What's your 'tell'?
I'm about as opaque as a pane of glass - it's rare that emotions don't show on some part of my body. Sad? Eyes (usually leaking). Happy? Bursting out of my skin. Anxious: pasted on smile, crazy eyes. Angry? Tense shoulders, old-lady-smoker mouth. Speaks in short, staccato bursts. Stressed? Pimples, ashen skin, can't make eye contact, angry. See also: Angry.
Now I'm older and I have a seemingly never ending set of stress tests that are aged 3 and 5, my stress tell is what I can only call Snappy Tom. It's not disastrous, but not pretty. I am much more tightly wound than my usual brand of tightly wound and at times the inanity of answering the same question five times in a one minute period wears me down and Snap! There I go.
I like to think I can hold my Tell and let it all ride - because stress will disappear tomorrow after a much longed for great night's sleep and everything going smoothly. Like a gambler who will just take one more hand, this is not a great solution. I will rarely have a great night's sleep everything will rarely go smoothly. It's about being able to bend and roll with the punches.
I recently injured my hand (and documented it at length over on Instagram) and I think my stress levels are a continuation of this, coupled with a highly stressful work situation, a still-fresh going back to work with daycare and school situation and a dark wintery time when grief hits the hardest.
Self care is crucial at these times. Stopping giving all the fucks is also crucial at this time. Sorry for the language Mum, but it's true. Being nicer to myself and ergo those around me is crucial.
When I feel Snappy Tom, I wonder how I let it all unravel. Again. I even wrote songs about this. Again, as I age I realise that these ups and down, they're a part of my life. Being able to weed out the parts that I really don't need (Snappy Tom) is a useful skill to continue my journey. However, Snappy Tom serves as a good barometer for when things aren't going quite right and it's time to mix it up again.
I was re-reading some old posts and I miss Positive Me. She's pretty awesome and she's still there, but she's been hiding. Anxiety is sitting there in the corner, coughing and clearing it's throat most days. Thankfully Depression moved out a few years ago to Change Her Life. Sadness is moping around at the moment. With any luck some sunshine will appear in this wet, cold winter.
This is my new guide for life until I find a better one:
I've also been listening to a lot of great music recently. Music is a huge part of my life, but it takes a lot for a song to break me down. I was driving through the city a few months ago with a sleeping Lady Pip in the back seat when 'Village' came on. Such a beautiful song with haunting lyrics - I think you'll like it. In fact, check out the entire album - there's some absolute beauties on there.