Monthly Archives: November 2006

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So apparently I had shiny good intentions about writing a list of 100 things I am thankful for, just in time for Thanksgiving. Look at me with the holiday spirit. Except…

 Right now I am not feeling so thrilled and thankful. I know deep down that I have so much to be thankful for and that there are so many that have it worse that I do, but that isn’t helping to combat the overwhelming stress and anxiety that I am feeling.

I’ve always been a worrywart. I’m not able to ‘let things go’ or ‘let it work out’ or any of that. I worry. It is what I do. But I have never, NEVER felt that the worrying part of me was taking over in such a scary way.

I am stressed out about work. My work isn’t brain surgery, but it is high pressure, and right now I am working on a BIG SCARY PROJECT WITH CRAZY DEADLINES THAT IS HIGHLY VISIBLE TO THE COMPANY.

It is a great opportunity for me to show what I can do. It is also scary, and overwhelming, and making me feel stupid and inadequate. I am struggling with it and I am struggling to admit that, even to myself.

But that is not the scary part.

It’s pretty common knowledge that stress in one aspect of life will manifest itself in other ways. What’s scaring me is that I don’t know if the rest of the stress (or dare I use the word anxiety) that I’m feeling is simply related to the stress of this project or if this is something else going on.

Let me back up.

For the last few months, I’ve been experiencing a higher than normal level of anxiety. I’ve been blaming it on a number of things: being thrown into a new position at work, an added level of responsibility in my life with the house purchase, PMS – you name it.

I’ve just kept assuming that it would stop.

But it has only gotten worse.

This latest work-related stress had brought things up to a fever pitch. I can fall asleep fine (as long as the TV is on to lull me to sleep) but I wake up every night around 1 or 2 and my mind races and I can’t force it back to sleep. I snap at Matt over the stupidest things. I get so upset by mundane tasks like loading the dishwasher that my heart pounds and my hands shake.

A few nights ago, during one of my typical late night worry-sessions, I could hear a beeping going on somewhere in the house. After a little while, I finally deduced that it was a low battery alarm on a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector. I figured out which one it was and took the batteries out only to find that they were AA batteries (not 9 volt like I thought all smoke detectors took). We didn’t have any AA batteries in the house.

So I went back to bed and lay awake completely convinced that the house was going to burn down because ONE of the NINE SMOKE DETECTORS in the house was out.

This week, Matt has been sick. A few nights ago, he was coughing in the middle of the night, and he got a cough drop. He put the cough drop in his mouth, rolled over, and dozed off. I lay awake convinced that he was going to choke on the cough drop in his sleep and die.

On Thanksgiving, Matt went out and started my car for me so that it would warm up. I flipped out and made him go turn it off FOR NO GOOD REASON. I cannot even now thing of a logical reason for the way I acted. He had used the spare set of keys to start it because he couldn’t find mine and I had a fit because he used THE WRONG KEY. As if the wrong key would somehow cause impending doom.

The next day, I made him search the entire house for gift tags because I was convinced that we had some somewhere and IF WE DIDN’T USE GIFT TAGS RIGHT AWAY HOW WOULD WE POSSIBLY KNOW WHO THE GIFT WAS FOR. When Matt pointed out that the only gifts we had were for each other and that his was square and mine rectangular I cried and told him that he just didn’t understand at all and didn’t care about me. Then I made him go look for the gift tags again.

This is not normal behavior. It is not ok. I don’t know what to do about it.

Right now, as I write this, I am thinking that I must be able to just make it stop – just turn my mind away from these thoughts and become the happy person that I want to be. But late last night I tried desperately to do just that. And I failed miserably.

I am hoping that it will go away. I gave myself a stern talking to just now and I said, “Self, you know that you are having some trouble right now. You need to made a concerted effort to stop this. Think before words come out of your mouth. Talk to Matt and explain how you are feeling. MAKE IT STOP.”

And then a tiny little voice said, “But what if it doesn’t?”

What if I try my best and things calm down at work and I just continue this out of control worrying? What if I can’t control my snapping at Matt? That is my biggest fear – that Matt will get so sick of not having the girl that he loves, the girl who smiles and laughs and jokes, that he leaves me.

I love mini golf. (Go with it, this has a relevant point.) Sometime during the first summer that we were dating Matt and I went to play mini-golf. Except we didn’t know where we were going. We didn’t even know what TOWN we were going to. We only knew that Matt’s college friend had mentioned something about there being an awesome mini-golf place near where we lived. He had said that at least a year ago. And we weren’t all that sure if he East blah-blah-blah or West blah-blah-blah.

