Stress: A Naughty Word or Just a Fact of Life?

It usually starts the night before I go back to work after a week of blissful vacation.

My shoulders start tightening, raising from their normal position to somewhere near my ears. I wonder how many emails will be waiting for me in my inbox and how many of them are marked “urgent.” I start worrying that something blew up while I was gone and I’ll be blamed for it first thing in the morning before I even drink my coffee.

Ugh, work stress.

I mean, I feel work stress every day but I can’t really say I deal with it all that well. I’m one of those ‘ignore the stress and it will go away’ kind of people where I don’t realize I’m STRESSED (in all caps) until my neck and shoulders are tensed to the point of a constant painful ache.

Or when I get really upset and burst into tears for no apparent reason other than the country song on the radio was really sweet.

Or when I unleash an angrier than normal tirade of innovative curses at the driver who cut me off while yapping on their cellphone (or at those stupid women on that Big Rich Texas show).

Yeah, I don’t handle it well at all and it just seems like a big steaming pile of stress is waiting around the corner that first day back from vacation. But it’s pretty inevitable right? Everyone has stress of some sort – whether it’s the traffic on 695 every day that makes you want to take a paintball gun to the next person who forgets what to do with that crazy thing called a blinker or the fact that you have 137 emails waiting for you to deal with them as soon as humanly possible.

Anyways, coming back to the office after my super relaxing vacation was putting me in a bit of a tizzy* on Sunday night. So it seemed like perfect timing when I saw that one of this week’s free kindle books on Amazon was “Stress proof your life (52 Brilliant Ideas)” by Elisabeth Wilson.

Wow, 52 brilliant ideas? That’s a LOT of ideas! That sounds awesome! And not just ideas, BRILLIANT ideas!

Maybe it will actually be something better than that “breathe deeply in the face of stress” crap that you usually hear. So, if you have a kindle and you’re interested in a free book that might give you some ways to cut your own stress, download the book today. With these free books, they are only free for a limited time before they revert back to their original price ($12.17 for this one).

I just downloaded my copy and if there are any good tips in it, I’ll be sure to post them. If it sucks, I’ll just be sure to breathe deeply while hitting delete.

Oh and if you have a tip for reducing stress, let me know by leaving a comment on my blog or facebook page. I can use all the help I can get!

*Yeah, that’s right… I said tizzy because that’s how I roll.

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Back from the Beach with Sand in my Brain

I’m back from the beach and at least 2 shades less pale than I was last week. Yay! For the first time in I can’t remember how many years I didn’t end up with any sunburn in random spots. So that’s pretty awesome. I’m usually the person with a burned splotch on the back of my arm or a white hand print on the back of my bright red thigh (true story).

Me and Potter starting our trip to OC

My plans were for me to go down on Saturday and meet my friend Lea for the first half of the week. So I loaded up my FJ, put Potter in his crate and hit the road.

After a delicious stop at Sonic for an Ocean Water and some tots, Potter was liberated from the crate for the last hour of the ride, where he very happily licked my window and watched traffic inch by.

Since Saturday to Tuesday was my “girly” half of the week, we made sure to have lots of wine on the beach, watch a bunch of chick flicks and enjoy a ton of ‘all you can eat’ seafood. It was pretty relaxing and uneventful, except for the wild horses of Assateague wandering on the beach a couple times each day.

Although everyone gets the warning paperwork when they pay for their beach pass, people still don’t realize that they should stay away from the horses.

Wild horse on the beach

Last year we watched as the horses stuck their heads in people’s food bags and threw the food all over the place. This year, Lea and I laughed our heads off as one of the horses made himself comfortable on someone’s beach blanket and then decided to pee, well, like a racehorse.

The next day, the sea air put another horse in an amorous mood and I’m sad to say I witnessed horse sex from way closer then I ever would have wanted. And no, I don’t have a picture of that. Lea tried to get her camera out in time and run over to take a picture, but I sat on my blanket and laughed so hard that I started crying.

