Post Holiday Dread…Feelin’ It, Man

I feel like I’ve been working towards this for awhile now. Probably since October. It seems like one thing after another has been piling up, leading to some massive mental and anxiety blowout.

We got back from vacation in October and found out the transmission was shot in our van, so that was a couple grand to the local auto shop. Then in November the whole family(sans our oldest who was in college) came down with Covid, which kept us locked in over Thanksgiving. We had mice in our attic at the end of November, so bedtime was the dread of hearing the pitter patter of tiny rodent feet on the ceiling. Had to have a guy come out and set traps to lure them out, which I think did the trick(note to bird lovers, keep your bird feed locked up in the garage. Mice like it, too.) We’ve been getting our oldest packed up and ready for New York City where she will do her semester internship with a publishing house. Figuring out what to take, drive or fly, how will this work, yadda yadda has been a great source of concern and worry for my wife and I. My wife is driving her out there tomorrow with our younger daughter who will help with the 10-hour drive(rapid response Covid tests for all today.) Then yesterday, as I was pulling into the drive after my first workout in a couple weeks my front right tire on my van blew out. Like, literally split and exploded. Thankfully it happened as I was pulling into our driveway and not as I was going down the road, but I think it was a metaphor for my sanity.

These are all pretty minor things in the scheme of things, I know. But when you keep having them happen within two week increments of each other it feels a lot heavier. My anxiety was running pretty high last night. Trying to calm myself down was nearly impossible. Even this morning I still feel it in my gut. I just can’t shake the feeling. I know things will work out, but getting past the worry and into the “namaste” is proving difficult.

I know that most of this is worrying is about my oldest hitting NYC alone, living on her own for real. She’s lived on her own since she was 16, going away for her junior and senior year of high school to a private school. But that was different. Those were dorms and she still had a set schedule for eating, hanging out, and curfews to abide by. Even college, though more lax, was a set schedule.

Now she’ll be sharing an apartment with another person that is in the New York Arts program where they’re doing their internship. They’ll be working remotely for the publishing house, and are responsible for everything. You know, like adults. My daughter is pretty resourceful, and has proven to us time and time again she can handle herself. But being two or three hours away and in a jam is a lot different that being 10 hours away and in a jam.

The natural worrier in me is on high alert and setting fires in my brain that I’m having trouble putting out.

I’ll be home from work Wednesday thru Friday so I can get my son to school and pick him up afterwards. I need to keep myself busy so as not to dig a mental ditch and get lost in it. I think I’ll steam clean the carpet in the living room and hallway. I’m also planning on working on some music, or at the very least play lots of guitar. I’d like to start another painting as well. There’s plenty of books I can jump into, as well as movies. And of course I’ll be writing on here. I just need to get past this mental wall of white noise and angst.

I’ve been here before and I’ve worked through it. But when you’re in the thick of it it seems insurmountable.

My wife’s workmate gave her this Mudlove bracelet for Christmas. If you’ve never heard of Mudlove you should look them up. They make these bracelets as well as coffee mugs with different words of encouragement on them, and the proceeds go to a great cause. Anyways, I didn’t think much of the bracelet till this morning when I saw it sitting on the counter. Feeling the weight and heaviness still on my shoulders that little bracelet resonated with me. “Breathe”.

Yeah, I think I’ll breathe. And then go from there.


9 thoughts on “Post Holiday Dread…Feelin’ It, Man

  1. You’ve had a heck of a go of it, sir. You’re doing great. I know it doesn’t always feel it, but you are.

    My Dad has always said that the hardest part of parenting isn’t teaching your kids to think and do for themselves, it’s letting them. We’re built to worry, and we want to help, because we care so much and love them completely. Our parents let us go and do, we just pay it forward as best we can. I’m bracing for when my kids are ready to head out…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man. That means a lot. And yeah, letting them step out on their own is the hardest. It’s like with each point in parenting you think you reached the hardest, but no. There’s another level a little harder. Parenting is like Super Mario Bros.


      1. At least we don’t hear that damn Mario music all the time… I suppose the best way I can look at it is we are now parent, and we always will be, even when our kids are in their 60s and so on, but what keeps me going is conversations my lovely wife and I used to have, when our kids were babies, wondering what they were going to enjoy, who they’d be, what they’d chase after… and as they grow, we get to see those things, a little bit at a time, as they grow and change and become. It’s a gift, really. And they know we care, they know we’re there for them, always will be. You got this, brother!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When it rains, it pours. Life just has a way of building stuff up all at once sometimes. Careful with the feed in the garage. I kept grass seed in our garage and the mice had a field day with it. It took us a while to get rid of them completely, but not before one got into our house when we were gone for a week. Not good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man. That was my worst fear, them getting into the house. We removed everything from the garage so there’s nothing left to eat. Haven’t had a sign of them in over three weeks now, thankfully. And yes, when it rains it does indeed pour.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good. Be diligent and keep it that way. Apparently they make trails with their urine that new mice will follow when looking for food. It has been a few years now but I still find droppings in the garage once in a while. Thankfully, they are only short visits because I don’t keep anything edible in there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ugh. That’s no good. I went through everything in the house in an OCD daze checking for droppings in the pantry and kitchen, as well as the bathrooms and under the cabinets and found nothing so that gave me a little comfort. The pest control guy said if there’s no food they will move on. We’ve got big traps set up outside on each corner of the house as well, so I think it did the trick. I love seeing the birds eating from the feeders outside, but not enough to have that happen again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yep, I tell Sarah it isn’t worth it. You place food out and you’ll attract all sorts of wildlife. The rodents deked me good with the grass seed though. I wasn’t thinking of it as food.

        Liked by 1 person

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