clarinet · home · house project · retirement


I am highly stressed right now.  What was my first hint you ask?  Sadly, it was an inappropriate pimple popping up on my chin.  Inappropriate I say because I am a mature woman in my 50’s.  Pimples should be so far in my past as to be a distant memory but no, anytime I am stressed, I will break out with one painful cystic pimple on my chin.  If that was all I was dealing with in my stressed out state, it wouldn’t be so bad.  But no, I also have the bad habit of chewing on my lips and tongue when I’m under a bit of strain.  It is a habit that absolutely drives me crazy and that I make great efforts to end before my lips and tongue are so sore that I can’t bear the pain.  I don’t understand why I engage in such destructive behavior – shouldn’t stress be destructive enough by itself?  And naturally, I did not stop the chewing in time to save my lips.  I’m now dealing with a painful pimple as well as a mouth that is agonizingly uncomfortable.

The thing is, I’m not sure what is causing the stress.  When I was working, I dealt with the pimple/tongue problem several times a month.  I thought it was just a way of life.  But since I’ve retired, there have been no pimples or chewing tendencies.  At all.  This is the first time it has occurred since my retirement in February.  Whatever it is that is worrying me literally kept me awake all night last night.  So I have had plenty of time to give this some thought.  I just have this sense of something being out of sorts which I believe may be causing the stress.

So I went through lists last night in an attempt to narrow down what might be bothering me.  I ruled out my guests from Monday and Tuesday.  I really enjoyed that visit despite being a bit anxious about whether my behavior was welcoming enough.  The whole AC problem bothered me while it was happening but now that is fixed and behind me.  I am upset about my sick dog but this is something that has been going on for awhile and the stress of him getting weaker hasn’t suddenly ramped up in my mind.  Money?  This could be affecting me in a negative way.  I have spent a lot of money in the last week; between getting the AC fixed, having Tank looked at by the vet and paying some large bills that have recently come in, my money is dwindling down.  And there are still some large ticket items that I would like to purchase.  Upon retirement, I told myself that I would buy a new clarinet.  When I got money from my retirement account, I budgeted a fair amount for that clarinet.  I’ve looked at a few clarinets but haven’t found the one that I want.  And if I’m going to spend money on a big ticket item, I definitely want to get the item that I want.  I’m planning on looking around while in Houston since I figure that they will have a better selection than Huntsville.

The clarinet isn’t the only big ticket item that I want to buy.  I feel that I need a mower.  I want a zero-turn rugged riding mower and I have a Cub Cadet priced them out at about $2600.  Currently my neighbor cuts my grass and has since before my Dad died.  He plans on continuing to cut my lawn.  But even if he keeps cutting the lawn, I want to be able to start clearing the area in which I plan to build and it will be hard to do without some kind of lawn tractor.  I really need a real tractor capable of running a bush hog as well but that is out of my reach right now.

I’m also paying for a trip to Spain next year.  It is a really good price and I’m making payments but somehow Lucy and Kaileigh are also going and I worry that they won’t try to pay for any part of their trip.  I have promises but I don’t have confidence that this will translate into cash.  I don’t know how easy it would be to back out of the trip either so at this point I assume the trip will have to be paid for in full.

And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg concerning money.  Embarking on a house project is a huge financial pit that I think I can pay for but I don’t have any firm numbers yet.  And I did receive the suggestion for a design from the architect but I’m just not that excited about the particular plan she picked out.  And that….wait for it…..increases the stress I feel about the house.  So is that the bottom line?  Is that the stress I’m currently feeling?  I don’t know – it just doesn’t feel like the complete picture.  I don’t know if I’m just worrying about some nebulous future that hasn’t yet materialized or if there is an actual got’cha that I am forgetting about.  [School for Keegan – another worrisome item!]  But no matter what the future holds, I need to have faith that I’ll be able to handle it when it comes.  And in the meantime, I will concentrate on not giving in to self-destructive behaviors that was my pattern while I was still at work.  Time to make choices that enhance my life and help me stay on the path of happiness that began when I retired………..

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