Under Pressure

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I hate those blogs and websites that start playing music automatically (I’m looking at you, Disneyland, and not just because I can see your fireworks from my back porch). So rather than that, I’m putting you in control of the music! Press play and then continue reading…

This week’s Spin Cycle over at Sprite’s Keeper is about stress, and you know, everyone talks about stress like it’s a bad thing. Because it is. I mean, every mom is intimately familiar with stress, and the mere mention of the word tends to force litanies to spew forth from maternal mouths everywhere about how, well, stressed we are. Not to mention the havoc it wrecks on our bodies. We get stomach aches and headaches (or worse–migraines!). In a cruel twist of irony, stress begets insomnia, robbing us of precious sleep just when we need it the most. The irritability, moodiness, frustration, overwhelmed feelings, and often depression makes us perfect candidates for “asking our doctor” about that drug with the peppy name (what was that called again?). Or my personal favorite–canker sores, not to be confused with cold sores (canker sores are not caused by a virus and are the ones that happen inside of your mouth, often brought on by stress). I could go on and on, but instead I’d like to talk about a different effect of stress–stress that brings out the best in us.

Are you enjoying David Bowie, by the way? Thank my friend Colette.

Anyway, I’m going to take a moment to brag here and just say that I am awesome in catastrophic situations–earthquakes, tornadoes, house floods, that kind of thing. I’m not so great at ordinary, every day stressors, but if a plane crashes into your living room, I’m the gal you want doing triage and crowd control in your driveway. No, really. Like remember Y2K, the Disaster That Never Happened? Well, it didn’t happen to most people, but my parents were vacationing in Australia and right before the clocks flipped to midnight and a new millenia began, the water company servicing their house cut back on the supply, so if the world ended or if their electronic equipment failed, they wouldn’t all drown. Or whatever. But then, of course, they turned the water full-force back on, which blew a gasket under the bathroom sink of my parents’ vacant house and proceeded to flood their unattended home for about 10 hours before I happened to swing by.

I’m glossing over the part of the story where I actually lived out of town but was down for the New Year, and was so horribly hungover I decided to go crash on the couch at my parents’ empty and quiet house and watch the Rose Parade or something.

Instead there was a flurry of excitement as I got a neighbor to turn off the water main, called the fire department and then one of those cleaning crew people, and dialed my parents in Australia at whatevero’clock in the morning to say, “Hi Dad! Happy New Year! Now don’t panic–I just need to know who your homeowner’s insurance agent is.” And once the crisis was solved, I patted myself on the back, took some ibuprofen, and took a 12-hour nap at my friend’s house.

A pressure cooker, for when you don't have all day

You know, when a disaster happens, some people completely flip out in the moment, and others jump into problem-solving mode, get sh*t done, and freak out later. I’m the second kind. So is my mother, actually. Maybe that’s where I got it from.

But I’ve also found that a lot of moms are the second kind.

Yes, we’re stressed. Yes, little things can get to us. Sometimes our lives get so overwhelming. Sometimes we’ve been up with the newborn for so long it’s impossible to tell who is crying harder–Mom or the baby. Sometimes we scream at bystanders (varying degrees of innocence) over what seem like truly minor things. But when push comes to shove and everything goes to hell, you know who I want by my side? A mom.

Also, emergency personnel. And my husband.

But definitely a mom. Because even if we can’t fix everything, and we really can’t, no matter how hard we try, moms know how to pick up the pieces at the end. And this, I think, is what stress brings out in us. That ability to weather a storm and still have a tissue to share and a shoulder for a friend to cry on. Moms get stressed, but we also thrive and sometimes do our best work under pressure. I think that’s one of the true talents of a mom.

So if you’re rattled by an earthquake or just watched a tornado pass by or your house has flooded, give me a call. I’ve been there, done that, and I’m great under pressure.

The Scrivener

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Spin Cycle: Quotable Quotes

Gen X Moms has moved to www.GenXMomsBlog.com. Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

Thanks everyone for playing along! Correct answers are in bold below!

I just love the Spin Cycle over at Sprite’s Keeper, but I rarely get a post up in time. So I’m getting an early start! This week’s Spin Cycle topic is quotations. Don’t we all love quotations? We use several in our daily lives in this house. See if you can identify them. First one to get them all right wins…my praise and admiration.

However, if you want to win a real prize, it’s not too late to enter our Conveniently Green Giveaway!

On to the quotes:

  1. You know those times where there’s a certain stink in the air, so you A) lift your child up to take a whiff at his bottom (something I swore I would never do), or B) pull back the diaper to take a peek, or C) actually get the kid in changing position only to find an empty diaper? We call those moments, “Sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth
  2. When something turns out to be a much heftier task than anticipated (such as a major diaper blowout): “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Jaws, of course!
  3. Got any cash? “I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!” Better Off Dead
  4. “It’s business time” Flight of the Conchords
  5. When trapped in the snow: “[Name] lay there like a slug. It was his only defense.” A Christmas Story
  6. “I wouldn’t touch that with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot-pole” How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  7. “Mutha Ucka!” Flight of the Conchords again
  8. “I wish you could meet my girlfriend, my girlfriend who lives in Canada” (or just shortened to “He’s the kind of guy who has a girlfriend in Canada”) Avenue Q–see it!
  9. “And now, a commercial directed toward the elderly” This was a very brief one-liner in a recent episode of 30 Rock when Jack is on the tv talk show.
  10. “That’s what she said” The Office

Take your best guesses, and leave your own favorite quotes in the comments!

Head over to Sprite’s Keeper for some more Spin Cycle.

The Scrivener