Finding Diana

An everyday woman's guide to figuring out what the hell happened to her life

 


Finding Diana
An everyday woman's guide to figuring out what the hell happened to her life


Stressed Out!!

As I watch my daughter apply to college, I see things very differently from when I was that age and trying to chart my future. Back in my day, I was so worried about going to the right school, picking the right major and starting my career. Looking back now, what they should teach in college is a full year of time management and stress management. That would have been useful. Now, I could be the professor in these subjects. Here is what is stressful:

Simple math- It doesn't add up how much work people, especially women, have to do and how little is accomplished at the end of the day. Hours of planning, preparing, schlepping, carpooling, cramming in errands while the kids are doing an activity all yield just about nothing at the end of the day. No child will thank you for being clever enough to slip in an oil change during ballet lessons. No husband will appreciate the specific type of apples you bought and no one except you will notice how you went to three stores to get just the right kind of cereal. At the end of the day, as you lie exhausted in bed, spending what little energy you have left, planning the next day's activities, all that expended energy will have little use or appreciation.

 

Whatever you think is important, is in fact, not important. Sometimes when I feel strongly about something or someone, I expend a lot of mental energy worrying and plannning and scheeming. I will be driving and thinking about a project or a person and all that energy spent will be for nothing because a week later, I will not remember what all the fuss was about.

 

You cannont anticipate what will happen or how it will affect you. I first learned this on 9/11. Having worked in the World Trade Center previously, it was unfathomable what happened. All those sad stories of innocent people who were killed on a regular workday reminded me that we have little control over things. Since then, having lost 3 friends in car accidents, I am still very aware that we plan and God laughs.

 

Small things consume lots and lots of time and energy. I learned this the hard way in my 30s when I volunteered at the school and synagogue. It was always the smallest projects that kept me up until 2:00am gluing center pieces together or editing a newsletter.

 

Friends are key to reducing stress. It is so important to talk to someone who gets you and who you respect. This helps enormously. I make it a point to be there for friends going through hard times.


If I were planning a college course today, I would have the followig items on my syllabus:

1. Time management: Figure out how much time you will allot for each of the following situations and stick to that limit:

boyfriend breakups

Frenemy drama

Arguing with parents and siblings

Reality TV

Waxing and other personal grooming

2. Coping skills:

disappointment at work and home

Not judging yourself too harshly

Don't compare yourself to anyone at the gym

Rich people have problems too

Alcohol is your friend

3. Get over yourself:

You are not the end-all, be-all in the world

Everyone else is only thinking about themselves and do not care whether you wore those same pants last week

You need others as much as they need you

Don't feel bad when other people's kids seem perfect - Jeffrey Dahmer was well behaved and charming, I'm just sayin'

 

 

 

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)