Overwhelmed & ranty

Crossposted from Silk & Shadows

Currently working on: Keeping head above water
Mood: Gurgly

Sometimes the universe piles on all at once, doesn’t it? Last week, I had an unexpected $500 car repair bill on top of annual car insurance and a DEQ trip with tag renewal coming due all at the same time. I’m thinking about getting a horse. It could eat the grass that is getting long enough to mow and the weeds that are in full bloom even though it is only February. Okay, I know horses are expensive; maybe I’ll get a sheep. People ride sheep, right? I’ve seen it at rodeos and it doesn’t look that much worse than what the mechanic did to me.

Along with “real” life, I have revisions due on one book plus a proposal on a new series intermixed with promotions for DARKNESS UNDONE andHOTTER ON THE EDGE. Next Monday, I’m heading off to New York City (imagine me saying that like in the salsa commercial: Neuuu Yawrk Ciddee!) for a professional author conference (which, unlike reader conventions, won’t have a pajama party — boo!) and I don’t have any shoes suitable for a wet spring walk across the half mile between my hotel and the conference hotel. (See earlier explanation of car bills to explain why I’m staying at the cheaper, farther-away hotel.) It’s possible I will be barefoot.

When I look at my schedule dispassionately, this list of complaints is perhaps worthy of the sarcastic Twitter hashtag #firstworldproblems. Yes, I realize in the grand scheme of things — heck, even in the fair-to-middlin’ scheme of things — my problems don’t amount to a hill of lentils (which are smaller than beans) and yet… I am hyperventilating.

Are one person’s problems smaller because someone else’s are bigger?

Not when they are MY problems!

Oh man, somebody gimme an attitude adjustment.

Keeping perspective is hard for most people; I think I’m not alone in that. My XY said my problem only seem bigger to me because I’m a writer and I like to have Tension and Escalating Stakes and Multi-Stage Explosions. I said to him that with Dialogue like that he gets no Mid-Point Love Scene. (And if he mentions getting a real job, I will make him my Token Red Shirt and that will be that.)

Still, he is right about me getting worked up to the point I’m no longer functional. So I tried to listen to one of my meditation CDs, but honestly it only made me want to break something. Not exactly calming. When I get in this mood, it’s better to just go with heavy metal rawk god screaming guitar solos so I can scream along.

Here are three phrases guaranteed to set me off (I have no idea why I am providing the universe with more ammo, but whatever):

  • This too shall pass.
  • God only gives us what we can handle.
  • Be careful what you wish for.

Any of those leaves me sputtering so hard my knee-jerk smartypants remark machine goes offline. My own defense is to shriek like a guitar amplifier feeding back. Eventually, I collapse into a angrily sobbing puddle.

I’ve read conflicting studies about whether indulging in emotional breakdowns helps or not. One study found talk therapy that involves the participant reliving a trauma can retraumatize the victim. But another study found  people who swore viciously while subjected to painful stimuli were better able to endure the pain. Ranty blog posts fall somewhere between those two studies, I’m guessing, but I don’t know if the outcome make me better off or worse.

But hey, it got my blog post done 😉

Since it’s Monday, I think you all should vent too. What’s burning you up? Do you have a way of handling life’s stresses, lentil sized or bigger?

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