March 2, 2009

My Ass-Kicking Month (And Not In A Good Way)

I am right in the middle of an ass-kicking month. And I don't mean ass-kicking like dude, I just saw a private live show of the reformed Led Zeppelin and while they were up on stage playing Black Dog, Jimmy Page handed me another Gibson guitar and asked me to jam with them while also telling me I'd just won the lottery, then Robert Plant appointed me King Of The Universe so I exiled Ann Coulter to outerspace. That would kick ass. But I'm talking about a month that is kicking my ass.

I don't like to talk about work so I'll explain it to you the way I explained it to Mia. Please don't feel condescended to.

I'm writing a book. It's a very long and very important but also very boring book. I am writing it so a potential customer will know what kinds of things we can do for them to solve their problems. And it has to be good so we're working really hard on it. Then, when it's done, they're take some time to read it and then, hopefully, decide we wrote the best book and pick us to help them.

That book is pretty much dominating every waking moment (and some sleeping ones too) while other things - like the stuff I have to do for the regular part of my job, puking children, eating and occasionally peeing - compete for my attention.

I think it goes without saying that I'm pretty exhausted at this point. And it should come as no surprise that part of what I did this weekend involved, yes, that damn book. Don't get me wrong - the weekend wasn't all work. The kids continued to feel better so it was actually somewhat normal around here for the first time in a week. We ate pizza, soothed aching incoming teeth, played countless rounds of Candyland. We went to birthday parties, had lots of snacks and, yesterday, watched the snow fall with the anticipation of enough to make a giant snowman. The weekend was good. But, like always, it was way too short.

When the middle of March rolls around, I'm taking some time off. Until then, well, I'll be working.

What do you do to relieve stress? How do you blow off steam? And look, I really do want to know what you do to get rid of stress but if you admit to things like toss midgets off cliffs or make pieaya with transgendered hookers, I'm going to be scared.

Posted by Chris at March 2, 2009 7:15 AM

I hope the next few weeks go quickly for you.

I sympathize. I'm working on my annual report and the stress is KILLING me.

I tend to read or play with my camera or Zune player.

Posted by: MariaV at March 2, 2009 8:02 AM

Well, I don't throw them off of cliffs.

I head up 81 to the little town where the alma mater sits. I can stay in the alumni building for free. It's quiet, lovely, peaceful. There are running trails all over the place through the woods (running is no longer mandatory, so walking is the preferred mode of travel these days).

So, I guess the answer is to just leave and go somewhere else for a little bit. That is, if you're too good to cook with tranny whores.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at March 2, 2009 8:21 AM

I imagine perfect hollow glass spheres. And then I imagine throwing them on the ground and watching them shatter. Yeah, its kinda nutso. But it calms me.

Posted by: tutugirl1345 at March 2, 2009 8:36 AM

I'm in the midst of chaos myself. Or, chaos adjacent as it were since it's my husband's schedule that is making things so crazy around here (BTW, he repays me by booking me an all day spa day the day after tax season ends... I'm sure Beth wouldn't mind a day to herself when your book is done either!).

I'm one of those obnoxious people who find that exercise eases the stress - if i can get out by myself for at least 30 minutes to burn some energy (even when I don't feel like I have any) I am so much better off. With my music on and no one else's needs to have to meet, I am at my best, actually. Not nearly as fun as cooking with tranny whores, I suppose, but oh well.

If I can't get to work out - then even just some time on my own is enough. Stress for me is having people constantly "up in my business" with work, family, etc. Even if I can get away alone to grab a coffee at Starbucks, I'm a little better off.

Posted by: Sarah at March 2, 2009 8:37 AM

Oh geeze, what do I do? I guess I write. No not books about how to do things, but I write about memories and dreams and dogs.
This last trip I took to Germany (first in 5 years) was also a stress breaker. Oh boy did it feel good!
Now it is back to the real world. 4 dogs and a husband!

