Readers Who are Krazy for Kindle: Boiling in the Pressure Cooker of Life

July 24, 2011

Boiling in the Pressure Cooker of Life


Have you ever been in a room with other people ... say, during a family dinner or a cocktail party or an employee breakroom ... and just sorta start screaming inside your own head? Like: AAAAAAAAAAAH. AAAH. AAAH. AAAH. AAAAAAAAAAAH.

Maybe it's just me.

I don't handle stress well. I wish I could accumulate some damn Zen and then I could a write a blog that was actually helpful. You know, Ten Ways to De-Stress Your Life---and Keep Your Brain from Exploding! Yeah. ZEN. And I don't mean the Zen accidentally reached because you're too tired to do anything but brush your teeth and fall into bed. Or the kind of Zen you get because the stress is so much you have an internal meltdown and a "FUCK THIS" moment and you get out the ice cream and go watch television for sixteen hours. Because procrastinating is so helpful with stress, right?

I'm forty-one-years-old, people. I understand that life looks at my plans, at my checklists, at my I-will-get-my-shit-together hopes ... and laughs maniacally while shredding everything with a machete. I'm good in crisis mode. (I hate crisis mode, but I am good at it.) I suck at time management. Because that's mature and organization-y. I know I am inefficient and whiny, but I am also hopeful and keep trying. And you know what? My time management suckitude is not for the reasons you may think.

It is the release of the Perfectionist Monster. I must do everything that I thought about, promised, agreed to, procrastinated, meant to do, and will do NOW. In the next twenty-four hours. Because it should be DONE. It is all a priority---a terrible, beastly priority, and I must conquer the tasks I have set forth. Then I think about EVERYTHING I need to do and the panic rises, and my internal thermometer goes into the red, and I have to go stick my head in the freezer until my temperature goes down.

And to get the ice cream.

I have read books. Tried systems. Meditated. Created self-mottos. Muttered mantras. Done yoga. Swallowed Kava pills. And when none of that shit works, I sit in a room staring blankly across a table at someone and just scream in my head.

Also, I'm stupid-cranky. And I get sick of listening to my internal screams and my ever expanding, ongoing list-making (this, and this, and then this, and THEN that ... oh, and that, too). I don't even like being around me. Gah. And I know, believe me, I know, that my stress is nowhere near the stress of people dealing with bombed government buildings, and nuclear fall-outs, and being yelled at by Simon Cowell. Still. We have to live our lives where we're at, and our sorrows are no less because they are smaller.

I know that happiness is something created from moments. Sure, happiness comes from accomplishments, too. And happiness can be a choice. You can smile or you can rail. You can laugh or you can cry. You can crawl into bed like someone beat you all day with metal pipes or you can fall asleep being grateful that you had another beautiful day with the people you love.

I want to be THAT girl. The one with the secret smile who inherently knows that all is well. She knows that what must be done will be done in grace and in beauty and in peace. That people are more important than to-do lists, and it's okay to stop, breathe in, get perspective, and begin again.

Okay. I've added "Achieve Zen" to my to-do list. Where's the ice cream?