October 5, 2009


I'll admit it - I feel like I'm in some sort of funk.

The last couple of weeks have been rough. While I didn't lose my job, I did lose a project which I've been working on for over six years. And as we've discussed, I'm somewhat averse to change. Anyway, I take all this stuff - everything, not just work - way too personally.

In some respects taking everything personally works out very well. It makes me care about everything I do and, as a result, I am probably better at those things than I might otherwise be. On the flip side, though, it drives me absolutely, certifiably, batshit crazy.

I'm not one of those people who can leave the office and forget about work. Nor am I the kind of person who can shut out family and it's challenges when I pull out of the garage in the morning. I feel very passionately about my roles and, occasionally, that passion spills across those roles' boundaries. Some days I wish I could flip a switch and turn it off, turn off that passion, and focus on the here and now.

[On a related note, I truly hate it when my life sounds like the closing monologue from a Grey's Anatomy episode. Which it does. Specifically the most recent episode. And a part of me also secretly (not now) hopes that someone drops a bomb (literally) on Seattle Grace hospital and wipes out all the whiny doctors but despite this I still watch the show though god knows why and even he's not really sure.]

Don't get me wrong - the weekend wasn't an emotional wash-out by any means. There was a parade, a high school football game, swimming lessons, dinner out, a discovery by Mia as to how she can make a rainbow (you paint colors on my bottom and I'll run around), and what I hope to be one of the final weekends of yardwork for the year. Oh, and beer. There was beer.

So, how about you? What did you do this weekend? And what's your best method or worst habit for coping with stress?

Posted by Chris at October 5, 2009 6:41 AM

I volunteered to work this weekend. Really what I did was let the company house and feed me b.c the commute home and back to my customer location was just too damn much. So I 'feigned' work. And you know what? It was relaxing as hell.

I also gave the new Starbucks Via (instant coffee) a test run. It works for me. I have to use two packets to get the flavor I need. Being stuck in rural Georgia for weeks on end, it is going to be a life saver for me.

Happy Monday and sorry about your project. I know how that shit feels. ICKY.

Posted by: Coral at October 5, 2009 7:00 AM

Well...lessie...I went to a stip club with my boyfriend on Friday night, drank way too much beer to cope with the inevitable sightings of Wild Beasts and their Grey Anatomy, woke up with a headache.

I would say the pitcher of Sam's Octoberfest was likely NOT the best coping mechanism. Better than ahving TWO though, cause who knows what whoulda happened then, eh?

Saturday Coping = Massive Napping and Snuggling with Dog under covers.

No leaves to rake. But, man, I am tired...

Posted by: Julia at October 5, 2009 7:00 AM

This weekend involved a local college football game on Friday night (won), a first ever college reunion (well, a get together to get reunions started again) at my college that closed the year I graduated (yes, sad...), a Sunday afternoon walk down to the center of my town for our annual town celebration where I enjoyed fried dough and pumpkin ice cream for dessert. Back to a quiet house because my husband's out of town golfing (sometimes an empty house is the greatest gift a spouse can give you...).
I find that ONE beer in the evening after dinner is in the oven is my best stress reliever. But only one...it just mellows me out.
I gave up on Grey's Anatomy sometime last year. My husband still watches it so I suffer through it but he's beginning to see the same.

Posted by: NancyJ at October 5, 2009 7:45 AM

My coping mechanism is housework. It mostly only works when I'm angry though. Everyone (mostly) knows to get out of my way when I am in a cleaning frenzy. At least it is productive!

My weekend was really busy, but nice. Saturday was filled with soccer and grocery shopping (which I love - I have a not-so-secret Wegman's addiction). Yesterday I scrubbed my house (not in an angry way, but in a good grief this house is a mess way) and then the kids and husband and I went to Barnes and Noble, then Best Buy where we drooled over big t.v.s, and then Petco where we held and petted guinea pigs since Elliot wants one for his birthday and I wanted to see how he would do with a real one and not just the idea of one. I don't think he is quite ready!

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 5, 2009 8:43 AM

My weekend consisted of my best friend's wedding, copious amounts of alcohol intake and snazzy dance moves, followed by 12-noon breakfast on Sunday, laundry, napping, and then Cali Burritos and some horrible reality TV. It was a good way to round out the weekend. I suggest burritos to cope with stress :)

Posted by: Michelle at October 5, 2009 8:54 AM

I had a 3 day weekend...

Friday: Out of the house by six AM - spent all day at the State Fair Miniature Horse Show. Got back home about 9 PM.

Sat: Out of the house by 6:30 to drive to BWI for a flight to Boston for a wedding. Reception and drinking commenced at 4 PM and didn't stop until about midnight.

Sun: The day after an Irish Catholic wedding - enough said.

Today: I really wish I had a day off to recover from my 3 day weekend.

