you’re stressed. Here’s a cute animal.

October 9, 2013 |  Category:   life rambling





I posted that my stress level was at a 10 the other day on Facebook and what do you think happened? Friends posted photos of cute bunnies and other farm animals on my thread and then it somehow got derailed to ridiculous photos of people in bunny suits. Tangents of all tangents, but what was I expecting? Pixie dust and air hugs? Not fishing for sympathy so it was entirely appropriate.


I should be sleeping not writing. My sleep has gone from borderline adequate to barely functional and I know I’m shaving years off my life with my horrible sleep habits. But what are you going to do with when you have this kind of work load? The only way to deal with it is to buy a little time with less sleep. It’s temporary and although I would never proclaim that I feel like superman or supermom, I am somehow getting it all done while still keeping the house clean and helping with homework. Sometimes you have to stop no matter what kind of pressing deadline you have and get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floor. Or this morning I looked out on our balcony and saw dead leaves on the mums and then had this urgent need, despite being pressed for time, to pull all of the dead plants now that summer is over. Oh, is this only me? But I still defer all of the cooking to Mark.
There was a post years ago where I detailed breaking down my day into units of measure to manage multiple clients. I fully admit that I stole this idea from Hugh Grant’s character from About A Boy, though his unit allocation was conjured up to calculate his leisure activities, not work tasks. It totally works for me, by the way. I’m not a list or a calendar person, so this is one of the only ways I can feel mentally organized when I’m switching gears between multiple things throughout the day.
Sometimes one can get a little too cocky with one’s ability to juggle everything (why am I talking in 3rd person? Of course I’m referring to myself) and it leads one to believe that you can handle more. The curse of it all is that I am fully functional on 5.5 hrs of sleep everyday (back on the sleep topic, I know. For someone who doesn’t do a lot of it, it is on my mind often). There are some nights on the weekend when I find myself going to bed at 4. It’s a miracle that I’m not awakened everyday by Mark’s alarm which goes off around 5:45am. He’s out the door by 6. On our busiest days we dance around each other’s somewhat opposite schedules. Though I try to eat dinner with the family at 6pm, a dinner time that just stuck around since the early days of when the kids were young, much of the working world is still working at 6 so I find myself missing dinner sometimes while I continue to trade emails with people. Because you know, everything is “urgent”.
But much of life is like that it seems. Rarely does anything get packaged into neat little parcels. It’s either one extreme or the other, slow or crazy. I’m more comfortable with one over the other and I won’t tell you which. You probably already know. Well. I will say that these days…I feel alive.

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  • Jennifer Nichols October 10, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I just read an article about how we actually function best and are most productive when we alternate between “mindful” tasks and “mindless” tasks (aka scrubbing and gardening.) So, it sounds like you’re on the right track!

    • Jenna October 10, 2013 at 9:55 am

      interesting! And I believe it. It’s mind clearing to do those kinds of tasks! Like a palette cleanser.

  • sylvï October 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    today i was out taking a photo of a super cute little newt up close and thinking that these kind of moments are so super necessary, all the while kind of trying to wave that thought away and just be in the moment. on a facet of this issue, the best thing that works for me when i try to wallow in misery is diving ducks with their tails up in the air and feet paddling furiously. i can’t tell you how many perfectly good moments of gloom have been ruined by this!
    i was also referring to myself in third person today, while writing about being stressed out. i suppose it’s a way of distancing oneself (!) from it all.
    and also, i too do these inane seeming chores in the middle of pressing engagements and i agree with the other commenter that it must serve a function, at least for me it seems to.

  • Audrie October 13, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Our sleep and work schedules sound very similar and I feel myself stressing about how much sleep I’m getting (or not getting) on a daily basis. It’s 5am right now and I’ve just finished what I wanted to accomplish for the day’s work. The stress is no fun, but I tell myself I’d rather be busy than have no work.

    I find the need to do small chores around the house or leave to run and errand or two almost every day to decompress otherwise I’d almost never leave my studio.

  • JeanneW October 14, 2013 at 11:52 am

    That title made me laugh when you first posted it. And it made me laugh a week later. Thanks. I’m stressed and I need a picture of a cute animal!

  • Pink Ronnie October 19, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Every day I tell myself I will get to bed earlier. I wonder whether I would be happier if I just accepted the fact that I’m a natural-born night owl and get on with it.
    Ronnie xo