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Saturday, February 21, 2009

If You're Not Stressed Already, You Can Read This Post And Jitter Vicariously

If you're like me--and believe me, I sense your panic through the Interwebs already just at the thought of that--you've been feeling kind of stressed lately. And it's not any one thing, either. It's an all-over, total-body workout sort of stress that makes you feel as if one minute you're wading through wet concrete with a toddler strapped onto your back, and the next minute as if you're wearing rollerskates and careening downhill. After drinking a double-shot of espresso. In a Red Bull.

I get you. Hoo, boy do I get you.

When I get like this, everything's a crapshoot. There might be dinner; there might not be. I might make it past 7:30 pm before I fall asleep, mouth open like a 90-year old rest home resident on the couch; I might not. And work? Let's not even go there. I cannot even begin to tell you what it's like because every single teacher at my school is living this too. I've never heard so many creative uses of The Eff Word in the lounge in my life. And while many of them are, in fact, coming from me, a helluva lot of them aren't.
So.

While I've got a bit of a head of steam built up here and you're a nice enough audience, I'm going to blow some off. You know, work through it a bit, and see if I come out on the other side. Here goes.

HEY! I get that the weather here has sucked really bad since Christmas. We've had the worst, coldest, snowiest January on record. Some people have not been able to take down their Christmas lights/decorations. But it's February, so WHY ARE YOU STILL TURNING THEM ON? Also, we did have several days above 40. Couldn't you take the wreaths off your houses at least? Holy crap. Who are you people, anyway? How holiday-challenged are you?

GO AHEAD! I'd like to take all these self-righteous republicans and tell them to go screw themselves. I'm sure you've heard the latest: some republican governors are loftily asserting that they will refuse the federal government's stimulus package funds. This is, to quote the ageless cliche, cutting off their nose to spite their face. Something tells me that if Alaska and Louisiana (those poor, poor people--again abandoned by an idiot republican politician!) don't want the money that's coming to them, I bet my state of Ohio will be glad to take their share.

AAARRRGGGHHH! Speaking of shares, I'm finally getting mine, and I'm talking about grey hair. I turn 50 in May, and heretofore I have not had much grey hair that's noticeable. Thanks to the stress levels I've been enduring in the past several weeks, there has been an Explosion Of Grey Hair on my head. I pointed this out to Rick today as we were out running errands (shortly after I pointed out--for the umpteenth time--that he was still over-accelerating our hybrid, thereby reducing its fuel efficiency; it was even at the exact same place that I pointed it out the last time! When will he learn?). Rick said (without even looking), "You can't turn grey in such a short time, Nance." I said, "Certainly you can. If someone is under extreme stress, she can turn grey practically overnight. It's been documented and scientifically proven." He smiled and said, "One of my customers told me I've gotten a lot greyer lately." This is typical. It is A Rick Strategy when he doesn't want to argue with me. It is called Divert The Topic Away From Nance. Sigh. At least I prefer this strategy to the other one he employs which also follows the smile. It is called Chuckle And Tell Nance She Is So Cute.

PFFFTT...Well, I feel a little bit better. At least it's the weekend. And this winter can't last forever, can it? And pretty soon, I'll probably stop watching the news, except to see Brian Williams' tie. That might help. And the grey hair? Oh, hell.

15 comments:

  1. Ortizzle8:42 AM

    I am prepping for six 3-hour masters exams at the end of March. While I am also finishing my last course in grad school. And teaching full time. Stress, anyone?

    P.S. My hair went gray in my thirties. And as you know, I am well over 50 now, so... if you want to feel better about that, just think of all the money you've saved on hair dye. :-)

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  2. Nancy9:28 AM

    Nance,

    As you may know, I am 80 years old.

    Once in a while I take a bucket of L'Oreal Ash Blonde #14 and dump it over my head.

    It works. I feel great. No gray hair. People often tell me I don't look 80; I only look 79.....

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  3. After watching Governor Jindal on this morning's Meet the Press, it's hard for me to lump him and Palin into the same category. I do agree with you about stubborn GOP governors, though.

