I can deal with much of anything much longer.

I just need a break. I need some things to start going my way. I need everything to not involve a problem.

I need…I don’t know what I need.

Grr…Arg…

Today was a day that disappeared quickly but was irritating.

Or maybe I was just exhausted and in a bad mood.

I don’t think I was grumpy this morning but by the end of the day I was irritated by everything.

I have a lot of plates spinning and sometimes it feels like no one is helping me, instead they are trying to knock my plates down or toss new ones into the mix.

Tomorrow shall be better, I hope. 🤞

Buzzing Brain

My head is noisy at the best of times. Work noise, life noise, worry noise, pointless noise.

If I’m lucky I can quiet it down for a bit. Distract it with music, TV, a book, even an interesting file at work.

If I’m not so lucky my brain starts swirling about from thought to thought. One thing will remind me of another and off it goes until I’ve forgotten what I was trying to determine in the first place.

That was the case today when I was supposed to be relaxing, as needles placed by the acupuncturist to “calm my mind” were not expecting my buzzing brain.

From reno projects, to work deadlines, to questions/worry about the state of the world, today brain was having none of the calm.

Now that it is time for bed I am hoping that it got most of its chaotic thoughts out, maybe then the needles placed to encourage better sleep will not have been a wasted effort.

Maybe I can go to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed (odd concept, rarely happens) because a refreshed brain is much better at handling a buzzing brain that is worrying about the state of…well, everything.

Bed

Lately, when I crawl into bed at night I find myself thinking: Didn’t I just wake up?

An entire workday has passed and I know I’m exhausted but still, it feels like I should be staying up longer as if there is more to do.

It may be the lack of accomplishment I feel during tax season, that feeling of finishing things only to have more work seemingly pile up on the corner of my desk, the floor or my inbox.

I start watching the end of the month creep up with a feeling of dread. This is especially true in February when there are corporate deadlines, tax slip deadlines, over-eager clients and you know life-related things too.

In the back of my mind, I can remember that this feeling comes every year and I try to breathe through the panic by knowing I will meet all my deadlines. Still, there is a little voice wondering if this year will be different if this year I’ll buckle under the strain.

I have no idea, but every night I crawl into bed thinking about the things I didn’t accomplish during the day and how they’ll be waiting when I tumble back out of bed.

Comfy bed, where there is sleeping (when insomnia leaves me alone) and dreaming (when they aren’t about waking stresses). In bed time can seem endless or too brief, can be hours of tossing or just seconds in a dream that feels like days.

I’d like to just stay in bed, not have to emerge from my comfort to go back to all the work, but I can’t. Things to do.

Instead I will wake up and wonder why the morning has arrived so early and find myself thinking: Didn’t I just go to bed?

Weekends

I’ve always had my weekends to myself, able to spend them quietly doing nothing with no guilt or regret. I work all week, it seems only fair that the weekend is my time to fill as I choose.

Lately that seems not to be the case. I feel like I don’t get to choose what I want to do and if I do nothing I feel like I should have been checking something off a list.

I’m not enjoying this feeling.

It causes me stress.

I don’t want to be worrying about the million things that have been added to my plate. The million things that make me too exhausted to do the things I have to normally do, let alone doing the extra things.

In the past I would, begrudgingly, go to the grocery store or the pharmacy to stock up on essentials.

These days I come home and don’t even have milk.

I realize it sounds selfish. I have only ever had to worry about my self, while others have to worry about more than just themselves all the time.

Fair, but we all made the decisions that carved the paths of our lives. I made the choices to not have to worry about other people at this time in my life. Now that choice has been taken away from me. Not by others entirely, I also choose to take that burden on, but still it is a lot. Being the responsible one kind of sucks.

And it’s exhausting. And I dislike feeling unorganized in my own life, especially when it took me a long time to find that previous organization and stability.

I guess I just wish I could feel like my weekends were mine again and that I didn’t feel guilty when after a long week I just want to curl up on the couch watching TV, or sleep in and do nothing.

And that maybe I had the energy to remember I should pick up milk.

New Mechanisms

The past few years have been, well shitty, for many of us. One way or another the pandemic has affected our lives, added another layer of stress to what, for many, was already too much.

