Stress is like cholesterol, there’s good and there’s bad, and the kind that rides me bumper to bumper is usually the 80% normal, day to day grind, but the other 20% is “What the hell am I doing in front of another oncoming bus?” I seem to thrive on stress or maybe it thrives on me, a symbiotic relationship that should get divorced. The one benefit, there seems to be no shortage of stories to tell from Murphy’s Law always on my tail. If anything can be done the hard way, that's the way I roll.
Some tell me I must like stress considering I always seem to be in its clutches but that’s just crazy. I stress because I have stress….if I was enjoying it I'd just go with the flow. Sometimes my life is a crap sandwich and I would give my neighbour’s right arm to abolish stress from my kingdom, but on the flip side, once the angst is over I usually come out smelling like a rose and packing a funny story to tell. So why my life straddles a teeter totter I’ll never know.
I’ve been stalked by stress as far back as grade school when I left assignments go until the night before the deadline. I’d frantically do the work last minute, pass it in and get a rave review, therefore supporting little motivation to change. If only one of those teachers would have marked me low, ripped a strip off my hide or stood me in the corner with a big ole dunce hat, there might have been incentive to change. But instead, I got a slap on the back, a smile and a mark I could live with. So, you see, it isn’t really my fault, I’m a product of a bad education.
So last week my dance card was full, and this week isn’t much better but a few of the major stressors are gone to lighten the load. Last week I had a 12 student beginner class to prepare for with kits to make, some were custom and all needed dyed wool and cutting; I had to shift piles of stuff to clean the classroom (don’t look in my office); had to make decisions for the new garage, meetings with electricians, plumbers, wrought iron guy and Selkirk man for the wood stove; have our chimney swept; stacked firewood; did housework; started winterizing my gardens; worked the shop; managed the new website; tended to four babies (I mean dogs); grocery shopped and cooked meals; worked on and edited the new dye book; wrote blogs and hung around Facebook trying to figure out how it all works. Now maybe that doesn’t seem like anything to whine about and probably Martha wouldn’t bat an eye, but I was pretty much rattled, worked until 2:00 am or later every night, and banked a hefty deposit of sleep deprivation. I was wound tighter than a virgin in an all boy’s school.
The stress bubbled beneath the skin for days and finally broke like a festering boil Saturday when I got off work, arrived home and was hanging around the yard with the dogs. Not totally with it, I wasn’t paying the usual strict attention and the new guy, Jake, my little black boy, saw the neighbour come out of his garage, barked and ran across our property and into the man’s yard before I knew what was happening.
Well, I lost it. I love my dogs more than life and most think I spoil them rotten but I’m a strong pack leader and my dogs mind, they have to listen, their little lives depend on it and running into the next yard is not a far cry from running into the street to chase someone on a bike. Jake was
too far into excitement mode to pay attention to my blood curdling “COME!!” I literally peed my pants screaming and jumping up and down to get his attention. He didn’t respond so I launched into a hissy fit right there in front of the neighbour…I’m not concerned about any sort of embarrassment on my part, the neighbours know I’m weird but my hubby was mortified. Besides, I was angry because although the neighbour could clearly see that I was trying to get Jake to return to our yard as soon as yesterday, be bent down in play mode, encouraging him to come over to say hi. Before I continue, I must say that I have never and would never lay a hand on any of my dogs, or my husband for that matter, so there is no cause to phone the SPCA or the AHA (Abused Husband Association).
So after hubby told me it was time to quiet down I proceeded to loose what was left of my sanity and my bladder, went around the corner of the house and screamed as if the grim reaper was closing in. Funny, after that I mellowed out, the hard edge of the week sloughed off like a snake
shedding its skin, no personal resemblance intended. That was all I needed to reset the calm button and I felt like my old self again. Hubby wasn’t that pleased with my shenanigans but he got over it. He’s so laid back and calm there’s barely a pulse. I don’t know what he sees in me really but I guess we’re the poster couple for opposites attracting.
Anyway, now that the tight lump in my throat had dissolved, the headache had vanished and the stress of the week had melted away I was able to laugh despite the wet drawers and the shock on the neighbour’s face burned on my retina. Although a bit tired, the beginner class on Sunday went smoothly and I met a lot of wonderful new people in the process. When I got home I sat on the sofa, slapped my aching feet up on the coffee table and snuggled with my four beautiful babies. I awoke four hours later in the darkness, still wearing shoes, jacket and glasses, surrounded by the warmth and love of my little furry family, feeling lucky to be me, totally refreshed and wondering what the new week will hold in store.