You might want to keep your face well away from this post

12 Sep

Did you mom or grandmother ever use a pressure cooker? Do you? I don’t know how fancy modern pressure cookers look, but my mom’s looked like this:

When Mom used it, my brother and I would sit and watch the little thing on the top dance back and forth. We called it the hat. Well, I called it the hat. I have no idea what my brother called it. The steam would make rhythmic ssst-ssst-ssst sounds as the hat wobbled back and forth. Mom always told us not to touch it because the steam would shoot out and give us disfiguring injuries so bad that we’d have to tie a pork chop around our necks to get the dogs to play with us, we’d be so ugly.

So this is my disclaimer: I don’t know how hot this steam is or how great the pressure is, but unless you’re willing to risk your heart-stopping good looks on this post, you might want to lean back a bit. I’ve got some stuff to get off my chest.

Since school started mid-August, I have been stressed out. This isn’t like me. I don’t do stress. I’m usually to laugh things off, put things off, ignore other things, or get done whatever I needed done. Not these last few weeks. So I inventoried all the things in my life that are freaking me out right now, how they’re causing my stress, and whether or not they need to go.

1 – Housework. Stressors involved: keeping the household and its members in mostly-clean status. Can’t dump the tasks. Not negotiable.

2 – Bible study. Stressors involved: I’m treasurer of my Bible study. I know that sounds weird, but we’re a small class that belongs to a larger international organization. (see our website for more info) I’m not a numbers person, so the treasurer stuff is always in the back of my mind. Plus, I’m webmistress for the website, so I’m responsible for updating and uploading stuff. Plus, I actually have a lesson I do every day. Won’t dump this. Not negotiable.

3 – Middle school Sunday school teacher. Stressors involved: middle schoolers and curriculum. We’re teaching a “Bible 101” series to our kids, but it’s a curriculum we’re having to create ourselves since there’s nothing out there that fits what we wanted to do. When I say “we” are writing the curriculum, that means I’m tracking down sources, doing research, compiling lesson. I talk to Steve as I’m doing it, but it’s still mostly me. Won’t dump this. Not negotiable.

4 – Writing. Stressors involved: writing, editing, building a platform, writing, editing. Desperately want to succeed at this. Won’t dump this. Not negotiable.

5 – Front yard. Stressors involved: weeds. Two summers ago it sort of resembled an English cottage garden, but this year it’s just pathetic. The weeds are evil. They crouch down low to make you think they’re not there, but they’re there. Making their evil weed seeds for next year. I think I’ve been ignoring this, since there are weeds all over the place, even though the pictures don’t look too bad. Trust me, they’re everywhere. Negotiable.


6 – Blogging. Stressors involved: thinking of something new to write every day; finding time to write it every day; wanting to be brilliant every day. Obviously since I haven’t written something in a few days, this is a negotiable task.

7 – Keeping up with other blogs. Stressors involved: time to read other blogs and think of magnificently funny things to post. This is part of the platform-building process for my writing. Making connections outside of my little circle. Fun, but time-consuming. I don’t even want to look at my Google reader right now because I’m so far behind. (Hi Erin! I look forward to catching up with you soon….) Since this hasn’t happened in several days, it’s obviously a negotiable task.

8 – Sewing. Stressors involved: guilt over delayed promise fulfillment, mess caused by dragging out all my stuff. I told the big kids back in July that I’d make an outfit for each of them (PJs,for #1). Finally, yesterday I got one outfit for one child done. I can’t work on any of their stuff today because I had to finish a monologue I was writing for my Bible study tomorrow. Not a serious monologue, which might have been easier. I was working on what I’m hoping will be something funny. But this is another thing that should have its own number. Anyway, 2 outfits to go, then I have a Minnie Mouse costume for #4 to make (I have a pattern), and a Lucy from Narnia costume to totally create from scratch for #3. Plus I have to paint beads for a necklace for #2’s Annabeth (from the Percy Jackson books) and make her a t-shirt and sweatshirt from “Camp Halfblood”, in addition to figuring out how we’re going to create Babe the Blue Ox’s head for #1’s Norm the Minotaur costume (watch from 1:50 to 2:40 to see Norm). Since I’ve already made #2’s outfit, I feel obliged to follow up with #1 & #3, plus Halloween is coming, so this isn’t negotiable.

9 – I’m on Weight Watchers. Stressors: really? Do I need to list them?

10 – If you’ve read this far, you deserve chocolate. I think my stress level isn’t due to any of these things. Just between you and me, I switched anti-depressants about a month ago. The one I was one for the last decade had some side effects, but since I’m officially done birthing babies, I can try other meds. This one sorta works, but I feel anxious, irritable, sleepy, irritable, and short-tempered. I don’t think my family likes me right now. That’s ok – I don’t like me right now.

So I’ll go on with my freaked-out life until I can get an appointment to see the doctor. On your behalf, I’ll ask him what’s good for injuries caused by the little hat thing flying off a pressure cooker at the speed of me.


5 Responses to “You might want to keep your face well away from this post”

  1. Deana September 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    LOVE IT! Especially #4, I don’t want to give that one up either.

    I like your writing — keep at it. And good luck with today. 🙂

  2. That Nolen Chick September 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Hmmm – didn’t post my comment from earlier. The kids are home, so mayhem has ensued for the last couple of hours. Dinner time now…

    Thanks for the comment, Deana!

  3. Jo Eberhardt September 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Good luck with the meds angle. In the meantime, remember that nothing has to be perfect, and “taking a break” doesn’t mean “giving up”.

    (Oh, and just hit the “mark everything as read” button on Google Reader. It will make you feel better. Really.)

    • That Nolen Chick September 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks, Jo. I laughed at the “mark all as read” part. I’ve thought about doing that, but then I stress about what I’m missing. 😉

  4. Laura September 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Many stressers. Yuck. Even yuckier that so many really aren’t optional. Good for you to vent. It makes you more real. I get your pressure cooker analogy. Let the steam fly, sugar. I find it helps to name what’s bothering me.

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