Monday, March 30, 2009

a brief and frightening glimpse into my psyche

Today, I ate chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and I will most likely also consume it for dinner.

I don't think most doctors would recommend it, but for my particular ailment (toomuchtodo-itis), it is a tried and true remedy. Other helpful remedies include steps such as rolling around on the floor with a 12-month-old baby and making this noise: wow-wow-wow-WOW, stacking multi-colored cups for selfsame baby to repeatedly knock over, kissing as many baby belly jelly rolls as possible, eating yet more chocolate cake, and reading Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (I'll get to this in a bit).

I find that I am suffering from toomuchtodo-itis because I have, um, ALOT to do. It's all part of this ball of STRESS that we've been sorting through for the past few months, and it feels like it's coming to a head, with deadlines and other stuff looming out there in the ever-approaching-future. My portion of the STRESS has me making a million phonecalls and sending emails. I'm normally pretty good at that kind of stuff, but when I'm faced with a truly heinous deadline, I tend to get paralyzed into inaction. Hence today and the chocolate cake.

I think I'm comprised of equal parts 2-year-old child, petulant teenager, and homing pigeon. How else to explain the excess of chocolate and the repeated readings of an overwrought novel about witches living in New Orleans? See, I am a creature of habit, and the more you push this particular creature of habit into stressful situations, the more she returns to those things that are comforting and above-all familiar. Hence the novel. I've read it about six times, and I return to it every few years when I forget how terribly unsatisfying I always find the later novels to be. For those few of you who carefully monitor my reading material, you might be surprised about the Anne Rice. But here's the thing: there's a reason we occasionally eat Captain Crunch cereal and can digest an entire carton of cookie dough ice cream if we're really truly in the mood. And so it is with The Witching Hour. When I pick the thing up, it is so comforting, so familiar, and so darn MORE-ISH, I just have to read the entire thing. I've read the other books that come after it, and I hate them. H-A-T-E. But I think The Witching Hour is one of Rice's best books.

And it's most especially good when I'm trying to forget about the daily concerns of one Whimsy C. Homely Houserperson. The Witching Hour: the perfect chaser for chocolate cake and a glass of milk.

Are you ever stressed into inaction? How long does it take you to recover? What are your tried and true remedies for stress?


spuddybuddy said...

I am ALWAYS stressed into inaction. Luckily my husband recognizes it and can help me break my tasks into small manageable chunks, usually by making a list for me, or helping me make one. Sometimes he just asks me to tell him everything I have to do and when I say it out loud it doesn't sound so bad anymore, or it becomes logical where to start.

Good luck. I am in the same boat with our impending move.

wandering nana said...

Didn't someone say "Let them eat cake" so it would make everyone happy? That totally works for me.

Alice said...

ha. i do that ALL THE TIME at work. omg! i have so much to do! i'd better stare slack-jawed at the screen for an hour instead of doing any of it! HELPFUL.

serenity now said...

Looks like you're preaching to the choir on this one. Or maybe all of us responders are also afflicted with toomuchtodo-itis and find commenting on blogs to be an effective stress reliever. Lists, housecleaning (as long as that's not one of the Things To Do), and listening to music help me cope. Sometimes baking, too . . .

The Wife said...

I am about to confess something that you, dear Whimsy, may not even know about me.

The Husband certainly doesn't know it. HA! Like I'd ever let him witness this!

My family doesn't know it--unless you count the Boy but once the Boy gets big enough to remember things, he too will no longer remember that his Mama used to do this one thing when she got stressed.

Ahem. I dance.

I don't dance well--as I'm sure you're aware. And so I wait until I have the house to myself. I put on very loud music, I close all the curtains, I clear the floor so as not to hurt myself and I dance. Badly. For a while.

I generally do this every day for 3 days and then I go back to the Too Much to Do List.

There. I have confessed. And now I'm going to go drown my mortification in M&Ms.

Kristi said...

Stressed Into Inaction is my middle name. It normally happens at work when my boss asks me to do something that is totally impossible to figure out. Instead of working on it, I stare at blogs for hours hoping the project will disappear.

I have great work ethic, OBVS.