This is your brain on stress
I need some downtime. For the last few weeks, I’ve had something to do pretty much every day from the time I’ve woken up to the time I’ve gone to sleep. It seems like months, but in reality it’s only been maybe three weeks. The stress of going from one thing to the next has my limits being tested especially when plans don’t go exactly as expected. I can count the number of hours of downtime I’ve had on one hand making finding a long stretch of time where I can unbind my brain that much more imperative.
The free time that I have had was used to run through the finances, complete the family taxes and creatively find funds to pay for tax shortfalls that we didn’t anticipate. We aren’t by any means in dire straits, but don’t have too much of a cushion or emergency funds to tap into as we’ve already used them a few months back for healthcare bills. That brings me to something that’s been on the top of my mind, healthcare. It seems so much harder this year than in previous years as the providers are getting harder to deal with in terms of payments. It seems being a patient for years, with not an issue with payments, has no bearing on the them forcing a $1k repayment for testing over three months is unfair. My usual offer to pay back $100/month fell on deaf ears, to which I said I’m sending them $100/month and if they don’t like it, they can send me to collections.
The wife is going to her sisters house for a few days to help her recover from major surgery and is leaving home base in my hands. I took two days off next week so have a 4 day weekend coming up; something to look forward to. The daughter is quite self-sufficient at 10 now and finds things to occupy her time. I have a few activities planned that the both of us can do of course, but they’re maybe a few hours on 1-2 days. She also has school on Monday and Tuesday giving me several hours to myself that will be a welcome relief. Those two days will be singing to me like violins out of the sky and I can take my time doing the few things I know need to be done. One of them being a real overhaul of the household budget that I can really concentrate on with nothing interrupting me.
I need to have another conversation with the wife reconfirming my need for a few hours each week where I can unbind and peel off stress. The fellow introverts out there know exactly what I’m talking about and understand. My wife is concerned that the daughter is showing signs of wanting to be by herself more than be with friends on most days; something I said wasn’t a problem. I was forced into social situations and was made to go outside when I was younger and I resented my parents for a long time because of that. I told the wife its normal, to let it be, and if she starts becoming too isolated I would take the lead in helping her find a balance. In my experience, it’s the balance that is more important than forcing one behavior or another; balance makes it good. My wife, the extrovert, tries to understand but doesn’t have the context to truly understand.
Hope to see you again on Thursday, the wife made another painting that is now hanging in my office. I’m going to need a bigger office if she keeps up the painting, or I’ll just have to start getting them framed and hang them up in the house. She’s really getting good at them. I also had a lake in my backyard for a few hours during a ridiculous rain storm that confirmed that the sump pump does in fact work as advertised.