Monday, September 23, 2013

Stressing Out..And Dealing With It

When it rains, it pours. Things break, money's tight, business is disappointing, stuff happens. Within the last two weeks, my car has stopped working..TWICE, my laptop (my main computer) died, and I've been selling a bunch of stickers and postcards at my stores (they make me incredibly small commissions)..little else. On top of that, without a car to drive, food is low, and I'm nearly out of water (I have a water service deliver my water, as the water that runs from my taps is well water, not drinkable.) This is hard for a person who drinks coffee on an ongoing basis, and who can't go anywhere without wanting a cup. Ack! So, with this onslaught of Hell falling on me, I'm working to de-stress and regroup. Taking each problem, one at a time. Not easy but it must be done.

Considering the last repair bill was $1000 for my car, yet to be paid in installments, it shouldn't be breaking again after only a week and a half. I only drove it three times after it was returned to me. It was running fine before I took it in, the brakes were the only problem. And the red light on the dashboard says "BRAKE" so it goes back to get fixed. Without a man by my side, I feel very vulnerable when dealing with mechanics. I have to take a bit of a hard stance with some who try to take advantage, and in this case, I'm still not sure.

The laptop's battery is old, so I will replace it first, before taking it anywhere to be fixed. Fifty bucks locally for a battery, but I can get it on Ebay for $36. I have my desktop computer to use, so this is less of a priorty than the car, at the moment. My center of operation is squarely my office now, not using the laptop in the bedroom. Worse comes to worse, I'll have the laptop repaired when I have more money. It can wait for now. Having a backup computer is a must. Without it, I'd be running my business from a local library if all else failed.

Yesterday, I took the entire day off to just rest, clear my overwhelmed mind and put everything into better perspective. At first I was very depressed but by talking to others, writing down a plan of attack for each problem and taking a break from work, I feel more positive and a little less uptight now. Sometimes it feels like the world is crashing down when so many things happen all at once. At least it does to me. My brain turns to mush and I get so anxious that I can't think straight. So, by resting, turning off and tuning out of all distractions (no tv or radio) and resting, things make sense again. Deep breathing is helpful, too. Having PTSD from childhood traumatic experiences, I have had years of ongoing therapy and practice in these things, which does help. I can't stop problems from happening, but I can choose how I respond to them. It's very hard, but using relaxation techniques, things look less devastating in time.

It's amazing how animals sense when things aren't going right. As I rested in bed, my cats piled around me and stayed with me. They are smarter than we give them credit for. Rest is helpful, to calm the mind, slow down breathing and get centered again. Another, more opposite thing I do to cope is to clean. When I'm upset, cleaning and organizing helps me feel better. So, I organized my desk, brought in the hibiscus tree (big job, heavy, large plant) to protect it from the upcoming cold weather, weeded the garden and worked in the kitchen. This system seems to work pretty well for me.

So, today I'm calmer, more centered. The car is being towed to the mechanic's, and be dealt with. I ran over to the BP Station nearby and got some milk and water, then made coffee. It takes exactly a half gallon of water to make a normal sized drip pot of coffee. Will get more gallons later. Can't live without the coffee. Cats have their food, they're fine. I'm not hungry so food isn't important right now. I'll go get something at BP later, they have a pizzeria in there. Life goes on. I'll gear up to do some more drawings while I'm unable to go anywhere due to lack of car.

Update: Car is at the mechanic's. I'm calmer and less freaked out now. Just working in my office as if nothing has happened, keeping stress down to manageable levels. It's cold outside, a good time to work, here in the warmth of my office, cats by my side. Praying for more sales to come. It's still slow at my stores, but I'm selling better than I was a week ago. Thank you to a dear, close friend who offered to give me money for my car . I appreciate your offer, but will be ok without it. This is something I can get through, just have to handle it piece by piece, and the mechanic has been good about payment. I will be ok. Things just get overwhelming once in awhile.