An Old Friend

An old friend is creeping back into my life, and I’m not very happy about it. Stress. A little while back, when I said it was likely my poor eating habits were being exacerbated by stress, I didn’t feel stressed. Rationally I could tell that I must be, but my body wasn’t making me feel stressed. Lately that’s changed. It’s been coming on ever since the election results came in, and over the past week or so it’s grown. Money has been particularly tight (cue the crazy budget acrobatics again), I’m still waiting on my big Usborne order (and I have another show this Thursday night that I was hoping to be well-stocked for), and I feel like I don’t have time for anything, certainly not to meet my (all right, self-imposed) deadlines.

As a result I have butterflies in my stomach that won’t go away, an anxious feeling in my chest, and yesterday I got a tiny taste of heartburn. Not a good thing, since several years ago I had major issues with acid reflux and was in severe pain any time I ate a trigger food. All thanks to stress.

This time I want to beat it before it gets out of hand, but I’m struggling with just how to do that. I’ve tried calming my mind and body, taking deep breaths to relax myself, but it hasn’t been working. Coming up with a game plan to tackle the stressors hasn’t been working, either. It just amplifies the feeling that there isn’t enough time or money to do what I want, when I want.

Yesterday we had a family fun day and went to the Connecticut Science Center. Overall it was a good time, and I found myself relaxing a bit, probably because I wasn’t thinking about the concerns awaiting me back home. We have a membership and packed a lunch, so the outing didn’t cost us much. The kids were having fun and behaving for the most part, so I wasn’t scolding and yelling. It was relatively quiet at the Science Center, so there were no crowds and hassles to deal with. It was nice. Of course I can’t escape reality like that all the time, but it’s nice once in a while to step back from the yuckiness life throws at us and enjoy happy moments with the kids. I need more of that, and I’m hoping to have more days like that, especially as the holidays approach.

In the meantime, though, it’s back to reality. I have one heck of a crazy week planned — breaking down a book fair on Wednesday afternoon, a Facebook party that night, a vendor event Thursday night, and a craft show on Saturday. One (possibly two) parties to attend on Sunday (thankfully not business-related, just as a guest!). If I can get through this week, I think I’ll be able to breathe a bit. Perhaps then my stress will ease a little. After all, some of the stress is due to the events on Thursday and Saturday. Once the events are over, the stress should go away, too, right?

Until then, I’ll do my best to tackle the to do list. I’ll get done what I can. I’ll do the best I can with the bills. And I won’t worry too much about the non-pressing stuff. That can wait until next week. Maybe cutting myself some slack will help ease the stress, too. I’m only one person, after all. It’s time I started treating myself as one!

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