Friday, September 26, 2008

Stressing about Stress.

My last two days have been spent at a Teacher's Association Conference. If any parents of my students are reading this, let's clear up a few thoughts.
I realize that for you, two days of no school is a royal pain in the butt. I get it. I too, have a school-age child who suddenly had no where to go. However, do NOT assume that I am off eating bon-bons and drinking tea. No. I am at a teacher conference, which is torture for teachers.
The conference was great. Lots of interesting speakers, unique workshops, all that. But teachers are the worst audience in the world. We are used to being the center of attention. We stand up and speak from the front of the room all day. We see all, we hear all, and we know all, damn it. So to put us in chairs and say "Be quiet and listen!" is like asking us to stay away from the office supply store. Can't be done.
One of the sessions I attended was about the Teacher Stress Soup. The speaker talked about stress, told us some ways to look after ourselves, and we took a stress test. Now, I know I'm stressed. It's pretty much a constant for me. I have long-term, big issue stress. I have short term, September Teacher stress. Add in the usual Mummy/wife/middle aged lady crap, and you get the picture. And the last year has been a stellar year, stress-wise. I thought I was handling it pretty well until the stress test.
I scored in the "That's some serious shit, there!" catagory. The next step down (the lowest you could go) was "Big trouble, all alarms going off, call in the medics". Hmmm. The longer I looked at my score, the more stressed I felt. I peeked over at Hubby's score. He was waaaaaay up in the "La la la, life is a bowl of cherries" group. He lives with me, I can't see how he could possibly be stress free, but apparently he is. So, it's just me. I, the woman who likes to control the universe, failed the stress test. I failed a test. That thought, of course led to more stress, which made my score even worse....
You see the vicious circle, don't you? By the time we broke for lunch, I was totally freaking out. I am still freaking out. I don't think the presenter was planning on making my life worse, but Bonus!! He sure didn't help! Of course, if I had taken a deep breath, and listened to all his positive, uplifting ideas, I would be in better shape. Instead, I sat staring at my horrid stress score, feeling the panic well up inside me, wondering if a blood vessel popping in my head would kill me.
Whew. I've calmed down now. Sorry about that. What I'd really like to know is this. What stresses you? How do you cope? And do you have any spare bon-bons?


dogsled_stacie said...

I cope by reading the blogs of stressed out people!!! It's quite entertaining actually.

I love how your hubby was totally stress-free... men!

Here, have a bon-bon, you deserve it... :)

koreen (aka: winn) said...

The stress is only there if you acknowledge it. If ignored, it goes away. Sounds like I'm kidding, but think about it... You were fine until the stress test, right? We all need a certain amount of stress to function (eustress), so just think of yourself as highly functional. Works for me! :D You're doing great... much better than most (including me) in your situation (that is, further north than where palm trees grow)!

Anonymous said...

How do I handle stress? Well first, I'm a guy :) - but I also made major lifestyle changes in recent years. I now live on secluded acreage near town, have 2 dogs and 2 cats (so there's constant love around me), work hard but largely do what I want when I want, and mind my own business (usually :) ). Your mileage may vary, but it's worked for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it was so nice to finally meet you! Thanks for coming by to say hello. I enjoyed the conference and learned a few things I can try out with my students.

Oh, and you forgot to mentioned that teachers weren't payed for the second day of the conference. It was on their own time that teachers went to workshops and listened to speakers, and learned how stressed they were, only to get stressed out even more, though I have to say that Romeo Dallaire was totally worth it the stress. :)

Anonymous said...

Well lets see...I give up personal financial security and benefits, live off my Hubby to stay home with my 3 chicklets so I don't have to take stress tests and go to teacher conferences anymore!!

WAIT....let me think about this...what the hell, now I need a bottle of wine!!

Unknown said...

How do I cope with stress?...still trying to figure out what's gonna work best! Like "dogsled", I enjoy the connection with other bloggers to support and get support from. I'm pretty new, but I'm finding comfort in all the wonderful people I continue to "meet".

Anonymous said...

The only way I make it through is with lots of beeps. Let me explain....My Outlook at work has task reminders set up to go off at important key task times. If I remember something at home and I KNOW I'll forget it before I get to work, I call and leave a message on my voicemail. I'm even twisted enough that I remind myself to have a great day. I set up deferred send emails that deliver messages to my cell phone of things I need to remember when I get home. Like I've told my husband, if it doesn't hit me in the face like a ton of bricks...forget it because I do!