I attended a workshop this afternoon entitled “How to Cope in a Stress Filled World.” The presenter wasn’t able to fit all of what needed to be covered in the hour he was allotted. There’s so much stress in our everyday lives that trying to figure out how best to deal with the triggers can’t possibly be done in one sitting.

I thought, mainly through practicing yoga, that I’d come to a better place stress management-wise. Um, no. I still have days where my neck hurts enough to warrant an ER visit. But, I will admit that I have indeed arrived at a place where though I can’t always stop it…I can curb it by altering my reaction to stress. For instance, a year ago I would have gone home complaining about my day and its effect on my neck, which would have caused a headache (for me and my husband). I would have ended the day with having a drink or six.

Now, though, I will still recognize that pain but I will not give it a voice (OK not always. Come on, I’m not perfect, I still bitch. I still get PMS. But it’s not nearly as often and I’m still working on getting it to be so infrequent that people stop and exclaim, “whaaaaat? Mrs. Perfect Life is complaining?”) Anyway, I will still have a drink or three but I won’t have them because of the pain. I’ll have them because, well, I like to drink. Margarita (Moderately of course, if any coworkers are reading).

My point is, if you can learn to recognize the stressors, you can modify your reaction. Another example: last night the kids were begging to get into the tub. It was late, I was tired, they just needed a quick wash-up…shower it is. But, I was reminded (and not very nicely) by the 7-year-old that I was breaking my promise. I knew beforehand that the stressor of “but you promised” was coming. The day before, I’d stupidly promised that they would be able to 1) make cupcakes that evening and 2) sit in the tub. Stupid The day got away from me and it just wasn’t feasible anymore. Oh, the sad faces they made. Of course I questioned myself: can’t they just get in for a little while? Nope. There is no such thing with these girls and the tub. Yes, I broke my promise. So for the rest of the night I beat myself up for letting them down. I’m a promisebreaker and therefore can add this to Bad Mommy Episode #26,587,489.

I don’t want to teach them that I make a promise then disregard it. So, we’ll try again tonight (that is, if there’s time after the hair washing and braiding, dinner cooking, cupcake making, bedroom cleaning).

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