“Stressed is desserts spelled backward.”
Stress: noun. A condition of extreme difficulty, pressure, or strain.
Stress: verb. To subject to mechanical pressure or force.
Stress: noun. Importance, significance, or emphasis placed on something.
(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)
This week includes all of the above. Monday began with a BANG! and it has been relentless; we’ve hit the ground running. My mind, which naturally multi-tasks, is having a hard time keeping up. Physically Dave and I are like drones. Each night as my head hits the pillow I ask myself, How is it that I can’t find enough time in a day? I wake up before 5:23 AM and head to bed close to 11 PM nightly. Where does all that time go?
I’m having quite an adjustment trying to juggle all the balls in the air. My calendar looks like a kaleidoscope of color as I attempt to make sense of, just, the boys’ activities. Our household runs a tight schedule and if there is any hiccup to it; all the balls precariously hang in the balance. I’m trying hard to catch the balls before they fall and I am mentally exhausted; it’s only Wednesday. The flipboard on my desk fits my current state of mind. It sits atop the 96 page book that will be given to a publisher in less than 48 hours. It is finally done and I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. I need chocolate.
Earlier this evening I watched my system monitor show all the processes running on my CPU. I have no idea what any of these things mean but the end result is that it allowed my 96 page book to convert to a PDF (portable document format). I am not computer savvy and when things break down or do not work I contact my tech support (aka the hubby) to ascertain why it is not working. I am the user; he the programmer (his fave film is the Matrix, after all). I do not relish learning new versions of Windows, Microsoft office, Quick Books, etc. and I dig in with both heels; kicking and screaming. If it weren’t for my other half I’d happily stay with the status quo.
When Dave and I were in college I would watch him program and stare at numbers kerneling on a black screen. We would use the university server and bulletin boards to post messages to people; using our dial-up modems. Post college we both moved out-of-state and wrote to one another. Dave would cheat (he has horrible penmanship) and would type his letters on colorful printed paper and included origami animals; just for fun. He lived in Pensacola, FL; myself Chicago, IL. It’s hard to remember when we switched from letter writing to email but I soon found myself desktop publishing. I resisted when Dave introduced me to Adobe (Photoshop, Acrobat, Reader, etc.) but found I liked creating newsletters for the aircraft carrier families. I became the military newsletter gal and my hobby of digital scrapbooking began.
As the numbers crunched, before me, my vision blurred. Dave sat beside me making sure my glitches wouldn’t hinder my project. My life would not take me here without my other half. My something ordinary (sitting at my computer) became extraordinary. For all of the things I create; they would never be without my tech support. Not any of it.
Earlier this week I’ve watched my mate fight with a machine that creates U-bolts. To create the U shape you must apply stress to the rod; just so, to create the dimensions the customer desires He and his dad went around and around; adjusting and fine tuning. The 958 lb. tub of zinc clear, steel U-bolts was the end result. It caused them great stress since material is precious; you are only allowed so many mistakes before you run out of it. Dave enjoys the troubleshooting; I do not. That metaphor is apropos for our outlooks on life. Dave is flexible and is spontaneous. I follow the directions to a fault. Improvisation is not a skill I possess.
As one problem compounds into another; we soldier on. On Tuesday we silently drove to a smog inspection shop; awaiting the results of Dave’s truck’s diagnosis. The truck was purchased, new, in the state of Texas. Unfortunately for us, our Golden State has stringent emissions standards and Texas does not outfit their vehicles with smog valves. As we exited the freeway to head to the automotive shop we were both surprised to find his parents’ vehicle trailing behind us. Normally they would drive in the opposite direction to head to their home. As the hubs exited the car I could see the strain in his shoulders ease. It has been a stressful week and to watch his Dad, walk from his own car to stand beside his grown son, made my heart clench. I snapped the mobile shot from my window as they discussed various ways to pass a smog check; dressed in their QF work shirts. We had not asked his parents to come with us; they just knew to be there. His dad’s presence was significant. I hope that, someday, we can do the same when any of our sons need moral support. For all the headaches of assuming their business; I was reminded why (Stress: noun. To place emphasis on) we are doing it. I just wish it wasn’t so stressful. (sigh)