We should talk. Don’t worry we’re not breaking up.

Many of you know I teach stress management (ok dad, stop laughing).

I spent my career studying anxiety and depression so, it stands to reason that I have it pretty much figured out.

(Dad, what did I just say?)

But, sometimes when you’re standing at the Redbox waiting for another man who can’t make a decision, your body kicks-in and all hell breaks loose (no I’m not writing from jail).

Then, your dryer stops working followed by your washer, water softener, and water heater.

Hospice calls and says your mom isn’t sick enough to be in hospice anymore and everyone in the world knows that this is what the term ‘splitting hairs’ means. Alzheimer’s is a one-way ticket to ‘sick enough for hospice’-street, which Google Maps says is at the crossroads of I’ve Forgotten Everything and For The Love of God Don’t Be Stupid Medicare.

In a hot second, your kids go to college and there are two tuition bills and two empty beds upstairs and only one super anxious dog left to tell you those pants don’t go with that shirt. You are face-to-face with the fact that no one in your house needs three glue sticks and seven single subject Mead notebooks anymore. Nope. They “need” a fake ID and bottomless Starbucks cup. Oh, and a loan to fill that Starbucks cup.

Your general to-do list is like your nagging Fitbit–always telling you to get a move on. Chop Chop. The first item on that list is to fix your damn fourth book.

“I mean how hard is it to write a book anyway?” asks my to-do list with her shitty little friend, Fitbit egging her on.

“It’s hard,” you whine just before you google, How to write a novel? So you go out to walk your nervous dog and run into your mail person, your neighbor, and that lady on your street who throws a lot of *mattresses away. Every one of those people ask, “When is that next book coming out?” And, you think. When indeed. When. In. Deed.

And when I say ‘you’ I mean me. But, you probably knew that.

I’ve tried a downward dog, reframing, and being grateful for the moon even while the ice cream is melting in the car. Dude can you just pick a movie, this isn’t the SAT.

I think trying to manage your stress response in the moment, is like telling your lungs to ignore the fresh air and stop being so gaspy. Your body is a ninja. Ninja’s are hard to derail, I’ve heard.

I’m not saying you can’t do it, but you have to be very an organized multitasker….or maybe high.

I obviously think about this a lot. I went on about it here and here too.

What’s a girl to do?

I do have a strategy, lest you ask yourself why you are reading this depressing, stressful uni-bomber manifesto. Here’s what I do. I eat a vegetable (I like pea pods), I take a nap in my car (I have a Honda) and I walk Nervous Dog (Peanut). If I am still stressed I call Linda (she said, ‘no’ to giving you her phone number). But, she also said this…

Ann, your mom is too well for hospice.
Your furnace is in tip-top condition.
You said you are almost done figuring-out your fourth & fifth book, and there are people kind enough to ask when it will be done.

She always makes me a little gaspy, but in a good way.

*goes to pick up one of that lady’s mattresses she’s thrown away so that I can take a nap.

If you want to laugh out loud, ladies who are my age Check out Sally O’Malley because she’d 50 and she likes to kick.