Category Archives: Freak Out Mode

Feeling of impending doom: I has it

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I have got one of those nagging feelings that there’s something I should be doing, or dreading, or fixing. Robert and all the kids are gone over to his dad’s house and I should be reveling in the peace and quiet; perhaps planning some toothsome nosh to be enjoyed while watching some of my DVR’ed shows. Instead I sit here, on edge, feeling as though there’s something worrisome about which I’ve forgotten.

Lots of people would be just fine with this state of affairs. Either they’d figure if it was that important they wouldn’t have forgotten it, or they’d be content with the respite from worrying about the issue for as long as it took them till they finally remembered. Not I. I am not one to do well with unpleasantness hanging over my head. If there’s a problem, I don’t want to ignore it. I want to identify it and then implement a solution as soon as humanly possible. I can’t fully enjoy my usual simple pleasures if there’s something less-enjoyable lurking around the edges of my periphery the entire time. I don’t compartmentalize well. If there’s an aspect of my life that is less than stellar it tends to cast a pall over everything else.

In situations such as this the best thing for me to do is write about it and try to dissect why I’m feeling this way. Oftentimes I will discover that it’s not so much one, big, upsetting situation that’s nagging at me so much as several small, relatively minor issues (must-dos, unresolved problems) that have snowballed to create a feeling of trepidation. Then all I need to do is separate all the components (usually by making a list of them) and think of resolutions to each and my anxiety vanishes.

I know, for certain, that part of my problem is the ongoing van issue. It was “fixed” as of Thursday afternoon — it was (allegedly) a mere battery connection problem. It ran fine until last night when we left the restaurant where we ate dinner and it repeated the same problem that caused me to have it towed last Tuesday. This time, instead of failing to stay on, though, once we got it turned on it continued to run and then were able to drive home. This morning when Robert started it it hesitated but then fired up and worked okay. We are thinking it’s a battery issue still — last night it lost power and then when we got it to turn on and stay on the alternator charged the battery enough that it still had some juice this morning. I am going to go have the battery tested and hopefully it really is as minor as that — but it’s an unresolved van issue and I HATE unresolved van issues. I hate that crap worse than having to pay to have it fixed. I’d rather know what’s wrong with it and know it will be repaired rather than wondering, every damned time I go out to start the thing, whether it’s going to run, whether I’ll be able to get the kids to and from school or go pick up milk at the grocery store if I need it. Knowing the thing is running, but begrudgingly, and not knowing how long it will last this time really gets to me.

The other thing that could be contributing is quite silly, now that I’m sitting here picking it apart. I had a dream this morning that we got into trouble over a specific situation in our lives. Now, the circumstances through which we got into this trouble in the dream are simply not going to happen. They involve other people doing things for which, in the real world, there is no reasonable expectation of them doing. And yet I’m left with this slightly anxious feeling that these actions will somehow transpire, or that we will otherwise end up in the same trouble via different means. It’s a situation that is not really easy to resolve just this minute, so I’m left with that limbo that I hate so much. Instead of being able to solve the problem and rest easy in my mind I am constantly on hyper-alert, always watching. Makes it very hard to relax. I think the dream, which was very realistic, is amplifying the daily concern I’ve had over this issue for the past few weeks. I need to shake loose of the dream’s residual feelings and understand that the chances of this causing us problems are no larger today than they were yesterday. (I realize all this is very vague but I don’t want to go into too much more detail.)

Yes, I think those two things, plus the added elements of Madalyn’s upcoming birthday, for which I don’t feel I’m prepared, AND Halloween, for which the older two kids still have no costumes, AND the trip I’m supposed to take next month but now appears to be in jeopardy, would very likely be the reasons for my unsettled feeling.

And, so, with all that said, has this actually helped much? Perhaps a little. I have begun to realize as I type this that the main factor in my feeling this way, today, was the dream. Unfortunately, recognizing this doesn’t do that much to alleviate the worries. The only thing that will truly help that is to get through today and see that what I dreamed of happening isn’t actually going to come to pass. Until then I guess I’m destined to spend the day feeling this way. Bummer.

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I suck.

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I have never done anything like this before.
I went downtown L-ville today and went shopping at Borders. When I tried to pay for my stuff they wouldn’t take the debit card because it has Robert’s name on it. (Incidentally, I only run into this about one in every ten times I use that card, which I do countless times per week.) So I ran across the street to an ATM to get the cash to pay. The ATM was the kind that sucks your card into it. Can you guess where I’m going with this?
Fast forward to tonight. I went to the ATM in the hotel to get some more cash. Guess what? Card = gone. I hadn’t used it since I was at that downtown ATM so the only possible explanation is that I didn’t take it out of the machine. You know how those types of ATMs usually make a loud, insistent beeping noise until you take your card out? This one didn’t. Thinking back, I don’t recall telling the machine that I didn’t want another transaction. Usually it asks you “Do you want another transaction” and then, when you press no, it gives your card back. I think I said “no” to the receipt (which I remember doing) and then ran off before it asked me anything else.
Now, where does that leave us? Well, that bank is closed tomorrow. And Monday, since it’s a holiday. And the card has Robert’s name on it, so they probably wouldn’t give it back to me, anyway. That is, if it’s even in there. Somebody may have passed by and saw the “Do you want another transaction?” screen and pushed “no” and got the card out. Really effing swell.
Robert is going to go to our bank tomorrow and have them find out if there has been any transactions since yesterday afternoon. If there hasn’t, it’s a pretty good bet the card is in the machine. Either way, he’s just going to have them cancel it and reissue a new one — or, ones, should I say, since I really do need to have my own (obviously). Before he does that he’s going to take out enough cash to keep me comfortable through the rest of my trip and then he’ll go wire it to me. There’s a Western Union about ten blocks away so I’ll go over and pick it up.
So, there you go. The story of my stupidity. Assuming no one has gotten a hold of the card, it’s semi-easily fixable. It will take a minor inconvenience on Robert’s part, and mine, but I will be able to finish my trip in fine style, and as planned. I guess it could be worse (like if someone stole the card and spent all our money. Still fixable, but definitely not in the category of “easily”).
I guess I’ll go listen to some more music and try to enjoy it. *sigh*

Is it too early to start stressing?

