Is a little stress really all that bad for you?
I know it may feel like because I blog a lot about what I bought each month, it may seem to the casual observer that I don’t care about my money because I’m rolling in it*……but I do.
I care quite a bit.
*Umm… that was a bit of self-deprecating humour in case you didn’t pick up on that.
When I am not working and when nothing is lined up as a contract, all I am thinking about is:
How am I going to save money this year if I don’t make any? O_o
This is all evidenced by my self-imposed stress and pressure to go into extremes when I don’t have any income coming in, like not wanting to leave the house in fear of spending money.
Then when I get a contract, I backpedal slightly but end up sliding into the other extreme a little too easily.
The thing about me and pressure, is I react very impulsively to it, both positively and negatively, and it’s always been that way.
All or nothing.
A FEW WHITE HAIRS…
When I was 8 or 9, my mom found a few white hairs growing at the back of my head.
She freaked out on me, and said:
“You are putting too much pressure on yourself. LOOK! WHITE HAIR. You’re just a kid. A KID. Relax!”
I didn’t really get the connection between stress and white hair, because what I did to myself didn’t feel like stress. I thought I was doing fine.
For the record, yes, I am THAT kid that got homework that day, finished it, and then did the following chapters in advance for the next 2 weeks so that in case I wanted to stop and watch cartoons for an afternoon, I could. Of course, I never stopped because I kept building up more and more homework “stashes” ahead of time.
Fast forward about 15+ years later, and things haven’t changed much.
With my 2 previous blogs, I felt a lot of self-imposed pressure to blog 3X a week, on both blogs, totaling about 6-7 scheduled posts ahead of time.
Would you all kill me if you also knew that I have about 2 years of posts scheduled ahead of time on this blog already, having started it only in January 2012?
There’s something about self-imposed pressure and discipline.
If I am not always super far ahead of the workload, I feel like I’m falling behind.
IS IT REALLY ALL THAT BAD?
I feel like I should tell you that I don’t feel like it’s bad at all.
I mean, yeah, no one wants white hair and stress, but I also don’t want to cling on to my youth that is disappearing on a daily basis, and a life that is utterly stress-free.
I can only see the good, to be honest — I haven’t missed a deadline, a bill or any sort of serious date …. ever.
The bad is just white hair, but since my talking-to at the age of 12, I’ve only found three more in the past 15 years that I can see in the mirror.
The rest of my white hairs at the back can go to hell. Out of sight, out of mind.
Does it really bother me, all this white hair that signifies whether I have been stressed or not?
- I don’t have enough white hair to see it as a problem
- I’ll eventually get white hair. What’s the point in denying nature?
If the only downside to all of this good stuff about being ahead, self-imposed pressure to do a good job, and never missing an important deadline is my (fading) vanity, then .. I don’t see a downside.
I CAN’T REALLY RELAX ANY MORE THAN NOW
I already tried all the relaxing crap people tell me to do.
You know, yoga, stop thinking about things you have to get done, lie around, take a vacation, daydream, take naps.
There is absolutely no one in the world who will agree that I have been working hard the past few years.
Absolutely NO ONE.
I’ve been working less than half the time by my calculations, and I don’t feel any stress.
In fact, I probably feel the tiniest bit of stress that I am not even stressed, or maybe not relaxing enough.
(Even when trying to relax, I am still trying to be the best I can be at relaxing. It doesn’t end.)
And you know what? I was bored out of my mind.
I contemplated taking on a retail minimum-wage job just to have something to do, something to look forward to, human interaction, and excelling at something. Anything.
I didn’t do it because it isn’t something I need to do (plus I have sporadic business to take care of), and I am not entirely sure I’d be any good at not snapping at
I feel much more alive when I’m engaged in reading, or blogging, but most of all, working on whatever it is I want to work on.
Is it really such a bad thing? I’m starting to think not.