Pardon me while I ramble

I've battled stress and stress-related obnoxiousness for much of my life. Brad says that I'm simply wound a bit too tight. I think that I just take everything really, really seriously. Life. Work. Family. Even crafts. Be thankful you haven't been around to witness one of my cake-related meltdowns. Those are epic. And that's something I do because I think it's fun. Not because I have to. Most cakes I tend to seek out, rather than people asking me to do them. And yet? Even in the throws of batter and icing and creativity I find myself in tantrum mode more often than not.

Most recently, my stress has been battling my stomach. After one too many interrupted nights of sleep I went to a specialist who ran my body thought the gamut of ridiculous tests. Endoscopy. Ultrasound. Colonoscopy. Samples and such. My wallet is about $600 lighter from co-pays and yet my mind is not relieved in the least.
Well, technically, they told me nothing was wrong. Which, in the scheme of things, is great. But, that means that they have no idea why my body is fighting me.

Saturday I had a particularly obnoxious phone call with my grandmother about my youngest sister. After hanging up sobbing, I turned to Brad and said, "This. This is what the colonoscopy doesn't test for."

It's me. I take everything to heart. I don't know how to not. Even when I declare myself 'done with someone' I'm not actually done with them. I still think about them. But instead of thinking about how much that person bothers me, I'm thinking about whether or not my actions were too harsh.

My doctors parting advice was 'more fruits and vegetables.' I think a better answer is yoga and counseling. But, of course then I'll just be racked with guilt any time I don't get around to doing one or the other. And on nights when I have to work late, instead of just getting the work done, I know that I will sit there stressing about having to reschedule the therapy or wondering just how long I will have to stay up to do the yoga.

Brad says I take on too much. I like to think that I take on just the right amount. My stomach would beg to differ. And while it's not complaining too much right now, my left eye has been twitching every two to three minutes for the past week and a half – during my waking hours that is. Not sure what it's doing in my sleep, the cha-cha for all I know. Because now I am sleeping. Stress, you are an obnoxious and fickle thing.

It's like I have this underlying current of stress moving through my body. A hum that you just can't place your finger on, but you sense it, you know it's there, you just don't know where it's coming from.

Brad thinks I do too much. I think I don't do enough. I see people around me, working hard, finding success, being great. And I feel like my feet are planted in cement. Like I'm resting on my laurels of past success. And those success no longer feels good enough. College? Pshh, College is nothing. A job? Eh. Building your own house? Passe. My life feels tired and trite. Is this the frustration of the ambitious? Will anything ever be good enough? Whose standards am I trying to live up to? A collective of greatness carefully plucked from those around me, as I choose to ignore any shortcomings that may have accompanied those successes that I long for?

Life is not a game, and yet I can't seem to keep my eyes off the score board. Rather than doing, I feel like all I do is complain. It makes me tense. It makes me feel crazy. And that? Just makes me feel inadequate. So, until I figure this out. Until the answers magically align in front of me.

I will just breathe.


  1. Life *is* a game. On the flip side, who cares? It's just a game.

  2. I adore you Kelli, for all these reasons and more. I would LOVE to come meet you sometime and talk the day/night away, about this and so many other things.

  3. You know those people who you see doing great things? They probably do only one or two things. That's the secret. Brad is probably right. You probably do too much. One of life's greatest pleasures for me has been seeing all the awesome things that fill the empty space created by letting the non-awesome things go.

  4. I have just had this Aw Haw moment myself, well I have had it most of my adult life but went through the gauntlet of tests that you did all the while mad that I was paying good money for tests that were as they put it a "process of elimination". Now the culprit they say is STRESS! So they say just reduce it.......sure. I just lost two of my good friends within in the last six months. My best friend's daughter is dying of colon cancer at age 33, my job is demanding as well as my home life add that to a tummy that is acting like it is seeing it's last days and I wonder - HOW do you reduce stress??? I pray that you find your answers as we play this game of life.

  5. girl, i feel you. harv often says i do too much, that i need to take a step back and if it's causing me so much anxiety or stress, i need to be happy with what i've accomplished and not just keep my focus on all the things i want to achieve. ok, harv, i got it...but it doesn't take the stress away. because, really, i DO want to do more and i DO feel like what i'm doing is "just the right amount" (like you). sometimes, i think i should be doing even more! you're an ambitious accomplished person who is constantly bettering herself and i really admire you. wishing you peace and a calmer stomach!

  6. I hate to betray the sisterhood and side with Brad, but I think you do take on too much. And I think you already keyed in on why - because you are comparing yourself to others. The problem with that is that you don't see their behind-the-scenes breakdowns. I hope you'll consider the therapy. I think it will help. Not that I speak from experience or anything. ;-)

  7. my counselor told me to lose the filter.
    He said I was like an iceberg who only showed what I wanted people to see.

    I like the no filter me but the iceberg still comes out now & then.