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I just booked our California plane tickets. We don’t leave until July 11th but I’m going to go ahead and start freaking out now, mmmkay? Bear with me.
I have, in the past, been a bold and hearty traveler. I didn’t bat an eye at flying alone with Madalyn and barely gave a thought to adding another kid to the mix. But the idea of flying, alone, with THREE of them, one of them being Eliza? It has me completely intimidated. Earlier today, before I booked the tickets, I was wishing I didn’t have to go at all. It’s not being there in California that I wish to avoid; it’s entirely the day spent getting there that has me running scared. Which is why I bit the bullet and bought the tickets — once we actually get there I will be glad we went to all the trouble. Until it’s over, though, I will be shaking in my boots. Which, when you think about it, probably isn’t the best state of mind in which to start out. Perhaps between now and then I can talk myself down somewhat.
After all, for all I know, it may go wonderfully. Madalyn’s a big help. Eliza does take a pacifier now and, when things really go south a boob nearly always will settle her down. Plus her very favorite place to be is in my arms and, luckily for her, I didn’t book her a seat, which means she will be on my lap the entire way. So perhaps that will be enough to keep her relatively content. Also, in another 3 weeks, she may be to the point where she will hold and gum toys, which will add another trick to the arsenal for occupying her. And, really, it’s she about whom I’m worried, one hundred percent. The older two are a breeze. They were little to no trouble last time we flew and they were an entire year younger then. I know Madalyn will be a big help. She will be designated baby-holder if I need to hit the ladies room on the plane.
We only have one stop both going and coming back and I selected flights on the outward-bound trip that give us about two hours’ connection time. That will go a long way toward reducing my anxiety level because it means even if we’re a bit late coming out of Dallas we should make our second flight easily. At least I won’t have to stress the entire however-many hours from Dallas to Phoenix, wondering if we’ll make our connection or be stuck in Arizona overnight.
Lastly, we are coming into the airport that’s only 15 minutes from my parents’ house. (The other options are two or more hours away.) It cost a little more but I simply could not face the thought of traveling all day and then having to drive for hours more after we finally get off the plane. The extra expense is worth it, to me. I’ve got to be good to myself once in a while. When Eliza gets a little older I won’t mind sucking it up and exploring options that require a bit longer drive. Right now it would just be a bit much.
Well, that’s all I’ve got. If that doesn’t help me simmer down a bit I don’t know what will. Actually, I do feel a bit better. Still not looking forward to the trip but I think I’ll at least be able to stave off the real anxiety at least until closer to the departure date.
Wish me luck, everyone. I will need it.

Are we INSANE?

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Who elects to make a 14-hour car trip with a five-year-old and three-year-old in tow? Have we lost our minds? Or, rather, have I lost my mind? It was my idea!!
Just a little pre-trip freakage brought to you by MapQuest. The longer I study the map the more horrified I become. Conversion van with television or not, this is going to be one. long. damned. day.

Poor kitty!

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My cat Cosmo came up limping yesterday and it’s worse today. It appears there is a large bump on his leg, or perhaps it’s just swollen. He is also not acting himself, although he IS still eating and drinking. Robert is going to take him to the vet and drop him off, as we only have the one car till later in the week. I will be waiting to hear from them what is wrong.
He has never had any health problems before (he’s 9 years old!) He’s only been to the vet for shots. I’m kind of freaking out because, while I think it’s more likely it’s a sprain or a fracture, I am thinking of all these worst-case scenarios, like it’s a tumor or a break that will require surgery or something.
Aside from the worry over his health I am also a bit anxious about the vet bill. We WILL fix it, whatever it is…..but it would be really, really good if it was a fairly inexpensive problem.
Please think of Cosmo today! I will update when I have news.

Lest you think I have forgotten

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I must take a moment to express my current state of mind: OhmigodIonlyhave34daystillIseePaulwhatthehellamIgoingtowearohcrapIwas-
supposedtolose50poundsbynowohwellIgettoseePaulSQUEEEEEEE!
Thank you.
(The tour started this past Friday, babies! He has today and tomorrow off then will be in Atlanta on the 20th. Rock on, you lucky Atlantans!)

I’m considering having my ear canals filled with cement

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I am so tired of the screaming.
My rear end touches a chair and, within five minutes, someone is screaming and/or crying. Either it’s a dispute over a toy, or someone wants something he/she can’t get to, or John-Zachary has hurt himself….again. That child cannot go through a day without injuring himself at least every 90 minutes or so. Is it that boys play harder than girls? Or are they just more sensitive at this age? Madalyn never hurt herself — or she never cried about it, if she did.
It’s official; they’ve won. They’ve worn me down over the past three months and now I’m allowing things I wouldn’t normally allow just to keep them quiet. School? It is needing to start….SOON.