Posts Tagged 'Stress'

Libras Live on Balance.

Whenever I wake up and am working on things before 8am, and I decide to blog, my brain introduces itself by telling me I should start with the line “good morning teenage Baltimore!”  Yes, world, that is a Hairspray reference.  Since I don’t live in Maryland and most people my age don’t seem to bother themselves with musicals (*sniff sniff*), this would be a silly intro.  Therefore, I will simply say:  “Good morning!”

I have not been writing any fiction at all.  My brain will not allow it.  Besides, even though I’m only two days into school, I have loads of homework, so yeah… I don’t have time for a lot and still manage to sleep.  In fact, I got up early to do homework and I’m just procrastinating on it.  Yikes.  Right now, what I need to do is:

  • Read 60pgs. of Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World; 1400-1800.
  • Read 37pgs. of Early Medieval Spain.
  • Read 13pgs. of a handout we were given whose title eludes me.
  • Read 5pgs. of Sustenance and Desire.
  • Write 1-2 pages in a “Dream Journal”.
  • Write 1-2 pages in a “Cooking and Eating Journal”.
  • Write up all notes from Africa and Africans….

That’s my per day allotment of homework for today and yesterday.  That’s 115pgs. of reading, and about, eh, we’ll say 5pgs. of writing.  Plus classes.  And work.  And my internship that won’t freaking go away.  … I feel a little overwhelmed already.  I’m accidentally taking two seminar classes this term, although to be fair, one of them wasn’t supposed to be a seminar, but the professor decided that the class was so small, she’d run it like one.

On the bright side, it’s going to be less rough between Thursdays and Tuesdays, when I have 5 days to complete the assignments, not just two.

When I think about all that… it’s… just a lot.  You know?  I did get my 60pgs. of reading done no-sweat yesterday before classes, but when I picked up the Early Medieval Spain book, I wanted to run repeatedly into a brick wall.  I think it’s going to depend on the book and on the location of work.  And the weather.  When it’s humid like this, I just wanna flop.  I woke up at 6am drenched in sweat.  Seriously.  Six o’clock in the freaking morning.  Do you even understand how miserably hot it’s going to be in town?  At noon?  Gahhhhhhh.

Sorry.  Sometimes blogging is my way of dispelling stress.  I was feeling like this last night, too.  Just… unbalanced.  So I had to leave my house, and ended up working for an hour and a half, of all things, which should have stressed me about more, but it didn’t.  In fact, I felt really in control there last night.  So it was a good thing, I guess, but I didn’t read a full chapter of Early Medieval Spain because of it, and none of the handout thing.  Plus no dreams that I could remember last night, so no dream journal entry.  And the Cooking and Eating journal needs to be started, but at least those things I can remember.  Om nom, food.

Wish me luck today.

Maybe Hermione’s wand will come in the mail and dispel stress?  At any rate, it is definitely a Time Turner day.  Iamageek.


Thank You (Now Get Out) – 8/17/10

Now, keep in mind, last week, I promised comics, and not art.  Therefore, without any further ado… comics about people… good and bad (mostly good).  Now I know on a couple of these unless you have OMG-I-am-so-jealous-of-your vision, then you won’t be able to read the text.  Y’all know you can click on the pictures, if you’re so inclined, to get the big thing, right?

Superwoman ComicSo.  This one is Strawberry Sorbet in to save the day.  I walked in Saturday morning with a stomach ache, four hours of sleep, in a bad mood because of a fight with my parents over my broken bed, dejected because Bryan and I had a fail!date the day before… and loads of work, including a redo-job that would occupy exactly five and a half hours of my day.  No exaggeration.  We timed it.  So, anyways, my manager took the liberty of calling Strawberry Sorbet to see if she would come in early.  Bless her.

Stupid Blueprint Guy ComicRawr.  This guy made me wicked mad.  The Blueprint Arch-Nemesis came in twice before the scene above.  He wanted to copy at least 100 blueprints while he waited.  ‘Scuse me.  Shrink and copy.  I told him no the first time.  Kate told him no the second time.  The third time, Kate was on her way out and he said he only needed a couple done.  She said yes and left it for me.  Wanna know how many a couple is?  45.  It took over an hour.  And he was unhappy about it when it was done, because it was less quality than he expected.  Dah’ling.  You either get speed or quality, but you can’t have both.