Posted by: Maribeth at March 2, 2009 8:44 AM

A gratitude journal. Write down 5 things each evening before bed that you are grateful for that day. They don't have to be original or wonderful - just the sun shining works. Do this for a week and I guarantee you will find yourself feeling better, more positive, less stressed and actually looking for the good stuff. The stress will fall into the background and before you know it, you'll be done with the book and on vacation.
It may sound lame, not terribly original but it works. Sometimes it's just the simplest things that work.
Hey, I'll even start you off today - #1 you have a blog that lots of people read regularly and enjoy! (Don't you feel better already!) ;)

Posted by: LaineyDid at March 2, 2009 8:44 AM

Unfortunately I eat. I am not a behemoth by any stretch at this point but man lately that is how I have been taking away the stress. And watching bad BAD realty TV (think that terrible Housewives show... so embarrassed to admit that, she says shaking her head.) The scary thing is that five years ago I would have that the way I relieve stress is to have a good workout or read a excellent book. Where has that girl gone to!??!? (WOE IS ME!)

Posted by: Christina at March 2, 2009 9:43 AM

Since I have my own office with a door and everything, when things get too much, I put on some music (usually hair metal) and shut the door for about 5 minutes. Usually I can relax after that and tackle each problem in succession with skill and clarity.

Posted by: Claire at March 2, 2009 9:44 AM

Ouch, good luck. I go to the movie theater, preferably an incredibly silly movie like Legally Blonde. After two hours of relaxing and laughing, with no possible interruptions (even from myself), I tend to feel a bit better.

However, I feel like doing that now to get away from the stressful stuff - but that would be too much like slacking in my case...

Why don't you go to the movies? With Beth, maybe? :)

Posted by: Hannah at March 2, 2009 10:12 AM

I'm really, really bad at dealing with stress. I tend to ignore it until I pass out from exhaustion or my head explodes.

Part of it comes from the fact that I am a person who cannot relax. I hate sitting still, doing nothing, being... quiet. I just can't do it. And everything people have to deal with stress is filled with quiet time for themselves.

If anything, quiet time stresses me out more.

Sometimes I put on music and dance around with my dogs like an idiot. But I kind of stopped doing that when Grey's Anatomy stole it...

Posted by: caleal at March 2, 2009 10:53 AM

Make pieaya with transgendered hookers? Yeah, right.

I make pieya with the midget hookers. Everyone knows that transgender hookers are known for their barbecue ribs.


Posted by: J at March 2, 2009 10:53 AM

I have to admit, I'm not very good at blowing off steam. The only way to relieve the stress is to finish the task.

I do play hockey weekly though, and for about 4 hours of pre-game,during, and post-game I forget about just about everything except hockey. It's a good feeling.

Posted by: Brad at March 2, 2009 10:53 AM

I too had to do something like that once...oh it was torture but when I left that job, I took it with me....

Posted by: Darren at March 2, 2009 11:03 AM

I try for one hour a day just for me. I might read, play on the computer, go to the park. Whatever. But it's me time, and no one is supposed to interrupt it.

Doesn't always happen, but if I don't get my me time at least 3 days a week everyone better watch out!

Posted by: sherri at March 2, 2009 11:09 AM

To help with stress I usually chill by listening to music in the dark.
Cuz I'm a total loner.

I'm glad the littles are starting to feel better.

Posted by: Criri at March 2, 2009 11:24 AM

No fun! I bet you always thought that when you got around to writing a book, it would be YOUR book. Your choice.

Posted by: Zandria at March 2, 2009 12:02 PM

First, I am very glad that the sickies have decided to move along. That is never any fun.

Whenever stress is taking over, I either go to the beach (a secluded area, if possible) and just sit. I just take an hour to just sit. Alone. And I just take in my surroundings.

If I cannot make it to the beach, I just sit out in my back yard by the pool, alone. I watch clouds roll by, butterflies flittering about, listen to the birds.. etc.

I realize it is too cold for that where you are, but there still would be lots of things to take in. Just being amongst nature and away from people has a huge, HUGE effect on me and my moods.


Posted by: Jen at March 2, 2009 1:01 PM

If I can get my head into it - a book will usually soothe the stress monsters.

Oh, and I cook. Serious gourmet cooking. The chopping is very soothing.

Posted by: k8 at March 2, 2009 1:17 PM

I'm a big fan of taking a walk, a run, or going rollerblading. I like to color with my kids.

