stored in: 2019

I am trying to identify what makes me stressful and why I did not feel stress on vacation.

Talking to people. I love talking to people. My complaint about my husband is that he doesn’t talk to people. Don’t you have natural curiosity to know people?  But talking to people and focusing my energy on them does drain me. Some conversations are not life giving, and trying to exit the conversation politely causes me stress. I worry that I offend them. When I’m on vacation, I don’t have to talk to anyone except my husband. I can totally be myself without the pressure of being polite.

Thinking about the stuff I need to do the next day. My work is not “hard” in that it’s not anything I can’t figure out. People are not pushing me or giving me problems. But it does take mental energy. The worst part for me is making decisions. I think about the hows, the whys, the whats, the whos of the ministry a lot, trying to analyze things so I can make good decisions. While on vacation, the physical distance helps with clearing my mind not to think about those things. But when I’m home, those things are always in front of me.

Time. There’s always a schedule to keep. Even though my work schedule is flexible and loose – I got to the office at 10:15 today – I feel rushed to try to get there earlier. If I didn’t rush, I wouldn’t make it to the office at all. On Sundays, I’m talking to so many people, rushing from one meeting to another. On vacation, I have no time constraints. We take our time, sit around the restaurant as long as we want. There’s no “we have to get back for…”

Messy house. I want to have to clean house, but I can’t keep it clean. When I’m home, I see the piles and I say to myself, I am going to sort that out and throw things away. But I don’t make the time to and the pile sits there. It stresses me out to see the pile everyday, several piles, piles that grow. I procrastinate because it’s not something I want to do. One time in small group, the icebreaker question was, “If your house is on fire, what’s one thing you would take with you?” My husband said, “I don’t want to take anything. It’d be great to everything burned up!” He might be right. When I’m on vacation, there is no mess. The airbnb is not my house. I don’t have to clean it. I travel light so there are no piles.

Cooking. I love to cook. But I feel rushed. When I get home from work, I want to exercise a bit. I don’t exercise much, 1/2 hour would be enough. But I need to cook so we’ll have dinner at a decent time. Especially on Wednesdays and Fridays when I have to eat and go back to church. I can’t take my time to enjoy the cooking process. On vacation. there’s no cooking. I don’t love going out to eat. We get tired of restaurant food. But there’s no stress to have to cook within a certain time. There are no dishes to wash.

Seems like most of my stress would be gone if I wasn’t working. Sure, I’ll be bored and I’ll probably be stressed about something else. But still…I wonder when I should retire…


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