I’ve been having some generalized anxiety dreams lately. I’m waking up at 4 am in a hot sweat about missing final exams, about being unable to complete kids’ crafts on the David Letterman show, about overflowing the toilet at my parents house, about going into labor too early or showing up alone for an ultrasound with no heartbeat. Basically, all the ways I could fail – fail at being a student, fail at being a mother, fail at being a daughter, fail at carrying this pregnancy. Fail, fail, fail. And the sad-laugh-funny part is, I know it’s all being triggered by actual anxiety about my job, but instead my brain is shunting that off into areas where I’m not as worried. There is squat-all I can do about what’s going down at work, so my inner need for control is lashing out at all those places where I actually do have some way to influence the outcomes and now I feel like crap over everything instead of just my job. Sigh.
This winter is not helping, either. I’m at home today for the third winter storm that’s shut down our city since the beginning of January. Schools are closed, roads are closed, and this time even our office closed. We’ve had temperatures 4o-50 degrees below average, 4 inches of snow yesterday, and today is forecasting another 4-6 inches. Frozen lakes, frozen water lines, grey skies and the damp permeating everything, soaking the world in a chill down to your bones. The kids are bored out of their poor little skulls with no school and no backyard access and not being old enough to escape into a book or movie or other self-directed activity, and they follow me around picking fights with each other just for the stimulation. I’m trying to work some from home to not burn ALL of my PTO, and I really need them to go away so that I can concentrate. They’re frustrated, and I’m frustrated, and we’re all tired of each others’ company.
I want so desperately to go outside and run, let moving my body work out all the mental stress, but there is no way for me to safely do that between the cold and the rain. At the same time, I don’t want to do anything else – I just keep burrowing down into blankets on the couch and in the bed. There are some errands I need to run, but I don’t want to get dressed up enough to brave the cold and leave the house.
I feel like my entire world is caught in this never-ending grey, slushy winter, and I’m so, so ready to be done with it.
Title inspired by Sarah Kathleen Peck‘s monthly newsletter.