Let me tell you about my Friday afternoon: at about 2:45 I was beginning the third hour of a support web-call which should have taken just about 15 minutes but, alas, didn't. And things were going terribly wrong. In the midst of this panic, a customer whom I'd meant to get back in touch with two hours earlier called. This person is someone with whom I'm also really good friends and who is, coincidentally, the person that for some reason I always go all incompetent and awkward in front of in professional settings (and, y'all know how self-fullfilling that shit is). At 3:00, I was due another call which I thought was a one-on-one with another customer so I sent a quick email asking if I could put that back 15, at which point I learned that this call would actually be with a roomful of people I wasn't expecting.
At this point, I had headphones in for one call, the phone in my ear for another, and was managing the third via Skype. I was choking back tears and trying very hard to come off as coolly professional.
And the worst part of it was the nagging voice in the back of my head shouting, "Good god, woman! You're not curing cancer!" It was this odd compounded feeling of being stressed and overwhelmed and feeling guilty that I felt so overwhelmed and guilty over things that aren't exactly life and death stuff.
In the meantime, it seems like parents are fleeing from Laney's school right and left for reasons I can't fathom. I'm told it's likely down to the violence of city life, which makes me think I should feel worried about the violence. But not only do I not perceive any more violence in the world, instead it feels like rather less than when I was coming up. And this, of course, makes me feel stressed and guilty that I'm missing something fundamental about how Laney's getting educated.
And then there's all that debt that we're working so hard to pay off. We're halfway there, so I should feel very proud and accomplished, but instead I just feel broke because even if I were perceiving levels of violence that made me want to move Laney to the burbs, we couldn't afford to do it. And, to continue the theme, I feel guilty that I'm feeling stressed about something that we are, in fact, handling quite well.
On top of all of that. and despite believing that the world is less dangerous than it was (a fact which is, by the way, backed up by the data), we're still living in a world where the criminally stupid like these fucking idiots think that the only thing standing between themselves and tyranny is their right to show up in a crowd of people, people who DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE, with the same hardware described by Samuel L Jackson in Jackie Brown as "for when you absolutely positively GOT to kill every motherfucker in the room."
And that stresses me out. And then makes me feel stressed out that I'm letting idiots like that stress me out.
But, here's what I think: being alive is stressful. I reckon even Ann Romney, who is the Platonic idea of blithe entitlement, probably feels stressed out a lot. I have lots of stress tools - I like a large whiskey at the end of the day (I acknowledge this is likely not the best stress-management tool). I thought running would be good, but goddamn if my back and knees aren't ALWAYS killing me now. Piano helps. I like a good book.
But in the end, I feel like I could handle the stress if I could just let go of the notion that I *should* be handling the stress. I can't let go of feeling like I should be able to just, you know, let go of feeling like I can let it go.
It is so weird in my head.