Matt and the Ice Cream Comic

This one, clearly, was drawn at a different time in a different colour.  I was having an awful day and Happy PC brought me an oreo milkshake thing from Wendy’s.  He didn’t make and pomp and circumstance about it, he just left it on my desk and I noticed it at least twenty minutes later.  And even though it was a little melty, it still tasted good.  And it was the highlight of my day.  I’m telling you, guys.  Random acts of kindness, no matter how small, really do make a difference.

Those are the ones for this week, ladies and gents.  Apologies for the mediocre drawings… they really only took a couple of minutes each to draw, and I’m no cartoonist.  Most the people lately have been in the run-around back-to-school groove and therefore all rude, but only moderately so.  I think August makes people irritable.  It’s like March.  We’re done with this season, NEXT!  What do y’all think?

“Nobody Here But Us Trees.”

Middle School lunch with Jon and Andy

“Always the innocent are the first victims…. So it has been for ages past, so it is now.” ~ J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could hide away from the world, and have it dismiss you?  Have it say, “oh, that’s okay, I guess you’re really not here.”  The title of the blog entry comes from the movie Bunny Picnic.  Another Jim Henson masterpiece, I grew up on that movie.  It was mine and my brother’s Easter movie (though we were firmly reminded that Easter had nothing to do with bunnies, that was the Roman’s bright idea).  Bunny picnic is about a colony of rabbits preparing for the biggest holiday of their year.  You follow the character Bean, a ragamuffin brown rabbit who is always breaking things.  Purposefully, the other rabbits keep sending him somewhere else- they don’t want his help, he’ll break something!  Eventually what ends up happening, is a dog ends up at the Bunny Picnic!  Everyone is terrified of the dog, and they’re all hiding, and he’s going to not only ruin their holiday, but eat them all!  Om, nom, nom!  They need to make the dog go away, so a lot of the rabbits hide in the trees, and when the dog asks if there are rabbits there, Bean and the other tree-ridden rabbits respond “Nobody here but us trees.” and the silly dog believes them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if life was just that simple?

Only the sad fact is, life isn’t that simple.  Everybody wants something of us.  One of my managers usually spends Sunday running around complaining that everyone she talks to wants something from her.  I can’t really argue with her- it’s absolutely true.  We really don’t have our own lives.  It’s funny, the idea of independence is incredibly ironic, because in order to become independent from our families and go out into the world on our own, we have to heap on a bunch of responsibility.  Suddenly we have rent to pay, car payments, insurance payments, groceries, utilities, things like that.  Those are financial commitments, and by the time that we’re done paying off things, we have measly pennies left to ourselves.  And what of time commitments?  Working forty hours a week, if you’re lucky.  If you’re like most people, you have a second job because the first doesn’t pay enough or the hours are inconsistent.  Usually you work between forty and sixty hours a week between the two jobs, just trying to make ends meet.  When you get home, you’re too exhausted for anything.  Or, if you’re like me, you try to pursue your passions in the little free time you have.  Maybe you’re part of community theatre.  Maybe you volunteer somewhere.  One way or the other, your calendar is full.  It’s to the point where spending time with friends is just another time commitment, and there’s no end in sight.  Whatever happened to recess?  Summer vacation?

Childhood is where it’s at.  It was an age of innocence and joy.  Mum and dad fed you and clothed you, and the worst thing you had to worry about was bullies.  Your world was the playground.  When you were on those swings, you pumped as hard as you could until you reached the top and you felt your swing bounce just a little and you knew if you went much higher, you’d flip over and get hurt.  But it was the rush of the wind that made it all worthwhile.  You go through your school work because there was the promise of recess, of weekend, of summer vacation on the other side.  That made it worthwhile.  Elementary and middle school were dream worlds.  Oh yes, I said middle school.

Middle school is what you make of it.  It could be the awkward pimply hormonal stage of life, or it can be magnificent.  You wouldn’t have to pay me to go back and relive my middle school years.  I loved them.

