and the quest begins

Stress is like an infestation of fire ants inside the walls of your house.  Just when you think you’ve gotten rid of them in your kitchen, you discover them climbing up the wall in your bathroom.  They are almost impossible to completely eradicate unless you spend every free moment trying to discover the source. 

Where is my source?

That’s what I have to ask myself. 

I am sleep deprived.  I would love to blame that fact on some simple reason, like I don’t go to bed early enough.  That has been true enough in the past.  But the fact remains that I don’t sleep any better when I go to bed early than I do when I go to bed late.  I feel less rested when I take something to “help” me sleep, in fact, I feel as if I’ve been running in a maze the next morning from all the freakish dreams the medicines create.  So I’m on a mission to discover how to sleep again.  As my mother has reminded me, I used to sleep so heavily that a bomb detonating beside my bed would scarcely wake me.  And now I’m awakened if a bird flaps his wings in a tree outside my window.

But sleep can’t be all of it, right?  I’ve been sleep deprived before and not stressed.  I’ve been sleep deprived and not had high blood pressure.  So sleep cannot be the only source. 

I have teenagers.  Enough said there.  But again, I’ve had teenagers for a few years now, and that hasn’t driven me to the cardiologist before.  So as much as I would like to blame at least a few of my children…I can’t name them as the source.

My job is very stressful.  There are so many things to do and so little time.  There is an element of being pulled in twenty different directions all at the same time, and everything has the same priority.  High!  So I ask myself, have things changed in the three years I’ve been doing this same job?  Or have things changed in the seven years I’ve been with the bank?  Probably.  And I’ve always weathered the changes like a pro.  I’ve bounced back and kept on going.  So could my job be the source now?  I suppose it could be.  But there are too many factors to measure for me to know for sure.

I would love to blame alcohol.  I would love to sit here and say, “It’s the beer!  That’s the reason!  If it weren’t for the beer everything would be fine.”  But anyone who knows me knows I don’t really drink, and I NEVER drink beer.  Yuck! So how could that be any part of the source? 

All I know is…I have an infestation of stress and like those fire ants, it’s burning its way across my skin. 

I need an exterminator.  I think I’ll get right on that.

Until the next time…I’ll still be counting the days until vacation.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on May 27, 2010 .