Posted by: COD at October 5, 2009 9:17 AM

I had a pretty good weekend. Saturday I went out shopping with a friend of mine, and then in the evening went and saw the Comedian Bob Marley, HYSTERICAL! I never laughed so hard in my life.

Sunday was a typical sunday, laundry, a little grocery shopping and getting read to come to work. 2 days is way too short for a weekend, we should really have mandatory 3 day weekends.

Posted by: Dee at October 5, 2009 9:42 AM

Dude, I hear you. My husband had a very similar work thing happen this weekend, and holy fuck. Also, beer. There has been so much beer.

Posted by: Mr Lady at October 5, 2009 9:51 AM

I introduced one of my friends to the love that is online journal searches for research. I was in heaven. She was sneering. It was hilarious.

And the best thing I can do when I'm feeling ick is to help someone worse off than me. Works like a charm.

Posted by: k8 at October 5, 2009 9:59 AM

I suffer from the same ailment. In fact, AGAIN I woke up with a stomach burn because my heart and tummy have not caught up to my head.

I can't leave it and walk away. I care too. Why I care anymore I am not sure. But I do. So for me coping is DEEP breathing and reading uplifting quotes. Choosing to be happy over the miserable I am feeling. And I hope my tummy catches up soon before the ulcer sets in!

We are MORE than what we do for a living. And I spin over every where too, not so good with boundaries either or leaving things in seperate(sp) places...my life just spills. Glad I am not the only one!

HUGS and keep trying to work through it... my fav quote I am saying lately..."I can be BETTER or I can be BITTER" I choose better!

Posted by: Gypsy at October 5, 2009 10:07 AM

i'm right there with you about the bomb on seattle grace. and about change. not liking it gets worse as time goes on. i'm pretty sure i'm going to be a crotchety old lady someday :)

Posted by: kati at October 5, 2009 11:01 AM

Sorry to hear you are in a funk and sorry about the project. I actually find the best way to deal with stress is take a day with my little bean. Just the two of us. Totally switch my brain off and just live. We did that on Sunday am and hit the park for some Starbucks and swinging.

Posted by: DCUrbanDad at October 5, 2009 11:02 AM

My weekend was spent daydreaming about being queen of the world and designating an island far, far away that all surly, moody, mouthy teens must go to - so they can stomp around and drive each other crazy (rather than their parents) and they are only allowed to come back when they turn into humans again - say around 30..LOL!
As for your funk - start a gratitude journal - list 5 things you are grateful for eachc day. You still have a job (a lot of folks don't), you have awesome kids (who aren't teens!!!!), you have an awesome wife, you have a roof over your head, you are a telented writer, you have a loyal following to your blog.....
you get the picture. Remember the basics, don't take them for granted :) I hope you feel better soon!

Posted by: LaineyDid at October 5, 2009 11:37 AM

This weekend my daughter had a soccer game at 8 AM on Saturday. Thank the Maker, it's our only 8 AM game. I'm actually enjoying soccer more this year, though, because the kid has finally grown a competitive bone and now is a star dribbler (though not much of a shooter) and a pretty crack goalie. She saved the 2-1 lead they had going into the 4th. Woo. Then I babysat while husby played Ultimate, and then we went to the pumpkin patch. Then I was tired and fell asleep while the kids watched "The Princess Bride".

Sunday I mowed the lawn, sent the kids and husby to a birthday party, did laundry, bathed the baby, and entertained the baby. Family came back, I waved my arms and yelled, and they all snapped into jeans and white shirts and we went to have our family picture taken, which Baby wanted none of but we got a decent image nonetheless. Then Bid D did homework and the girls rode bikes and husby, Little D and I walked around the block to see the firefighting airplanes. I played guitar with my daughter and then I put her to bed and I did some writing while watching CSI with one eye.

Now I'm tired.

Hey, you asked. ;-)

Posted by: Brooke at October 5, 2009 11:47 AM

We went to the Warrensburg Garage Sale. It's advertised as The Worlds Largest Garage Sale. I've heard of people coming from Florida to go to this thing. It's a little over an hour from me. Parts of it were okay. I like locals selling their garage sale things, old books, trinkets, and that sort of stuff. I don't care for the "vendors" who are there selling dollar store crap, sheets, snuggies, etc. I also don't want to pay $1000 for a bookcase that looks like it's 300 years old and sat in the mud for the past 100 years. It was interesting, but I think I'm more of a regular town garage sale kinda girl.... I got everything I bought in the house without making a second trip out to my Pilot, to me that's not a very successful yard sale trip.

As far as coping with stress... if it's stress I have no control over - no matter what I do, the situation is out of my hands, I just try to distract myself. Make a Thanksgiving dinner on a random evening, or bake something, work on a craft project.... Hopefully this will be a good week....

Posted by: Rose Winters at October 5, 2009 12:25 PM

Well, I went to a wedding, which was nice.

