Once Upon a Time There Was This Type A, Stressed-Out Lady Person WhoWas Hanging From Loose Ends

so i’m sitting in a honda dealer’s lounge while i type this. i’m waiting for them to make a replacement key (with fob and all the $$ fancy stuff) for my car because i ‘aped’ (to ape= to aggressive manhandle and destroy in a fit of rage) robb’s copy of my key.

it was a while ago and no one got hurt, other than that stupid key that had it coming. i don’t remember exactly what was happening at the time of said aping, but i imagine i was 1) in a hurry, 2) being yelled at by some child, and 3) under-fed/caffeinated/slept.
i get hangry, but i also get slangry. i’m not proud of this, but it’s where i am.
i’ve been thinking about “where i am” a lot lately.  i’ve not been feeling so healthy recently- for months, actually. like hair falling out, skin a mess (eyes puffy and red and wrinkly, looking like stoned Yoda….or maybe that’s just regular Yoda. you KNOW they were smoking something on dagobah), itchy, dry skin all over, no energy,  that kind of thing…i’ve been casually running it by friends and doctors and doctor friends and finally i went and actually used some insurance and saw my NP…and tests and advisors all concluded that i’m just stressed and worn slap out.  (thank God there’s nothing scary brewing)
ALSO. i’m turning 35 soon and it’s kind of landing on me hard. not because i think it’s old and not because i’m not happy about where i am in life. i really am. i’m very proud of and grateful for the way things are going. i even think my 17 y/o self would be happy with us. and we all know this is the goal. 
 
(she would probably wonder why my hair is so lame and why i now us the word ‘noggin’ instead of head, but she would be pretty thrilled about my virtue, my humor, my sex life, my job, and my kids (who are obsessed with ‘the nightmare before christmas’ and the muppets- she would like that about them). we got pretty lucky, we’d say. and then we’d talk for a while about whether it’s luck or God or the family i was born into and all those benefits and we’d end up sharing a dark chocolate bar and some wine (i’d let her have just a sip) and i’d be jealous of her high boobs but pity her insecurity.)
anyway.
i’ve been thinking about aging and i want to age gracefully and powerfully. i want to graduate from the cute phase of life where women are held/hold onto for too long and move into the wise, experienced, really useful and productive phase. i expect that with years come wisdom and confidence and resolve. i’m ready! i’m gonna have cool gray hair like gloria steinem and diane keaton! i’m not going to sink my money into potions that don’t work to make me seem younger than i am. i am strong! i am beautiful! i am…..
man, this car dealer coffee is good. why is folgers out of an urn in a styrofoam cup so good? like gas station egg salad sandwiches. they’re just terrible and i just love them. i don’t make the rules.
i’ve also been finding it hard to focus lately.
ANYway. so why am i so stressed? here’s what the therapist inside me has deduced (yes, he’s austrian, yes, he smokes a pipe, no, you’re weird): my expectations for myself are really high. i can laughingly say that my credo is “fucket” but in reality, i…don’t. i want to do everything for everyone 100% exactly the best. i never want to say no, or that i can’t. i never draw any limits because i always feel like there’s more i can give. i’m not dead yet!
a full-time, busy job with some pretty decent responsibilities along with the maintenance of 2 wonderful but very demanding (and not sleeping still) small human people is a lot to juggle. and then there’s marriage and his job worries that become my worries and other family/friend relationships to keep track of and $$ concerns in the immediate and in the long-term sense and endless house cleaning and projects and cooking and prospective business ventures and…i can feel my shoulders hunch up toward my ear holes while i list these.
and i’m a list checker. i love it. when i cross something off a list, i feel calm. when the item is not crossed off, stays not crossed off, just hangs around on the list forever- i never feel calm. robb astutely said the other day that right now “your whole life is loose ends.” he’s RIGHT! and it drives me berserk! (actually i couldn’t remember exactly how he’d said it because my memory, like the rest of me, is sort of squishy and droopy now… “my whole life is hanging chads??” is that what he said?? no, that’s not quite right…finally i remembered. CHECK!). 
the other thing. i’m really empathetic and compassionate. (to everyone but my husband, he would argue). it’s a wonderful gift and i’m proud of it and i encourage it in my kids. but my heart bleeds often. i can very easily feel viscerally the pain of everyone i encounter-either in person or distantly. i take personally the struggles of my patients, i physically hurt when my kids cry, and i get a stomach ache when i read the news of people hurting each other. my TMJ pain acts up especially when groups of people are brutalized. and, since people are hurting and hurters make more hurt- that’s everywhere all the time.
it’s making me go bald to feel this much but i’m not sure my baldness is actually helping anyone. i feel like i need to hear/read their stories so that the voices of these people and their struggles aren’t lost into oblivion….but to what end? so i cry for them? so what? does that pluck a kid out of sexual slavery? so i share someone’s painful life on facebook? does that un-starve a refugee? what am i doing for anyone but making myself feel less helpless? (and is that even working??) and at the end of the day, who am i really reaching besides my small circle of people?
BUT if i fall apart physically or mentally (no labs for that, just have to measure # of key fobs destroyed) i can’t even help my small circle of people.
so, here’s my conclusion. 1- i’m getting sick from stress, 2- my being sick will do no one any good, 3- i don’t have to open my eyes wide ALL the time. i’m not serving anyone less by shutting out some of the pain. 4-it’s not a crime to take some time for me. no, really, it’s not. no, but seriously. 5- it’s not a badge of success to run myself ragid- i’m allowed to find some damn peace. do some yoga, read a book, drink more water and less coffee. 
 
well, baby steps. i mean have you TRIED this card dealiership coffee? 
 
i got an adult coloring book and some jigsaw puzzles and i’m throwing myself a Xanax-alternative birthday party. 
 
because fucket, emiright? 

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