Posts Tagged ‘stress’

While still dating my first wife we found ourselves in the car sitting in front of my house, (I was still living at home) when J (for lack of her real name) says to me:

J: “You must be embarrassed by me!” She said this with quite a bit of tone.

Me: “What are you talking about?”

J: “We have been going out for quite some time and you never invite me up to see your parents”

Me: “Well we are here now, let’s go up.”

I think she was expecting an argument because as I got out of the car she just sat there.  So I walked around the car and opened the door for her, she didn’t want to get out of the car.

Me: “So? What is the problem?  You sit there and out of the blue accuse me of being embarrassed of you because you have never met my folks.  You are right, you never met them but not because I am ashamed of you or them or anything. I just never thought about it. 

J: “Perhaps we shouldn’t do this tonight.”

Me: “Nope, you brought it up, now it is sounding like you just wanted to start a fight. I’m going up the stairs, you can follow or not.  Either way this conversation is not happening again.”

What I had forgotten was that it was a Friday night.  At that time we had a Friday night tradition.  Some friends of my parents would come over for a rousing night of Trivial Pursuit.  This particular night there was more than the one other couple.  I had to feel a little bad for J first she wasn’t expecting to meet my parents, she was just looking for a fight, that backfired and now she was meeting her boyfriends folks for the first time and to make it even worse she had to meet them in front of a room full of strangers.  And just to add fuel to the fire it was a room full of magicians.  I know many of you can’t fully understand the significance of a room full of magicians so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that magicians are not like ‘normal’ people. Despite ourselves a good time was had by all.  Even J had to admit it was a fun, different and interesting evening.

In retrospect J had it easy. 

Fast forward many years…

I lived in Vancouver, Denyce my current wife was living here in Central Pa and my folks live in Montreal.  Denyce and I had been having a long distance relationship for quite some time.  We were waiting for the go ahead from INS to allow me to move to the USA.  I was moving here on a Fiancé visa which means once everything is clear and INS says jump you have to move and be married within a very short period of time.  We planned as much as we could in advance but without an actual date there was a lot left in the air.  Our saving grace was we were going to be married and have the reception in our back yard.  Finally after two years of planning, paperwork, checks being written, doctors appointments, background checks, more forms being filled out INS said jump.  With help from my parents we got the loose ends in BC tied up and I started my journey to a new life.

Denyce had never met my parents or any of my family.  They had talked on the phone but never met.  We set our wedding plans in motion, picked the date and sent the official invitations.  Poor Denyce not only did she have the stress of a wedding and being married she was going to get to meet my family for the first time on her wedding day.  Denyce, over the phone expressed to my youngest sister, (Mommy Said What?) how nervous she was about meeting her family-in-laws for the first time at her own wedding.  My sister replied; don’t be silly we will all meet the day before the wedding.

But it gets worse.  Denyce had decided to invite her father to the wedding.  He lives in California and they had been estranged for at least 10yrs.  While she wanted him to show up she really didn’t think he would.  Surprise! He was driving down for the occasion. Denyce was not only meeting her future in-laws she was also meeting her father all on the day before her wedding.

Can you say stress?

I am not just typing all this out for my health, there is a lesson here.  If you ever find yourself in a similar stressful situation I highly suggest having a keg or two of beer waiting for you at the end of the rainbow.  We did and it was wonderful.

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I was asked today how I dealt with stress.  My first thought? I just stuff it down till it’s a burning, churning boiling knot in my gut.  While I admit that does happen on occasion it is not my usual method or is it?  I suffer from Crohn’s and when I think about things that are unpleasant my stomach tends to hurt. For the most part I can tell when its a stress related kind of thing because I can usually will the pain away.  If it is something I’ve had to eat or simply the disease roaring its ugly head willing the pain away doesn’t work.

Lately I’ve been undergoing quite a bit of stress.  My stomach doesn’t hurt anymore then it usually does, but my jaw hurts each morning from clenching my teeth.  So how do I deal with stress?  The question alone is stressing me out.

Does blogging help?  I gave myself two rules when I started blogging, first no rants, second no blogging about work. I have failed on both counts, a few of my posts are metaphoric in nature and not only are they rants, they are rants about work.  It is strangely thrilling for me to tell a story from my life and have it ‘secretly’ mean something else.  I guess its true that the best place it hide something is in plain sight.

So, how do I handle stress? I do have a few techniques.


Many moons ago on the way to the hospital an EMT gave me some breathing techniques.  Just getting more oxygen into your lungs does a body good.  Secondly concentrating on the breathing allows you to focus on breathing and not on the pain.  It’s like a magic trick. When I get frustrated over a particular task, or when things start to come at me all at once I just stop, take a few breaths and bring everything into focus and only then do I continue with the task at hand. 


At some point I just have to take a leap of faith and know that it will all work out.  I am not fond of flying. But I have hope that the pilot really doesn’t want to die either.   So I’ve shifted the responsiblity to the pilot, doesn’t mean we are not going down in flames but it does mean there is nothing I can do about it so why waste my time worrying over it, right?

I do have an underlying faith that one way or another everything is going to work out.  What other choice is there?

 Yes I know, it’s all so much easier said the done, but then again I have to ask, what other choice is there?

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