But do you know what we did? We got in the car, and we drove around, and we got lost, and we stopped at various places, and we tried to read a map, and we sang along to the radio, and eventually? We found this awesome mini-golf place. It was sunny and warm and we had a blast and it was basically one of the best days I have ever had. Ever. Ever ever ever.

I want to be that girl again.

Because this girl? The one that I am today? Would never be able to let go enough to do that. She would worry about getting lost, and wasting time, and oh my god the laundry and the dishes and that spreadsheet for work are you kidding we can’t waste time driving around looking for some phantom mini-golf place. And even if we could we would be wasting MONEY and GAS and TIME and no no no we can’t possibly do that.

I hate her. I don’t want to be her anymore.

So I am choosing not to be her. I am choosing to try my very best to change this. And I am promising myself that I will do whatever is necessary to do it.

I hope this works.

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100 Things I am Thankful For

  1. Matt
  2. My new car.
  3. Toothpaste that comes in the stand-up container.
  4. The “squishy” ice pack that helps oh so much when I have a headache
  5.  The Venus razor
  6. Mornings when Matt starts my car so that it is nice and toasty when I get in to drive to work
  7. My friends at work who make the tough parts of the job much more bearable
  8. My boss who tells me to leave when I stay late and who called me while driving to her Thanksgiving destination to tell me to leave work early today – she has no idea how much I appreciate that
  9. My last boss, who taught more than I think he realizes about how to survive in corporate America
  10. Heroes (the TV show)
  11. House (the TV show)
  12. Gray’s Anatomy (the TV show)
  13. TiVo
  14. The Harmony remote, which allows me to make everything in our complicated set-up work by pressing buttons conveniently labeled “watch a DVD” or “watch TiVo”
  15. Wine
  16. Matt
  17. Our house
  18. The pumpkin pie that I just finished baking. I had to leave the room so that I wouldn’t eat it
  19. The fact that not only does Matt buy me jewelry on occasion, but that he picks out such pretty jewelry
  20. He also buys me flowers
  21. Matt’s family, who didn’t even banish me after Christmas Eve 2005
  22. In fact, there are several incidents in which they might have written me off as a drunken lunatic. Luckily they were all drunk during those incidents as well. So, I’m THANKFUL (there is a theme here, afterall) that they were drunk during those times.
  23. The lamp in my cube at work
  24. Target
  25. Matt
  26. Barnes & Noble
  27. Borders
  28. Waldenbooks
  29. BOOKS in general
  30. My friend Liz. But I’d be more thankful if she’d move to MA already, damnit, so that we could have sleepovers and braid each other’s hair like we used to
  31. My green and white striped shirt
  32. My new suede boots
  33. SHOES of any kind (except ugly, that is)
  34. Cetaphil
  35. Tide  laudry detergent
  36. The fact that I no longer have to save up quarters like a crazy person in order to do my laundry
  37. Warm snuggly comforters
  38. Matt’s dimples. Nothing makes me melt like those dimples, except maybe…
  39. Matt’s laugh. It has to be a real, genuine, from the heart laugh though.
  40. The trip to NYC that we took in August 2005
  41. The trip to NH that we took last February
  42. The fact that this is my own damn website, so I can finish this list later. More thanks to come!

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Meet Pepper

Since I am apparently too inept to provide you with a picture of Pepper (what the hell, WordPress?) I will instead provide a description:

 Pepper is a red (get it? like a red pepper?) shiny new Nissan Altima. He is so pretty. And new. And he has new car smell. And best of all? He is not broken. If he becomes broken at some point over the next 8 years/100K miles? Hello, warranty!!

So, sorry for the lack of pictures, but I’m sure you can Google your way to some pictures that give an idea of what Pepper looks like.

Lilly (otherwise known as old n’ busted) is being sold to my little brother. My father the engineer is itching to get his hands on her and make her less busted. I’m glad that my brother is getting her because I think it is a perfect car for him (read: decent and safe but also cheap) but I am also ever so glad to be rid of her. This means that my family will be coming up in a few weeks to collect old n’ busted and drive her to NJ. This also means that in approximately 2 minutes my eyeballs are going to pop out of my head from the stress.  House guests? Ack. House guests who are also members of my family??? Oh, God, make it stop. 

To avoid the stress, I’ll just think about all of the food that I am going to consume tomorrow. Yum. Pie. Mmmmmm…

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Service Engine Soon

Guess what light went on in my car on the way home last night.

Go ahead – guess.

I really don’t think I need to say any more about my current state of rage towards that piece of crap.

