Sunday, April 1, 2012

Secret Stressors

Another fab article from my regular Oprah updates via the inbox: Secret Stressors that are Affecting You More than You Know
If you read this - you might be amazed to find that many of these points are affecting you! At least that was the reality for me. I had already been in the midst of battling some noise-pollution issues in the 'hood. A squeaky house vent atop a neighbor's abode, and a squeaky windmill on another neighbor's plot... contributing to the consistent disruption of my serene sanctuary in the backyard.

In order: 
1) Sound Creep (inundated with too much noise, as noted above)
2) Not-Broke Money Anxiety (Am I doing "enough" to keep finances in check?)
3) Long-Shot Health Worries ("But what if it's....?")
4) The Rehash Hangover (Can't stop talking about what happened with a stubborn boss/ ect, etc)
5) Suburban Schlumpiness (Things starting to show signs of the times/ foreclosures/ lost businesses)

I found that I struggled with each one except #5... 
Resolutions for me:
1) Take a moment of 'quiet' to myself each day - minimum of 10 minutes. (And get those nearby, squeaky metal items lubricated!!)
2) We've learned the tools to achieve the financial goals we have. We still have to live for today as well - so that will limit our commitment to all early pay-offs. However, while both are priorities - making fond memories and exploring the world with our babes is still #1! Remembering that is key~
3) The occasional "what is this now?" worry over health can occasionally creep in... Like when I'm on overload and my brain won't function - and I can't even think about proper words to use in a casual conversation... It's likely not the early stages of Alzheimer's. But I'll still do what I can to limit the likelihood of it progressing to that, using natural means!
4) Totally guilty. I like to think things through though - and 'finish' them... So I tend to need to rehash it at least once to finalize it in my mind. I think if I limit it to one time - sharing with Joel - that can be good for my letting-go, and good for our relationship - in that we're communicating our feelings openly.
5) Meh. Not a big issue around here. Nearby on some walks, I had taken notice of some dilapidated  establishments.... but this has not been a source of stress for me.

They did leave-out one stress-trigger for me though... Am I giving enough time/ attention to my kids!?! It has been a source of stress over the years - balancing 'play time' with them - with maintaining the home, paying bills on time, running my small biz, keeping up with extended family, and all the things that life throws at you...  But, I've come to the conclusion - through people who have been brought into my life more recently, and my own children's perceptions being vocalized, that I'm doing well by this! I'm beginning to see them bloom in ways I hadn't been expecting yet - and I'm pretty darn proud of 'em. (And myself!) Here is a source of reassuring sentiment that was sent home in a recent preschool newsletter: "Plan a special time each day, even if it is only 10 minutes, when your child can depend on your undivided attention to talk, read stories, listen to music, build with blocks, take a walk, play in the sand, or whatever you like doing together." YES! Mission accomplished there (and well beyond 10 mins per day!) While I have instinctively believed that fully devoting small 'sections' of time throughout the day to playing on their levels was both meaningful, and aiding in building their confidence, self-esteem and independence, I hadn't had such confirmation of those beliefs until just now! (Aside from their demeanor and abilities, that is. But nothing quite compares to early childhood personnel telling you that slotted 'special time' each day was important - while stressing quality over quantity.) It's also good for them to learn the value of knowing you're nearby if you need them, but recognizing that adults have things to tend to in life as well - and cannot provide undivided attention ALL day long! Thank you preschool newsletter. I'm always happy to take all of the reassurances I can get! This wasn't exactly in the 'handbook' ;) There is your TIP for the day!

A QUOTE: "Children need the freedom and time to play.  Play is not a luxury.  Play is a necessity."  ~Kay Redfield Jamison
WHIDFML: Planned an upcoming vaca with the hub! 

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