Traded one form of stress for another

Holidays are tough for a lot of people. I guess for hyper organized extroverts it isn’t bad, but for most people they can be tough, I do know that for an introverted man whose highest priority is family they are very difficult. I made a decision a while back to take the week off from work for Thanksgiving so I could be here for the kids. After this summer I realized I didn’t really need to. James is responsible enough to take care of the little ones, but with work getting crazy I kind of needed the time off.

What I didn’t realize is that I was trading one form of stress for another. Since I place family first, and since Kim works a job were she wasn’t going to get time off I realized that since I was going to be off I could get a lot of the work done around the house in preparation for Thanksgiving family gatherings. Cleaning, laundry, shopping, dealing with the kids. I got it all done, here I am, and the only thing left is cooking which I will leave to Kim and her Mom while I am over at my Dad’s.

It was this morning that I realized how much doing all of that had taken it’s toll. Primarily all the time with the kids, keeping up with their messes, helping resolve issues, preparing meals. Really wore me out, having to be ‘on’ all that time. I love my kids, but that is still social time that takes it’s toll. Plus making sure all that cleaning done so that when Kim got off work she didn’t feel like she had to rush and do it all (on top of her own really stressful work week.) Making sure that was all done was really stressful, and hard, when a lot of the time I would have preferred to just be off doing something else.

But it was a trade that I made, unconsciously. Because if I had been at work the past 3 days every evening would have been a rush and frenzy to get things done, and this morning I would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get everything done. And that would have been a different and probably worse kind of stress.

I made the right choice in the long term. I didn’t get the exercise this week I would have liked, which is it’s  own kind of stress (and stress relief.) But as I sit here, tired and a little worn out emotionally I am still probably better off than if I was using this time running about trying to get everything done at the last minute. And for these few minutes of peace I am thankful.


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