Sixth grade I ended up with what I anticipated was going to be the worst teacher ever, and ended up to be one of my favourite teachers ever.  I ended up with none of my friends in that class, but I was at an age when I had no issues making new friends, and I ended up with Caitlyn, who to this day (goose, ten years later) is still very dear to me.  From her, I gained Jon and Andy.  And others.  In sixth grade, we were the most popular people in school.  I can’t even begin to describe all the memories.  Shutting Jon’s finger in the window (oops, teehee), listening to Andy sing the Beach Boys all the time (he’ll deny that now), signing things to Caitlyn in class one letter at a time (to this day, I still don’t know anything more than letters in Sign Language).  That’s just the tip of the ice berg.  I could honestly keep going forever, and just about sixth grade.

Seventh grade was just as good.  Some crazy person put all of us in the same homeroom (thanks Ms. Cass and Mrs. Gitchell!!!!) and I couldn’t’ve been happier.  There were always the lonely moments (I still have a grudge against my parents for letting me go to neither Nature’s Classroom nor Sergeant Camp, but I understand now that we really just couldn’t afford it).  But there was also yard-stick battles before school started, and Groovy!  The Musical, and all the little moments.  Superrally was fun, even with our vagabond group of friends.  In seventh grade I went to see the Attack of the Clones primere at 2am, and went to school for testing the next day (I’m stubborn).  I remember walking into the classroom and Jon looking up from his test and mouthing “how was it?”.  Teehee.  And of course the marriage project.  Oh, that may have been eighth grade.  Either way, it was funny.

In eighth grade someone remedied our sixth grade teachers’ kindness and put the four of us in different homerooms.  There was orienteering, which is probably the highlight of eighth grade for me.  The looming prospect of high school.  High school changes the innocent things.  I’d still rather redo high school than be in college, but nonetheless… it made everything separate.  Everyone put up walls.  We didn’t like each other- we tolerated each other.  It could have been the beginning of the end.  If we let it.  I think that I let it.

One of the rules of high school is that you start over.  It’s a bad rule.  It should be changed.  Friends in high school are sewn together by deceit and desperation.  In middle school and high school, it’s because of commonalities and genuine interest.  After you graduate high school, you laugh and reminisce about your middle school friends, but you kindly avoid and secretly dislike your high school friends.  At least, that was the case with me.  Of the few friends I made in high school, I tolerate them.  I don’t dislike all of them, but they all feel awkward.  Like a shirt that’s just a little bit too tight.  I’m much more inclined to want to reconnect with my middle school friends.

Then again, I’ve always been one to hold on to the past.  I like my concept of innocence.  I like freedom of mind and heart.  If I could get it back, I would, but the funny thing about innocence is that it’s exclusive to children.  I can be silly all I want, watch Disney movies, hang out with people younger than me.  Those things are fun and I enjoy doing them, but they won’t give me innocence back.


Sammy disapproving of her bowling ball's course of action.

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” ~ Sylvia Plath.

I remain amazed by the quantity of visits I’ve received over the last few days.  People are reading me! … Or at least clicking on something that brings them to my blog!  Yippee-kai-ay!

So, this is the time of year where everything gets really nuts for college students.  Of course, it depends on what college you go to, but for me?  I just finished my finals (one year left!  Eek!) and I know that I’ve had a headache for the last three days that won’t go away.  It has inspired me to write about stress-induced illness.  Now me?  I never get headaches.  Heck, I’m one of the lucky ones (ladies, don’t kill me) who gets her period every month ache-and-pain-free.  Throughout this last semester, I have been very stressed, between work, my internship, school (all of which run like three part-time jobs, giving me between 60 and 90 hours every week) and a social life and finances and… well, need I continue?  I’ve been getting many-day-long headaches on and off throughout the semester, at my most stressful times.  They’re tension headaches – I get them from straining my eyes (late-night study sessions), grinding my teeth (frustration) and general overwork.  I know a lot of people get them because of stress.

When people are stressed, the immune system is weakened.  People who are immensely stressed do not take care of their bodies as well.  If nothing else, the body cannot rest because the mind is reeling even in sleep states.  Wearing down the immune system has all sorts of aversive effects, such as neurological disorders, high blood pressure, and asthma.  Even something as simple as the common cold can be considered a stress-related illness.  You’re much more likely to catch even common illnesses when you’re overworked and stressed.  Some people overeat when they are stressed; other people don’t need enough.  In short?  Stress does your body absolutely no good.  Some people call it “pressure,” but in the end, it all wears down on your mind and body.