Or I clean. It gets all the energy out, is mindless and lets me think through a project, and waking up or coming home to a clean house relaxes me.

Posted by: Mindy at March 2, 2009 1:46 PM

sorry to hear work is kicking your ass. that sucks, but it sounds like it will be well worth it when the time comes. or in two weeks when you can take a break.

how do i relieve stress? i get outside with my camera and drive around and take pictures. sometimes i turn the radio on or put in a fav. cd, but mostly it's spent in a quiet car alone taking pictures. if that doesn't do the trick (and it usually does) i clean. i'll start with a closet that's been needing done or under bathroom cabinets something like that and work my way up depending on how i'm feeling.

i hope this stressful time passes and your break comes sooner than later. glad to hear your babies are feelin' better.

Posted by: kimmyk at March 2, 2009 1:56 PM

I've taken up meditating, as well as immersing myself in the study of Buddhism.

The best thing I've taken away from it is it makes you exist fully in the moment, particularly while you meditate.

You simply breathe. That's all you're trying to accomplish.

I do it 20 minutes each night, and hope to start doing it in the morning too, if I can get my ass out of bed in the mornings.

I highly recommend it!

Posted by: Jase at March 2, 2009 2:12 PM

I hope you finish that book soon!

I just hug midgets.

Seriously, I play my fav music, maybe a Chardonnay, I blog, cook, a hot bath, a book.

Hang in there! :)

Posted by: Nadine at March 2, 2009 3:47 PM

When I'm not dropkicking midgets off of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I read. I read voraciously. Escaping into a book is the best stress reliever that exists!

Posted by: Stephanie at March 2, 2009 4:15 PM

What the hell is pieaya?

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at March 2, 2009 4:22 PM

red wine.

Posted by: mandy at March 2, 2009 5:53 PM

When I'm not working 80 hour weeks, I like to blow off steam by knitting or reading my paranormal romance books on my Kindle. Neither of which has been happening much in the past month.

Posted by: Teenuh at March 2, 2009 8:08 PM

Heh. Sounds like you're gonna be stuck on overdrive until you aren't anymore. I'm a little jealous, because you have something to work on and I don't, but on the other hand, knowing that when faced with lots of stress, I have no way to cope with it at all, and eventually I just have anxiety attacks, stop sleeping, walk around like a narcoleptic zombie, and after a few weeks of that, have a mental breakdown. Be glad you're not me?

Posted by: Debra at March 2, 2009 8:42 PM

Oh god...

March is not looking totally promising on this end...
The Man had to pick The Boy up at school at lunch because of le barf. I am having a (not as unusual as it sounds) crisis of confidence... and now I think I may throw up.

So, yeah, I feel your pain...

Posted by: Nat at March 2, 2009 9:24 PM

Lately, for kicks, I just sleep. Because I really thought I was over being sick, but apparently I was tragically wrong. *pout* :P

Posted by: Heather at March 2, 2009 9:45 PM

I sing. A lot. Now, nearly all the time. So I think I deal with stress by singing?

And can I write the book for you? Last day of in the office employment. Four days to go...

Posted by: alektra at March 3, 2009 7:34 AM

Feb has kicked my ass too. I feel totally and completely ruined by it. March isn't starting out so good either. Also lots of work, bla bla bla... couple with wanting to be a good wife and parent, bla bla bla...

To relieve stress I drink. Really. I get together with my neighbor for a couple of hours twice a week, after the kids are in bed, and we bitch about work and family and gab about movies and whatever else, and go through at least one bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers etc. That's pretty much dinner on Wed's and Sat's. That helps out some.

Also, I work out. This is a new development, only about 6mths old... but I go to gym and do a boot camp, or weights, or run on the treadmill. It actually DOES help with the stress...PLUS it takes off some of the pounds from drinking, which were stressing me out, therefore defeating the purpose of drinking...and so now,I have a happy medium where I can still continue to drink.

That's all I've got.


Posted by: varinia at March 3, 2009 12:02 PM

For healthy stress relief, calling my cousin so we can laugh until we pee usually helps :-)

Posted by: Karen at March 5, 2009 5:42 AM