Don’t Forget To Vacuum Your Yard

I forgot to tell you the big news! I now love the word “UNRAVEL.” Nikki’s doctor used it in our session and I was like: DUDE. Unraveling is EXACTLY what happens to both of us. And it’s like someone else is in control of the string. You can feel it all coming apart and you can’t stop it. It is such a good metaphor. I feel myself unraveling on a daily basis.

OH! I just had another thought about a good metaphor for my anxiety. Similar to unraveling. You know how when you’re trying to get some toilet paper from a roll that is now on the floor and you pull some and it just rolls all the way across the floor? And you only wanted a little? And now what do you do because you pull and it just rolls away again, IT IS NEVER COMING BACK UNLESS YOU GET YOUR NAKED BUTT OFF THE TOILET. That is also a metaphor for my life. Out of control toilet paper rolls and naked butts.

(That excited tangent is an example of me unraveling right before your eyes. ON POINT, this entry is.)

I’ve mentioned that this last year I’ve spent about 10 lbs above what I call my “fighting weight” – which is the maximum I want to be come race day. I did okay with many races at that weight last year, but not great and since I actually have time goals this year, I want to be at my fighting weight. I’ve also mentioned before that I work in an environment where there are always sweets floating around and – as you know – I have absolutely NO ability to ignore them if they’re there and I’m feeling any anxiety whatsoever. I’ll have a good day here and there, but then an excuse will pop up, something that stresses me out and I’ll think Well, let me get past this thing here and THEN I’ll try to get down to fighting weight.

Here’s the problem…life is full of things stressful.


I don’t know if my life is more chaotic than anyone else’s, but I do feel like lately that my life is more chaotic than usual. This summer I Wes thought he’d broken his arm requiring a doctor’s visit and x-rays. Nikki had a head injury at day care requiring me leave work and monitor her as she had a headache. Then they both had ER visits at my race. Then each of them got a terrible stomach virus, but a month apart. Then there was LICE and then Donnie had an infected bursa in his elbow and I’ve taken 2 trips since May and we have a big wedding in the family coming up and E had an internship in Indianapolis so we haven’t seen much of him so when he comes into town I feel like I have to drop everything. There have been races and training and during all of this I’ve also had my house on the market, not that it matters since no one has come to see it.

So either I’m now finally experiencing the same normal levels of chaos everyone else does and up until Spring my life was easy, or THE UNIVERSE IS POOPING ON MY HEAD.

And guess what’s going on this week? I have severe poison ivy. AND I busted my toe open yesterday. So not only am I over my fighting weight but I also have a bloody/swollen toe and a rash all over my thighs. SEXY.

My point? I need to accept that there is always going to be SOMETHING stressing me out. Today is going to be a rough day in particular because I have to take Nikki to work and try to process a batch of photos from a shoot yesterday in two hours BEFORE her doctor’s appointment, because after her doctor’s appointment I have to go directly to another shoot. Then after work we have two soccer games on different ends of town, so I have to get Nikki to Donnie at his office so he can go straight from work to her game and I can take Wes to his. We will probably be home around 8pm tonight at which point both kids will still need showers and possibly meals, depending on how much they eat before the game.

See? If I wait until a non-stressful day to get my stress-eating habits in order, then I’m never going to actually change the habits of stress eating.

And yes, I know you all are all going, “Yeah…duh…” but this was enlightening to me! I think I thought if I could have a few non-stressful days to get in GEAR, then I’d handle the stressful days better, BUT IT IS NOT HAPPENING.

So. Today. On a Thursday. A very stressful Thursday. I’m going to try to keep my eating habits in check. I’m taking grapes to work so when I want a jelly bean I’ll grab those instead. I’m taking some sweet carbonated water drinks too, in case I’m craving something sweet. I’m bringing one of the relaxing essential oil samples so maybe I can just do some deep breathing when I need. That’s something Nikki’s doctor is going to try to work with her on, just some centering breaths when you start to feel yourself unravel.

Waiting for stress-free days will have me simply waiting forever. Kinda like how I keep telling myself that when life calms down, I’ll make all of those doctor’s appointments I’ve been putting off. It’s never going to happen. I need to just do the thing today. Deal with the stress without binging on candy. Make the doctor’s appointment. Vacuum the yard. [Upon proofreading this entry I see what that last sentence said and I’m leaving it because it’s cracking my ass up.] The perfect time will never come. And if it does, it won’t last long.

I just have to get my naked ass off the toilet and grab the toilet paper roll already.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Forget To Vacuum Your Yard”

  1. I know what you mean about waiting for that day when everything calms down and it never happens. Usually if I have a quiet, calm day, I realize at some point that I have a break because I’ve forgotten something important! I need to figure out a better way to handle stress too. I’ve been stress eating some & sleeping poorly. Most of my stress is work related – I’m about to take over a project as the leader that I’ve been a team member on for years. That sounds like a good thing, but many of the team members don’t think I “deserve” the lead, and my management keeps “forgetting” that I’m going to take the lead. Plus we are hiring a new person. I think she’s going to be great, but it will be a bit scary to be the one to train her. Plus the current lead of my project, who I knew was temporary, but who has been my first real mentor, is going back to her regular job at HQ in two months. Then of course there’s soccer, cross country, homework, tests, sick kids (Sydney is sick today so I’m missing part of a meeting with an important visitor until Andy can get back and take his turn.) I think I’m unravelling too! I need to try some stress relief techniques myself. Thanks for reading this far. I need to go vacuum the yard 😀 At least that makes me smile!

  2. The one thing that has changed my life with regards to week night stress management is making meals ahead of time. I know you have said you struggle with that before, but spending 2-3 hours over the course of a weekend making and freezing/refrigerating a weeks worth of meals makes my week nights so much less stressful. I know that whenever anyone gets home they can heat something up or take it out of the crock pot and I don’t need to add “make dinner” to an already crammed night.

  3. I love your analogy of a toilet roll running away from a naked butt on the toilet! Your perspectives on suffering from anxiety and coping with it in your daughter really help me. I suffer from a Generalised Anxiety Disorder which led to a horrible depression a few years ago. I am still dragging myself out of that hole and some days its extremely hard. Its harder when my 9 year old is also consumed with anxiety and there are long days when I worry that its all my fault. Thank you for sharing your experiences. (I am also onto my third year of Bullet Journals thanks to you!)

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