Sunday, March 7, 2010

COMMENTARY: Frankie Say Relax

I hate the word "uptight". Especially when it's used to describe me. I don't generally consider myself to be uptight. I'm just "driven", "steady", "assertive", and "cautious". And, okay, maybe a little bit OCD.

I admit it. I like everything to fit. I like all the pieces of the puzzle to be in place. I'm a woman with a plan and I'm not afraid to use it!

Nothing can cause me to go into a panic quite so much as someone calling and wanting to (*gasp*) "go do something" at the last minute. I eat the same thing for lunch nearly every day simply because I don't want the pressure of deciding on something new. Spontaneity and I don't get along so well. Patheti-sad, I know. But I am what I am and I'm kind of used to it.

The problem that I'm finding with this is that life can't be planned. At least not to the level I want it to be.

First of all, I'm a parent. Having a child forces one to accept the reality that life goes where it wants to go. The constant bouncing around of reality when you have a child always throws me for a loop. I go left, she goes right. I stop short and she keeps right on trucking. She's like the Energizer Bunny and I find that sometimes I just can't keep up. Maybe I'm just getting old.

Add to that a high-stress career, adorning myself with the moniker of "student", keeping my "happily married" status firmly in place, and attempting to keep a tight grip on household management,'s a recipe for rigidity. To keep all the cogs in this wheel running smoothly, I write a To-Do list, but then I end up only accomplishing 3 of the 10 things on it. So the remaining 7 get bumped to the next day and add to the challenges of THAT day. I try to remember that's "just life", to "take it as it comes", and "it is what it is. But it's hard to do that for a person who is so upti....I mean, "steady and cautious".

Result? STRESS. So what's a girl to do?

Frankie says RELAX. But that's easier said than done for someone of my fortitude (or lack thereof). I'd like to think I give a valiant effort at doing what a person is supposed to do in this situation. Yoga. Meditation. Deep breathing. I also have been known to drop a few bucks for a good massage (love Kyle!) But it's not enough. How can I just find that moment of peace that I need? That break from this vicious cycle of stress?

When I was a teenager, my mother used to tell me to "chill". I used to get so angry that she would use such a cliched phrase to try to get me to think something earth-shattering in my life was less than important. But maybe she was onto something. Maybe all these things that are earth-shattering in my mind really aren't? I'm pretty sure my dear husband would agree. Sometimes I wonder how he puts up with my constant elevating of all things to a Code Red level of urgency and catastrophe.

A wise man once told me, "It isn't brain surgery. No one is going to die if this gets screwed up." But for some reason, I have a hard time taking that to heart.

I want to let go of the stress. I want to just relax. I don't want to feel like the outcome of a particular action of mine is going to result in a nuclear holocaust. I don't want to feel like I have to picture the poor guy who has his brain splayed open on a surgical table just to make myself feel better.

So instead, I do the best I can. I plan to my little heart's content. I take frequent deep breaths. I take a ME vacation away from it all. I have luxurious hours with my buddy Kyle's hands. And I occasionally throw in a glass or two of wine. And I take that little word "uptight" and throw it down on the floor in front of me and give it a good stomping. Whew! Now I can relax.

No comments:

Post a Comment