[26 July, 2011]

summer survival

If you were to ask me exactly how stressed out I have been, I would answer you with this: last month for the first time in my 15 menstruating years, I skipped my period. And I know that this is nothing more than stress, because a) I peed on about 930293409234 pregnancy tests and they were all negative, and b) I got my period this month. So yup, this is just another blatant example of how much damage my body is physically going through as I plug away in grad school*.

I have realized something that is almost laughable in its simplicity. Namely that I am no longer interested in learning how to manage stress, given the amount of stress currently residing on my shoulders. Rather, I need to get things off my plate, reduce the baseline amount of stress in my life, and watch as things become much more manageable. So now finally, I am quitting projects, I am becoming ok with not being involved here and there, and I am attempting to replenish the cocoon that normally buffers me from the external world.

Redwoods in Northern California

Which involves getting away on the weekends and spending some moments in the woods, on the sand, following trails, looking for tracks, exploring new shores and rediscovering old ones. Anything that pulls me away from metro systems and desk tasks and the emotional vulnerability that comes with the profession; every little bit helps.

Beach time on Lake Tahoe

So that during the week, on long Tuesday nights with hours of work again of me, I can smell the sun on my skin and remember the sounds of pine trees rustling.

* Other examples of stress-related un-health that continue to exasperate my adrenaline-flooded body include: ridiculously damaging eating habits, ridiculously damaging sleeping habits, ridiculously damaging substance use, and this new one: near-constant joint pain. 

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