Lea left on Tuesday, so Potter and I were on our own until Travis came down to the Ocean on Wednesday.

We took Potter for a walk on the beach one night and I really wish I had gotten a picture of how happy he was to be running around in the sand. It’s hard to believe that this is the same dog that was on the brink of death last month.

Potter in the FJ's side mirror

I did get this shot of him longingly looking out the window on our drive down to Assateague.

Pretty much the only difference between “girly” part of the week and the last part with Travis was that beer replaced wine, action movies replaced chick flicks and I ate even more ‘all you can eat’ seafood. Honestly, I’m surprised that crabs and shrimp didn’t chase me around on the beach to get revenge for me eating so many of their cousins.

Anyways, I’m back home even though my brain is a bit mushy right now. I’m looking forward to another day off before I head back into work and count the minutes until I’m back to being stressed out again.

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My Not so Deep Thoughts

Here’s just a random sampling of what’s been in my head today:

The Cathog
First off, earlier this week I saw a cathog. Yes, that’s right it was like a groundhog and a cat had a baby and it was living on a Columbia exit ramp. It was cute and so wrong all at the same time.

Speaking of exit ramp groundhogs, have you noticed that groundhogs really love to live on exit ramps? Are exit ramps like ‘water front property’ for groundhogs? There are a couple ramps around my house that I can pretty much count on seeing a fat and happy groundhog hanging out every time I drive by.

It’s too Hot to Wear Clothes
Today it was 108 degrees outside according to my truck thermometer. I was running my errands in Under Armour clothes, to keep myself as cool as possible and I was still ready to melt. Apparently, I’m a big wimp though, because I saw about a dozen people wearing jeans today. These weren’t people in a work uniform of some type, they truly woke up today to get dressed and thought that jeans would be the best option to dress for the current heat wave. There was even a guy walking down the sidewalk in Columbia, just chillin’ in his jeans and black t-shirt. It made me hot just looking at him – and not in the oh la la kind of way.

Stupid Drivers
I could go on and on about stupid drivers, but I’m going to just limit this to just the stupidity I saw yesterday and today. Yesterday, on my drive home there was a guy driving with his foot out the window. Not the passenger… the driver. He had his right foot all the way out the window, WHILE DRIVING! Not only is this randomly flexible, but it can’t be safe to have your entire body leaned back to put your foot out the window while still driving a vehicle. He looked really stupid too.

My second bout with stupid drivers was when I stopped by the library earlier today. When I came out I realized that the driver next to me was obviously an idiot. They had pulled into their parking space so crooked, that 1/3 of their minivan was in my space. Yes, over the line into MY space blocking the back part of my truck. So obviously my reaction was to do that thing where you look at the stupidly parked vehicle with incredulous eyes, throw up your hands, stomp around a little and then glare at it some more.

Surprisingly that didn’t change anything, so I then cursed a little bit and considered ramming their vehicle with my FJ Cruiser (google it, it’s awesome). Had my husband bought the bumper wing covers that I asked for (with spikes, please), I would have gunned the motor and slammed their stupid minivan out of my way.

Unfortunately, my bumper wings are still naked and cost too much to replace for something this dumb (I just had to replace one a couple months ago when a partner at my firm accidentally ran into my truck). So, I decided to maneuver my truck up and over a curb so that I could get around their terrible parking job. They should be happy that the heat made me too tired to sit around and wait to yell at them when they came out.

I’m Out of Here
I’m totally procrastinating because I really need to start packing. My awesome friend Lea and I are going down to Ocean City, MD. My plans at the beach include smuggling white wine into Assateague and laying around soaking up rays while soaking up wine. I’m also hoping to meet up with another of my awesome friends while I’m down there and do some bootyshaking at Seacrets. My hubby is also going to come down for a few days, so I really should start throwing some stuff into a laundry basket to take down there…

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