I also can't leave "everything at work" when I come home. In fact, in most cases it's all I can think or talk about to people, which probably makes me seem kind of dull/miserable. And I can also completely relate with taking everything personally. It stresses me out to such a point that I have to do well/perform well or I will feel inferior and stupid. Still, as you said there is always alcohol to lift our spirits!

Posted by: Richard at October 5, 2009 12:29 PM


Let's see, if I can, I write lots of blog posts about it. (sometimes you can't speak openly about everything.) If not, I speak with a lot of friends via email.

Also, I eat a lot of pie. Or, perhaps I don't eat at all. One of the two. Mmmmm... pie.

I can't believe I am going to say this, ME, but a physical activity can help. I like swimming.

I think you should play with your kids' toys.

Posted by: Jodi at October 5, 2009 1:14 PM

For the last few weeks I've been coping by focusing on my vacation coming up at the end of this week taking me away from what I don't like and, hopefully, to fun.

Also, to use this as a segue I've been looking for for the past few weeks, my trip is taking me to Monkeytown for a few of days, any suggestions of tasty places for lunch? (The places don't have to be on the Mall. I do not fear the Metro.) Thanks.

Posted by: ticknart at October 5, 2009 1:23 PM

I used to eat cupcakes.

Now that I'm on Weight Watchers, I go for walks. If I still had a fast car, I'd head out to the desert and lead foot it on some open road.

I need another fast car. Sigh.

Posted by: Elise at October 5, 2009 2:05 PM

We made jam and chutney at the weekend.

I tend to want to sleep more when stressed, I was off work with it for several weeks last year and at the worst points all i could do was sleep because it meant I wasn't feeling awful.

But on a more practical note, watching comfort films and eating (or trying to eat) good food works, that and talking it out with hubbie so I get a better perspective on things.

Hang in there.

Posted by: Katherine at October 5, 2009 3:18 PM

Fish tanks. Seriously. My boyfriend and I spent all weekend doing fish related stuff. It's pretty awesome. These days when I feel stressed I sit on the couch and watch the fish. It's very peaceful.

Or, I sleep. Or yell and scream.

Posted by: Katie at October 5, 2009 5:16 PM

I just started a new job 2 weeks ago, after being unemployed since Dec. so it's been a bit of a challenge getting into the routine again, but I love it. Fri night was spent with the "girls", Sat. afternoon with some friends, and since brat has moved out...umm...Sunday was for me and hubby...ya know...that adult stuff you are too tired for through the week...lol...oh and Friday and Saturday....was spent with my "best friend"..Mr. Blue....Labatt Blue, that is....and yes our beer(canadian) kicks your beers ass....sorry....lol

Posted by: Roberta at October 5, 2009 6:54 PM

I've never seen even one episode of Grey's Anatomy so you don't sound like that to me.

I'm getting pretty great at forgetting about work at home, but if I'd just walked away from a 6-year project by force I'd be sad. (And I'll empathize by replacing my experience of leaving after 6 years at my alma mater in the IT department as the same thing. Left my best friends behind...)

Posted by: Poppy at October 5, 2009 7:55 PM

I've had a tension headache for five days now, so Tylenol is both my best and worst habit for dealing with stress. Yoga would probably be better. Six years is a huge investment. There's a definite mourning period involved with something like that.

Posted by: Jenn at October 5, 2009 9:08 PM

Sorry things are rough. I feel the pain.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at October 5, 2009 10:08 PM

We had a really hectic week last week so this weekend was relatively low-key and chilled. Watched some TV series / movies, took naps, made pancakes for breakfast etc.

As far as dealing with stress goes, I can't suggest a foolproof method to flip that switch firmly to the "off" position, as I have the same problem. I take stress (work, family, personal life etc) very much to heart and I can't just tune it out (althought I am trying!), but when it comes at you from all fronts, it is a bit rough and overwhelming. Sometimes I get tension headaches that last up to 2 weeks because of it. I've tried many things to help (yoga, meditation, massage, exercise), but there are 2 things that consistely seems to have a positive impact and that I can suggest you try:
1. get away for the weekend - somewhere you've been before that you love or somewhere new that you can explore, it doesn't matter. Sometime a change of scenery is enough to recharge your batteries and get you out of a funk.
2. Plug into your favourite music, turn it up loud, let yourself get completely absorbed in it and if you can (i.e. you're at home), just get up and dance to it. Blowing off a little steam to your favourite tune doesn't eliminate the stress, but it can boost your mood and make things seem a bit more managable / give you a bit of a break from that stressed / not-so-happy feeling. I take my MP3 player with me virtually everywhere I go. If I have a stressful day at work, I plug in and tune everyone else out - just me & my favourite songs. At home, if there isn't music already playing, I'll plug in while I am doing housework or cooking and dance around the house or kitchen.

May or may not help, but it is worth a try :-). the other thing to keep in mind is that althought you may spend a lot of time at work, work is just that - work. It is not your life and work does not own you (no matter what they like to think).

Posted by: Delia at October 6, 2009 3:33 AM