    I love this post! You're so smart and funny!

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  4. I am with you on stress. Things that are stressing me out these days: the news, grocery shopping, car repair bills, financial statements (just reading the bottom line once a month drives a girl to drink) ... to name a few.

    The holiday-challenged ... I can't believe them either BUT maybe they are so stressed they can't work up the energy to take them down. It's week after our V Day party and I haven't put away all my serving dishes (they are clean) or returned all the furniture to its proper places. I think about doing it A LOT, but that's as far as I get. Now it's Sunday and it's back to work tomorrow so who knows when I'll do it. I can't seem to get crap done during the work week lately. I am a vegetable once I get home.

    Talk is cheap ... you can be sure that those Republicans will be taking every cent they can get. If they don't, they'll have even less luck at the polls next go round.

    Gray hair ... my son likes to comment on the increase of gray in my hair. (He's such a nice kid that way.) I am grateful that at age 52 I have very little gray hair, but I feel it could change dramatically at any moment ... probably from talking about my good fortune here. Most of my friends have been dying their hair for years. I am not ruling that out, but I am not really looking forward to it either. It seems like you start playing the color roulette game and just can't be taken seriously once that starts. BTW, I am just curious, Nance ... why do you use the British spellings for some words; i.e., "grey" vs "gray"? I agree that "grey" hair is much better than "gray" hair though. I sincerely hope that question does not invoke more stress for you. Last, your husband's strategies are funny ... from the outside. And, maybe they are funny because I think I've used these strategies on my husband successfully!

    While we were out today, we noticed that the trees have the slightly reddish tinge to them ... buds! ... Spring IS coming. :-) I visited my son an hour south yesterday and there were daffodils blooming!

    Now if I can just stay up late enough to watch the Oscars ... I wanted a nap almost as soon as I got up this morning (and I had slept in!). I know our bodies want to sleep more when we are stressed.

    Shirley

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  5. Shirley--I'm going to attempt to watch the Oscars, but who knows? I got precious little sleep last night--long story--so it's a crapshoot. Now, regarding my eccentric spelling: "grey" is just a thing with me. I like it better spelt that way. Some words, like "rollerskating" I stick together because I like the way the compounds look and I feel like, stylistically, they express my conversational mode best. Other times, I'm just plain being pretentious and snobby and Nance-esque. And I guess I'm operating under the principle that Writing Style Makes It Okay. Rick says I am a Snobby Elitist most of the time in Most Things. Like that's a Bad Thing. Besides, look what Random Capitalization did for Emily Dickinson! Who, btw, I am teaching now and my students are hearting in a big way. Who knew? Last year, they were all about Walt (Whitman). I heart them both. But Don't get me Started.

    Oh--and Virginia gets spring about a month before Ohio does. Can I come visit?

    Alex--please elaborate on your comments re: Jindal. I spent 90% of his MTP interview yelling back at him about how much of an idiot he is, mouthing tax cuts for private business to spur hiring and all the VERY SAME BULLSHIT THAT THE rEPUBLICANS TRIED FOR EIGHT YEARS THAT BROKE THIS COUNTRY AND LANDED IT IN THE MESS IT'S IN IN THE FIRST PLACE. i find it amazing that the major repub morons who are lining up to dis the stim pak are the ones who are positioning themselves for a run at The Big Chair in '12. Now Crist, I listened to and held my barrage. what a massive improvement over the last FLA governor. Hmmm.

    And thank you for your kind words. I try very hard to be smart.
    AND--it's wonderful to see you here!xxoo

    Nancy--If I went ash blonde, I'd look like a cheap streetwalker. Whereas, you probably look quite...hell. Where was I going with this? Let me try again. I bet you look lovely as a blonde, but I am olive-skinned and have black-brown hair. Blonde is not my answer. At 80 or otherwise, but thanks for trying to help.

    Ortizzle--I sure hope all this school is worth it. You'd better be bumping up to triple digits in salary, at least to pay for therapy. Or a trip to see me in Ohio. Better yet, let's meet in neutral territory halfway. Where would that be? (I'm geographically challenged.) Someplace warm, please, is all I ask.