So, seriously?  How do we avoid stress?  Is it even possible?  I mean, the 40-hour-work-week is becoming a thing of the past unless you’ve got enough money to sustain yourself because you’re a CEO; most people are working two jobs, not counting general things like housekeeping.  Even after that, how many people have energy to come home and do anything but plop like blob on to the sofa and stare brainlessly at the tube for a few hours before dozing off?  Well, God knows I’m a hypocrite, because I don’t have the time or motivation sometimes to do anything but plop, but here are some suggestions for the strong at heart.

  1. Journalling. Whether you use the “oldie but goodie” pen and paper or you type in a WordPress blog, give yourself a space where you can safely get your thoughts and emotions out.  A lot of time, bottled rants build more stress than we need to have weighing down on our shoulders.
  2. Meditation. I don’t mean putting your legs in the lotus position and humming “om” (though you can do that, if it works for you).  Mind a place that you find peaceful and quiet and let yourself reflect.  Once you’re done reflect, just put everything out of your mind and be in the moment, in the space.  Vanquish your worries.  It’s great for realigning your zen.
  3. Pace yourself. If you hate coming home to a sink of dirty dishes after work… don’t do it.  Wash your dishes as soon as you’re done with them, pick up after yourself as you go.  Otherwise, yes, you’re giving yourself an hour of “I will do nothing my sit here” time, but you’re also giving yourself the insta-panic! of “ohmygoodnessIhavesomuchtodo!”  Doing the little things when they come up will make a big difference.
  4. Make time to do something you love. Don’t let anything else interfere with this time.  Whether it be that half-hour long bubble bath after work or a chapter in the book you’re reading or a few holes on the golf course this weekend… make sure to promise yourself that little escape.  And don’t let anything get in its way.
  5. Procrastinate tomorrow. If you know you’ve got a due date that’s going to sneak up on you, don’t let it.  It may be boring and even a little stressful to do that assignment now… but it’ll be a lot of stressful and still boring to do it hours before it’s due.
  6. Avoid binging. Whether it be eating a lot or buying a lot, I promise you, you’ll regret it later and it’ll stress you out more.  So avoid it for the now.  Maybe exercise instead.  Or call an old friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
  7. Just say “no”. If Cindy Lou calls up and asks you to host a bachelorette party at your pad on your only night off… don’t do it.  I mean, unless you really want to.  It’s okay to tell people “no”.  You’re not selfish and you’re not a bully.  You’re just tired and overwhelmed and kinda need that space to yourself without the male strippers.

I don’t know if this advice will help anyone, but I think that if I took the time to follow my own advice, it would help me, at the least.  I’m always rushing around, over-managing my time (I know my limitations, but once I have a schedule, I always squeeze too many “oh, and this” things into it.  Bad idea.) and doing things that make my brain explode.  Overall, we should be able to wake up each morning feeling well-rested and anxious to move forward in our lives, rather than miserable.

Depression is one of the most common stress-related mental illnesses.  If you demand so much of yourself all the time, eventually, you will stop reaching even your own expectations, and then you will feel worthless.  Depression medication is expensive.  If you are at all in a position to prevent this mental state – do it.  So seriously.  Do whatever you need to do.  Find that stressbuster that works for you and bang stress on the head like Whack-A-Mole.


Health ReportHealth Report: So.  Eating the Taco Bell that’s been sitting in my fridge for a week may not have been a great idea.  It tasted good enough, but I’m still a little concerned.  Had only one slice of homemade banana bread for breakfast, though, and it was absolutely delish.  Might nom something later on tonight, but my tummy may mutiny if I do….


Financi-SmashFinanci-smash: So.  Whatever happened to saving money?  I bought a Wii yesterday.  My justification?  Bryan and I split it.  If I had bought everything full price solo, it would have cost $720.  But instead, we’re each paying $260-ish.  I want Wii Fit, though, which is one of the few things I’ve not gotten yet, so so much for my justification.  Beatles Rock Band (well, sort of) is hiding in my brother’s closet, though!  We pick up the Wii tomorrow.


something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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