Tag Archives: anxiety

No. I’m Clearly Not.

Tutoring session with a 5th grader…

Me: “Hey bud! What’s up?”

Kid: “I’m hanging on by a thread.”

Me: “Oh, man. I’m sorry to hear that. But you know what? I think everyone’s hanging on by a thread these days. I know I certainly am. It’s just becoming too much, you know? Waking up every morning and every day is pretty much the same, with very little to do to get our minds off the problems in the world right now. It certainly creates feelings of anxiety, wondering when and if any of this is ever going to get better. But just know you’re not alone in those feelings.”

Kid: “Wait what? I said I’m hanging out with Fred. My cat, Fred.”

Me: “Oh!”

(awkward silence)

Kid: “Are you ok?”

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I’ll Consider It

“Hey, so,” (clears throat, clearly nervous) “I was thinking…and I know this is a little audacious of me to ask, but– would you please consider getting pregnant again? Like, immediately? It’s just– the last time you were pregnant, well, those 9 months were pretty great for me. I finally got to relax and kick my feet up for a bit, you know? Rejuvenate. Catch my breath. Felt like my normal, healthy self again.  But I’ve just really been working on overdrive since then. And now with the pandemic and your anxiety and everything…I’m just struggling to keep my head above water here. So you’ll consider it? Pregnancy? It’s really my only opportunity for a break. I know you need me to keep working hard, but I can’t keep going like this without some kind of respite. I’m not a wizard. And, um, I don’t mean for this to sound condescending but– you know you, like, NEED me in order to survive, right? Like I know you understand that in theory but it seems you don’t really follow through with it in daily practice. Ok ok sorry, my bad, I see I’m getting you worked up. I won’t get ahead of myself here. We don’t need to make any permanent life changes. I know that’s hard for you. Let’s just focus on my short-term, 9-month vacation for now, and maybe then down the line we can work on some longer-term goals. Cool?”

— My liver, to me

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Don’t Worry, I Have a Plan

Friend: “So what’s your plan if school doesn’t open in the fall?”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry, we have like a million back-up plans for Nora’s schooling because yeah, the school we signed her up for already said it might not open. And they sent us a list of all these possible scenarios if they DO open, most of which involve distance learning, which would be pretty useless for her age. So we’ve totally thought this through and researched all these other schools so that we’re prepared and don’t end up getting screwed.  We really like [School #2] and they seem ready to open safely. And [School #3] will definitely have spots open should we wait until the last minute, because we’re hesitant to put a deposit down now for something that might become distance learning. And there’s this other school, [School #4], that’s smaller and lesser-known but actually seems pretty great so bottom line she’ll have lots of options, and we’ll be fine with wherever she goes, plus she’s at the age where we’re not worried about if she’s in like a top program or anything like that, you know? So regardless it’ll be fine, and I know she’ll love wherever she is because she’s super social and energetic so she’ll just be happy to finally get out of the house and be around other kids and added bonus I REALLY need the break!”

Friend: “No, that’s not what I meant. I meant what’s your plan if NO schools open in the fall?”

Me: “Oooooh! Oh oh oh oh.”

(pause)

Me: “Kill myself.”

 

 

So There IS a Wrong Way To Do It

Therapist: “We’ve been talking about the importance of taking some time to meditate in order to relieve anxiety and practice mindfulness. How has that been going for you?”

Me: “Well, I do it every single day. No excuses.”

Therapist: “Really! That’s great! A lot of people find it very difficult to make time for it every day, so good for you.”

Me: “Yeah but I can’t say I’ve really noticed any benefits…”

Therapist: “That’s surprising.  Tell me about the conditions while you’re meditating.”

Me: “So, ok, I know you’re really supposed to sit up, but honestly I prefer to lay. It’s much more comfortable for me.”

Therapist: “That’s fine. There’s no wrong way to do it. ”

Me: “That’s what I figured. Also, I prefer to do it at night because my days are a little too busy.”

Therapist: “Ok, that’s fine.”

Me: “Ok, so I lay down every night, I close my eyes, slow my breath and try to clear my head and all that, but I just end up falling asleep every time.”

