I had a nice weekend of festive-related events:
- Received a big shipment from Amazon, rounding out my Christmas shopping
- Ushered for (and watched) the musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life
- Baked cupcakes and decorated them with 25 kids at our office’s kids holiday party
Even with all of this is done now, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed rather than excited for Christmas. The next few weeks are going to be incredibly busy for me and I need to find some ways to deal with my stress.
“But Ashley, didn’t you just quit your job so you would be doing what you loved and leave this stress behind?” Ultimately yes, but there are a number of things along the way before I get to calmer waters.
They have yet to hire a replacement at my office, which means I haven’t been able to start training someone. As a result, the beginning of January is going to be a ridiculously busy time for me. In that first week I will be starting rehearsals for my new show, starting school, leading 6 Weight Watchers meetings of my own and filling in at another PLUS training the new person. I thrive on being busy, but at the moment I feel like I’ve bitten off a little more than I can chew.
Let’s add to that my upcoming trip to Kirkland Lake to visit Joey’s family and friends smack dab in the middle of my transition. I have not been stressed about going up there for past holidays and visits, but this will be my first time up there since going gluten free and vegan. The last time I was up there was last Christmas and while I had made some changes in my diet, I made all the big changes a few months later. Kirkland Lake is a small mining town of 8,000 people. Considering that there’s only a handful of restaurants in town, I doubt I’m going to have a ton of choices when I go out, which means that I’m going to need to eat a lot of things at home. Joey’s mom is a wonderful cook, but very old school in her methods – lots of dairy, meat, and other things I don’t eat.
I see myself eating a lot of salad.
I plan to bring some things with me (cereal, almond milk, snacks, steamer basket etc.) and take a trip to the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veggies, but it’s just not going to be the same as being at home and it feels a little daunting right now.
I also think that I’m just ready for my new life to start. When I first gave my notice at work, I felt a huge sense of relief. Waiting 2 months to go to school seemed much more feasible than waiting an entire year (until September 2010) The problem is that I feel like I’ve already checked out. My patience is wearing thin and it’s showing. I thought the the stress of my role would go away when I delegated some of my duties, but it’s still fairly high pressure and some of the people around me haven’t been on their best behaviour. Being in an open concept office makes this challenging and there have been a few days where I’ve just felt like walking out and/or crying.
So how am I coping?
I’m doing my best to take it day by day and stay positive. Negativity has gotten me nowhere in life and I truly believe in the power of positive thinking and words. January is still 3 weeks away, and projecting how stressed I’m going to be is not going to make anything better. I’ve got a lot of things to enjoy over the next few weeks including a vacation, time with friends and family and learning my part in my upcoming show.
I have to say that as a result of writing this blog post I feel a bit better and less anxious than I felt earlier. I’m also getting back into journaling. I’m reading Julia Cameron’s Artists Way 10th Anniversary Editionand am working up to writing my morning pages. Journaling is a wonderful way to release your emotions and thoughts in a constructive way. I’m also journaling something else: my food intake. I’m working on filling up my tracker each and every day because it’s really easy to make crummy food choices when I’m stressed out. Last but not least, I’ve been doing lots of activity and filling up my December Activity chart. Not only does activity make me feel great, but it also helps me to take my mind off things!
Heather sent me a great “message from the universe” last week,
Life isn't supposed to be all 'cakewalk' and no 'baking'. Especially not for those who like to experiment, take risks, and be surprised.
Please pass the sparklers,
So very, very true.
How are you coping with the stress of this season? What do you do to manage your stress? Any tips for me as I wait for my new beginnings?