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  6. After I turned grey (hang on to your e, girl!) I tried ash blonde once. It turned my hari horrid shade of metallic yellow. In despair, I bleached the whole mess white. It looked terrific and people started telling me how young I looked. I kept it that way until it was that way naturally. Even though people no longer pay me compliments.
    I don't get Republicans. Never have.
    Spring is coming. It will get here about mid April. Hope yours arrives sooner; you need it.

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  7. I am most aggravated these days by the Republican congressmen who-all of them!-voted against the so-called "stimulus bill" and are now claiming credit to their constituents for line items in said bill. Are we who live 'round the Beltway the only ones who know about this? I'm appalled! BTW, please add your 5 cents' worth over at my Silly Sunday Sweepstakes today, OK?

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  8. Melissa B--No, you Beltway denizens aren't the only ones. I've read about it and the rest of us who are "politically savvy" and informed are outraged as well. Yet, we expect this--it's sadly typical.

    Mary G--I hope that, when I do go grey, I go either dramatically or stylishly. I don't want to start any vicious hair-care cycle. Too worky. I can't imagine myself with white hair...but one of those very arresting waves framing my face would be nice.

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  9. I almost wish I were a bit more stressed. The economy is the worst it's ever been in my lifetime and I'm making a pitiable income, but I'm frugal enough to have enough money to live off of and somehow scrape together the cash for trapeze lessons.

    I'm not stressed out at work at all, and I blame that on all of the bad teachers out there who are making me look good. I've had some absolutely wonderful teachers (*nods in your direction*), but there are enough bad ones out there lowering the standards that even though I haven't been putting in near my all (you know I'm lazy at heart), I've still been doing fairly well in all measures of teaching (my peer reviews were both fairly positive and my student evaluations, ranked against teachers across the country, put me in the "top tier" of teaching effectiveness). I feel like I need a little constructive pressure to get my ass in motion.

    Maybe it's good that I can survive on my own just fine, but all this not having anything to stress out about is stressing me out just a bit ;-)

    Oh, and you still owe me a call. Don't make me get your mother's permission to smack you. I'll have her call you...

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  10. Nance, I'd like to recommend a book to you, for if you have any snobby language lover in you, you'll love it. :) It's "The Elegance of the Hedgehog", and I just reviewed it on my blog. Loved it.

    Sorry you're stressing out. I'm feeling pretty relaxed right now, enjoying being unemployed and so on. Hopefully this feeling will last a little while.

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  11. Nance, you're a riot! I almost spewed liquids from my nose because I immediately thought of the other day (perhaps last week)...I saw Christmas lights...on...in February....and it was in the 60's.

    "...wading through wet concrete with a toddler strapped onto your back..."

    I totally felt that as I was reading it...what is that called...I know you know?

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  12. So stressed I fear I might not even be able to spell it right. Stressed, that is.

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  13. a.l.--IT. lol.

    tera--you mean you could relate? you hit my blog hardcore. i knew immediately that you had put up a post. i checked: sure enough...

    j.@jj--i read your review, and i just don't feel drawn in by this story. i'm not a big fiction reader, however, so that's probably why. i'm glad that you're so laid-back about being out of a job, though. i think you're the only person i know who is unemployed and not stressing about it.

    mikey--that's a disappointing thing to read. since when is measuring your effort and "excellence" against mediocrity the standard you want to shoot for? it shouldn't be enough for you. it never was for me.

    on another note--i know i owe you a call. i will call once things here settle down a bit. and threatening me with my mother is hilarious. she'd be the first to tell you that!!

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  14. It's not that I want to shoot for that standard. I just wish (1) I had people pushing me more towards excellence, and (2) I had people guiding be that way. The one observation write-up I have so far really didn't include that many tips for improvement. We'll see how the other two turn out.

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  15. So why in the heck didn'tya comment??? LOL!

    Yeah I can DEFINITELY relate, but I am speaking of the term for when you read something and it feels, smells, looks, and tastes so real from merely reading it...

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