Therapist: “Ok, so. That’s not meditating.”

Me: “It’s not?”

Therapist: “No. That’s just you getting into bed and going to sleep at night.”

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233%

As I’ve mentioned on this blog and to anyone I’ve ever met anywhere at any time for any reason– I’m a sweaty person. Like this but sweatier.

Our current apartment runs extremely hot. We’ve posted many a video of Nora on social media and she is always stripped down to the diaper– friends think this is because we have a “free the baby from the burden of clothes!” hippie attitude, but what they don’t realize is that I, too, am naked behind the camera because it is 5 fucking thousand degrees in our home and WE’RE ALL JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE. (I’m sorry if that mental image of naked me ruins your enjoyment of Nora’s videos (Brothers. Dad.), but you’re welcome if it enhances it (No one? Oh ok.)).

So due to this hot apartment/me being a sweaty mammoth combo, I need to sleep with the air conditioner on throughout the night. In fact, the AC isn’t even enough– I need the fan too. Eric, whose body functions like that of a person meant to live on this earth and not in a 70-degree isolated space bubble, does not enjoy this nighttime freeze-out ritual. He insists that if we just keep the window open, it will have a similar effect, with the added bonus of saving both money and energy.

I have tried this crazy window-scheme he’s concocted, and I simply disagree with his assessment. It’s not the same. He then tries to argue that I have not given it a real chance, as if me doing it that whole one time for 10 seconds isn’t sufficient enough to draw an accurate conclusion of NOPE THIS IS TERRIBLE HELLFIRE AND I HATE IT.

So, like any good, solid married couple with opposing viewpoints, we have agreed to compromise and have the AC on full blast, the fan on high, and the window sealed shut.

Eric, over time, has learned to accept that this is the situation, and has ceased to verbally comment on it anymore, as he knows, much like when he tries to teach me about the stock market or how to make toast, it is a waste of breath. I am who I am (the worst. the best? inexplicably and unadvisedly someone’s mother. Set in my ways.)

But what he DOES do is passive aggressively send me the monthly email from Con Edison explaining how much energy we waste use compared to other homes. It is, without fail, always over 150% more than similar apartments in the area. He sends these emails with no explanation– he just forwards them along and hopes I’ll open one and, you know, feel something.

I do not.

He does make sure to follow up when he gets home from work, though. The conversation goes something like this:

Eric: “Did you get my Con Ed email?”
Me: “Yes.”
Eric: “….”
Me: “Yes I did.

I don’t know why he bothers.

But guys– today’s email really got me. See below.

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Maybe it’s that the percentage is over 200 for the first time ever. Maybe it’s the fact that Eric took the time to deliberately change the subject line to 233%, so I can’t earmuff that shit. Maybe it’s that he added the “I give up on you and life” cry-laugh emoji. Maybe it’s that image of a polar bear floating away on a block of ice (not sure if that directly relates, but goddamn that’s upsetting). Or maybe it’s that gif I once saw of a dog so sad he can’t even muster one ounce of excitement for what has to be the largest, most wiggly bubble ever (completely unrelated. Now I’m just spiraling.) But the point is, for the first time, I felt something.

So tonight I turn over a new leaf.  If I can’t be motivated by Eric’s discomfort (oh, you don’t like the temperature? Remember when I grew a human from scratch, stored it amongst my organs, and then carried a farm’s supply of lactose in my boobs for a year? I’M SORRY YOU’RE COLD.), I should at least be motivated to serve the greater good.

So you win, Eric. No more winter AC.

But make no mistake– I’m doing this for the dog.

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AFTER That

I’m tutoring a middle schooler for an important test she will take at the end of the year. She is super anxious about it, so I promise her I will have her fully prepared.

Kid: “Ok but what if you just, like, up and die before the test? THEN WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!”

Me: “Ok, well. I certainly do not plan to die this year. But if I did– which I won’t– well, I suppose you could start by feeling sad about the sudden and tragic loss of your dear tutor and friend.”

Kid: “Oh– right, yes. OF COURSE. Sorry. Of course I’d feel sad.”

(silence)

Kid: “But like, AFTER that…?”

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