I definitely have felt like more than one layer has been laid upon my life. Getting older comes with a few built in challenges for ourselves physically and mentally, plus from our families who are also getting older and experiencing similar challenges.

As you grow up you realise your parents won’t be around forever, but you hope it won’t impact your life too much. It does, no matter when it happens, but especially when you aren’t ready for it.

Happening during a stressful time in the world doesn’t help.

Happening when you have an extra stressful job half the year doesn’t help either.

Yet, some things have a habit of happening when you are least prepared for them.

I’ve said I vent here, to my (ever patient) friends, to my physical health practitioners. Well tomorrow I’m adding mental health practitioner.

Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I’m going to SEE if that is something that could help me deal with my stress/grief/anxiety.

I have never spoken with a mental health practitioner (counsellor/psychologist/etc) as far as I recall (my brain has a habit of archiving it’s harddrive, I’m the worst at remembering my own past).

Tomorrow I will try to discuss my life with a stranger – this could be interesting. If nothing else maybe tomorrow I’ll have something to write about – or are you not supposed to do that? Guess I will find out.

Intention

I woke up this morning, after a night of mostly restful sleep which is rare for me, and thought I would attempt an awkward conversation.

I brought breakfast. I was calm. I had rehearsed want I wanted to say.

Then my plans immediately got derailed. Which in turn had me becoming more and more hesitant to broach the subject. I attempted to get them back on track though, slowly.

In the end I got to say some of the things I wanted to but I could tell it wasn’t going to be accomplished in whole because the person had retreated and put up their walls.

Oh well, at least I tried and maybe some of the important parts will simmer in their brain and work some magic. Plus there’s always next time…as exhausting as that sounds.

Little Things 2

Even though my job can be very stressful I’m grateful to have an awesome boss who always puts his employees first and strives to create an environment we are happy to work in.

The top of our office philosophy is ‘Family First’, meaning never worry about missing work to deal with family emergencies or even non-emergencies.

He’s incredibly generous and may have eternal patience because being the only man in an office full of opinionated, often loud women can be a bit much at times but he puts up with our antics, never failing to let us know we’re appreciated.

I’ve spent a lot of time working for people who, while not intentionally bad bosses, had management styles that left much to be desired.

It is a relief to know that when the stress in the rest of my life is out of control, my employment isn’t something I have to worry about (I do, but that is because I’m a natural worrier 🤷‍♀️). I find financial security and an enjoyable work environment a stress reliever, if you don’t have that, it may be time to re-evaluate.

Black Hole

What do I want to write?

Stress.

I wish it was something I had more control over.

I’ve said it before I obsess, which isn’t a great quality when you are under stress. It means you then obsess over all the things causing you stress.

I would say that 75% of the time I deal with my stress pretty well. Venting my thoughts helps. Apologies, and thanks, to all those who’ve had to listen/read. I think letting them out prevents me from getting an ulcer or obsessing to distraction.

That other 25% is where the obsessive personality causes issues.

Dwelling on things that need to happen: house maintenance; making sure Mum has money; planning out everyone’s lives (because suddenly that seems to be my responsibility?); getting through tax season without having a complete meltdown; eating. Basically, there is a range from annoying chores to “OMG, I can’t do this!”.

All of these stressors are then either aggravated or assisted by various people, neither of which is helpful because I much prefer dealing with stress alone. Probably not the most reasonable approach, but I’m mostly only referring to that 25%. Those problems I am convinced would be solved if I could just deal with them and everyone else would just accept the resolution and shut up about it.

Instead, they are complicated by other people and I spend nights tossing in bed contemplating the problem from all angles, keeping myself up when I should be sleeping.

Thinking about stresses that were never meant to be mine, at least not yet, taking my time away from dealing with the stress in my own life or getting the sleep I need to work/live.

At times I catch myself thinking ‘hey, I think things are going well.’, then suddenly an appointment has to be made, a situation dealt with.

Stress is turning my brain to mush. It is building rage in my brain, that is going to come out in one long wail as I collapse in a heap on the ground. Except I’m pretty sure I’m losing my voice trying to talk over the people not listening to me when I try to explain the solutions to the problems – so I will just be falling to the ground my mouth a soundless void, a black hole – beware you don’t get pulled into its gravity.