The most frustrating part is that Matt and I sat down on Sunday and looked at our budget and determined that we’d be in pretty good shape if I could hold off on buying a new car until at least March. At the time I figured that I could make it another 4 months since I had just done a bunch of repairs and had made it through inspection. Now it looks like the car from hell is throwing a wrench in our plans. Really annoying.

Words cannot express how pissed off I am at that car.

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Dear Imitrex,

Dear Imitrex,

I have good news and bad news. Which one would you like first? The good news? Ok, here goes:

You are a wonderful treatment of migraines. You work quickly. You cure not only the pain, but the sensitivity to light and sound. Although you are a little harder to come by (prescription needed) you are worth the trip to the doctor because you are so much more effective than Advil or even the coveted Excedrin.

What’s the bad news, you ask? Well, I have but one request:

Could you knock it off with the damn side effects already?

I don’t LIKE feeling like there is a 100 pound weight on my chest. I don’t like feeling like someone is clamping my jaw shut. I REALLY don’t like when my hands shake – if I wanted to look like a crack whore, I would be on crack, ok?

And the nausea. Oh god, can we talk about the nausea? SO not pleasant.

Look, I know other people have it worse. And I’m really grateful for your effectiveness on the horrible, blinding headaches. But when I’m clutching my stomach with my shaking hands, I find it very hard to feel a warm fuzzy spot in my heart for you.

So can you work on that? Please?

Love,

A very smart, but annoyed, cookie

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So sad it’s over…

I had the best weekend EVER. And now it’s over. Boo. But it was great while it lasted and it left me refreshed and feeling so much better.

On Friday Matt and I went to see the “Body Worlds” exhibit at the Museum of Science. I’d heard so many good things about it and I’m so glad that we finally got a chance to go. Then we went to see a movie (The Departed). It was the best day I’d had in a while. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that it reminded me of when Matt and I first started dating and we would just ignore all of our responsibilities and go find cool stuff to do together. It sounds cheesy, but I just felt so lighthearted and happy and it was just a really, really good day.

On Saturday we hung out at home for a while, and then we went to the mall so that we could walk around and show each other things that we want for Christmas. I have some good ideas for what to get him – hopefully he’ll be surprised, although he does have a tendency to go and buy himself all of the things that I think I’m being really sneaky about. Now the rule is that he is not allowed to buy himself anything between now and Christmas so that he doesn’t accidentally get himself anything that I already purchased.

After the mall, we went out to dinner, and had some drinks and some yummy food. Then we headed to a friend’s party, which was… ok. It wasn’t bad, wasn’t good. We only knew the hosts, and while I really tried to mingle and talk to people, everyone there was much older than us (by at least 10 years) and it was a little awkward. It was good to see our friends since we hadn’t seen them in a while and we got to visit our old stomping ground (since their house is down the street from where we used to live).

On Sunday we kind of just hung around the house. It was a rainy day; the kind where you don’t feel guilty about not getting anything done. I took care of a few miscellaneous chores and also got a chance to read for a long time. Very relaxing.

Now it’s Monday… back to the grind stone. I really think this weekend did me some good though. Next week is Thanksgiving which means another short week! And it means stuffing myself with lots of food – yum.

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Hissy Fit

Did you ever have one of those days when you wish it were acceptable for grown-ups to throw temper tantrums?

I am having one of those days.

Because, man, let me tell you, if I could get away with it I would  be laying on the floor of my cube right now, kicking and screaming.

Someone told me once that the reason that toddlers throw hissy fits is that they just get over-stimulated. Too much is going on and they don’t want any part of it. That is how I feel. No one thing is putting me over the edge, but I am tired of it all.

Tired of work being stressful and of not feeling like I can cross one thing off my list without 10 things being added. Tired of feeling guilty about the vacation day that I am taking tomorrow because it means that I will come back to more work on Monday, but GOD DO I NEED THAT VACATION DAY. Tired of paying bills and wondering how important it is that we clean our gutters (everything I’ve read says very important) and worrying about my stupid car and when will I do the grocery shopping and just… EVERYTHING.

I know that this is all really stupid stress, and that I put most of it on myself, and that there are many, many people out there with REAL things to worry about… but today, I am just having ONE OF THOSE DAYS. And I would like very much to be able to throw a temper tantrum and then have someone give me a cookie and put  me down for a nap.

Since I don’t think that’s very acceptable behavior for the office environment, I’ll do what adults do. I’ll ignore my urge to throw a hissy fit and just get on with the day. But I still contend that the world would be a better place if we could acknowledge when we are just FED UP WITH IT ALL, and receive a cookie and a nap.

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