Overloaded

The one week countdown is on. In exactly 7 days, I will be stepping onto a plane heading towards Finland and my mom, but before that happens, I have to finish two projects at work, tie up a whole lot of loose ends at home, say bye to my little puppy for 19 whole days,* oh and learn Finnish again.

My stomach is starting to get all knotted up on me. This is how my nervousness makes itself known – has since I was little. I remember asking my mom before a trip why my stomach hurt. She knew why – she probably gets the same thing. Really proved to be a giant inconvenience during the wedding madness, when I couldn’t even force down wine to soothe my nerves. Totally unfair. (Apparently nervousness also makes my sentences get shorter. Fun.)

I wish I had more time to write. Compared to my usual life of relaxed, uneventful monotony, I am in a whirlwind right now and actually might have interesting things to say but no time to say them. Things about growing up, friendships, marriage, family, obligations, and even babies. The babies-are-scary discussion started by Liz and continued over at APW is generating strange new paths of thought in my brain, where before existed only one giant sign reading “Babies → End of Your Life.” As usual, I’m grateful to the blogging world for making me think when I don’t have the energy for thoughtfulness.

It’s slowly dawning on me that this pattern of a slooooooow life peppered a couple of times a year with periods of extreme activity is probably going to be my normal for the foreseeable future. For a while I kept believing each flurry was a one-off, a random set of circumstances that piled up, but after a few years I’m finally beginning to catch on; this is just how it works when your closest family and friends live far, far away. And as the number of obligations grows for all of us, the number of days we actually have together keeps getting smaller and more packed with activities and expectations.

For the most part, it is fun. Visits are something to look forward to and plan for in those quiet months. I love having something to wait for. But I’m also an introvert through and through, and the non-stop socializing that results – even with my closest friends and family – leaves me completely overwhelmed. I am fine for a few days, but more than that will reliably start to crack me emotionally. When yet another social event piles on, I force myself to have a good time, but when I get home I have a price to pay for that mental workout. I get easily frustrated and find it hard to relax. I lose my temper more easily, though I also burst out laughing more easily. I am simply wound up and it never ends well. These whirlwinds always leave me longing for the quiet again.

At least I have this to look forward to:

I think I can be quiet here.

*Leaving Cassie behind is stressing me out. We are leaving her with John’s parents – who are lovely dog people – but are used to my sister-in-law’s dog who is a seven year old black lab and has spent his entire life off-leash. John’s dad basically doesn’t believe in leashes. Luckily we have a couple of things making this not quite so bad: 1. They live in a quiet neighbourhood with a giant backyard. It is not fenced, though it does have a hedge. 2. Although Cassie is on leash whenever we walk her, she does spend at least half an hour a day off-leash in the dog park by our house and is pretty reliable with recall and doesn’t wander off. I also worry a bit about her restless teeth – she still likes to chew random things and their house isn’t exactly puppy-proof. So in summary, I will likely spend the entire time she is out of my care worrying about her and John will spend the entire time saying “she’s fine.” Which I’m sure she will be. Pretty sure anyway.

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Posted on August 4, 2011, in Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Oh I have the same nervous stomach pain whenever something big is happening. Even if on the outside I am “still” calm, stomach knows better and has been like that since always.
    I am sure you will enjoy Finland, and you will be able to find some time to be calm.
    If you have time, and you want to visit Holland, you are more than welcome I would be happy to show you around, after all it’s the same continent and there are lowcost flights :)
    I wouldn’t know what to recommend you to just calm down and enjoy since I am also the anxious type. But just have fun. And your dog will be fine… specially since there is that big backyard where it can run, play and get tired.

  2. Now you’ve made *me* all nervous about getting a puppy…

    Good luck getting everything finished in time – that photo looks like heaven. Enjoy it x

  3. I get the same stomach thing. And I have the EXACT issue with family who lives far apart. We do nothing except emails and phone calls, and then when we get together half of us are beat from travel but we’re still trying to spend every single second together doing stuff to make up for missing. It’s really hard, and it kind of stinks. We leave sick of each other/needing to pull back to recuperate. I’ve learned to schedule “just me” or “just us” times during the trip, as well as time with family members in smaller groups. That helps.

    After our whole dog debacle, I’m nervous about getting one because we have so many family vacations happening. Carson’s parents could watch it since we watch their dog, but they’re gone a lot. You’ll miss puppy, but she’ll be fine and the in-laws remember what puppies are like.

    Yay for seeing your mom!

  4. Glad you left a comment so that I could then come on over here to you! Have a wonderful vacation and good luck getting everything wrapped up before then. I sometimes feel like I need a pre-vacation just to wind down from the stress of getting everything in order for the vacation. That photo is beautiful, quiet time is ahead.

  5. I’m so excited about your trip to Finland on your behalf. I seriously can’t wait until you get back and have some time to share thoughts and photos!

  6. I just lost about two minutes staring deeply into that photo. I can’t even imagine being there.

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