Yup, that’s me. I just realized it yesterday. As much as I dislike drama and its accompanying tension, emotion, and no-win decision-making, I find that I also kind of dig it—not in a weird, ambulance chaser kind of way, though. Maybe in more of an “I’m stressed, therefore I am” kind of way.
Imagine this scene. My poor husband, down since Friday night with a non-hospitalization-requiring case of H1N1, had to sit through me ranting and raving Tuesday morning—before 8 am, I might add—because I just had to, had to, had to get all my Boy Scout concerns off my chest. Why? Because a Boy Scout friend of my son’s said, “Dude, you need to go on the camping trip this weekend. That’s when you get your requirements signed off!” I don’t know what requirements the kid was talking about. I didn’t even know there was a camping trip coming up. But in no time, my fear that my son would never amount to anything rose up in me, breathed fire on my otherwise sensible brain, and convinced me that the world would come to an end if he didn’t go camping—and NOW!
I’m sure you’d agree that mental priority number one for my in-bed all week spouse is cramming a 2-night camping trip into his big recovery weekend when we already have a birthday sleepover, a theater outing, Junior Orchestra rehearsal, grandparents coming, faux Thanksgiving on Saturday, Junior Orchestra performance, Mom’s Symphony dress rehearsal, and Mom’s Symphony performance already.
No wonder his fever returned.
My stress, my constant companion, the recurring theme of this blog, my universe, and everything has been with me since I was a kid. Sometimes disguised as academic anxiety, sometimes as insomnia and nightmares, sometimes as pure, classic overreaction, my stress has periodically asked me, “You seem awfully calm right now—shouldn’t you be worrying about something? There’s always something to worry about.” Then I’d think for a moment and realize, yes, there is a test coming up or there is that kid who teases me on the bus or, barring anything else, there’s always those deadly diseases and random accidents lurking where you least expect them. And then, ahhh, I was somehow comforted to know that I wouldn’t have to grope my way through an unfamiliar, disturbingly peaceful, stress-free day.
Freakish, I know.
Now here I am, all grown up, with my drama potential multiplied by three other people, a dog, and their respective pandemic viruses, mean girl issues, pressure-perpetuating Boy Scout buddies, and enormous dietary missteps. But when you’re hammering a guy with a low grade fever and grade A bedhead about how he absolutely must e-mail the scoutmaster right now to see whether we can get in on 6 ½ hours of a 48 hour camping trip, the handwriting’s kind of on the wall.
So I’m officially declaring a 30-day rehab—maybe 45: drama-free through Christmas. I’m going to try it. My higher power and my higher reasoning should be enough to stave off my higher blood pressure. In the immortal words of Huey Lewis and the News, I want a new drug. Maybe instead of drama, I’ll get hooked on lateness, the result of no longer rushing everywhere, all the time. Maybe I’ll start running addictively—for exercise, that is. Maybe I’ll start overdoing it on sleep—that’d be a switch.
Whatever it is, it’ll be better for me, my family, and everybody. Except maybe all of you. I mean, without the stress, what will there be to write about?