The worst thing about stress: it’s boring

Yes, that’s the worst thing about stress. I bore myself and I think I am boring others. I cannot blog about the lawsuit that Jerry and I are involved in but I can talk about the stress it causes, and thus bore myself and my readers.

Stress makes me feel physically ill. I get a tight feeling in my chest and my legs and knees seem weak and shaky.  For a time I was getting headaches, but these seem to have passed.

We have spent a quiet week — our lawyer is on vacation.  I thought I was getting over the anxiety. But Monday was a bad day and I felt ill all day. On Tuesday we went to town — a distraction. The New York Times and shopping helped. I dislike shopping but it forces me stop dwelling on how I feel. It rained for a few days which was an impediment to gardening. I like to get out in the garden and do some kind of strenuous work — dig, weed, rake — as Jerry says, just be among my plants and flowers. Strenuous exercise relieves stress by releasing endorphins in the body.

The sun came out and I worked like crazy in the garden. I washed clothes and hung them on the line in the sun. Sunlight is good for stress.

We had tenants in our little rental this weekend. A young man with two little boys, 7 and 9. The father was fit and muscular with a shaved head and a lot of tattoos. They all went around on bikes for a while, then the kids biked and the father jogged behind them. Suddenly yesterday another car arrived and there was a second young man, almost identical to the first, shaved head and all. I never got a close look at the second one, but from a distance they looked just alike. The weather was good and I think they all had fun. I enjoyed what little I saw of them and did some thinking about the modern family. It’s looking out the window of my own life at a rainbow of variety.

I look out the window over my desk as I write. There are lots of birds at my feeder

Evening grosbeaks

House finch

American goldfinches and others

What kind of dove is this?

. Starlings are bringing their children. They are such ugly birds, and their children are squawky and demanding. Sometimes a big fat baby just sits in the feeder and waits for a parent to come and shove food down its beak. Starlings try to scare off the other birds and usually succeed but I watched repeated encounters between a downy woodpecker and starlings that tried to drive him away from the suet feeder. The downy won every time and had his fill of suet before he flew away. Even the bird world is full of drama.

Downey woodpecker and starling competing for suet

Another starling vanquished

Now spring morphs into summer. Daffodils are all gone, lilacs are fading, big red oriental poppies about to bloom. Purple irises, sometimes called flags, are out and the yellow-green ladies mantle is spreading everywhere. We have had two meals of greens that I grew in barrels and tomatoes are planted in the greenhouse. It will be a long time before we have any tomatoes. Jerry has to mow the grass at least once a week.

Legal activity resumes next week. I dread it.

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17 Responses to The worst thing about stress: it’s boring

  1. jan says:

    Except for a divorce I have managed to avoid being involved in the legal system thus far in my life, but I can just imagine how stressful this must be for you. Watching the dramas that nature plays out for you seems to be a good way to relieve some of the stress. I hope it all works out for you.

  2. Lucy says:

    It seems to me if you’re getting to the point of being bored with stress you’re the way to detaching from it at least a bit, of not being entirely consumed by and identifying with it.

    Your birds photos are great – the starling flying off may be a nuisance at the bird table, but it’s a good shot of it anyway! Your house finches are like our linnets, they’re very much in evidence here this year, and their song is lovely, but I’m seeing and hearing fewer European goldfinches, which is a shame.

  3. Tabor says:

    I wish that I could give you advice on avoiding the stress. I am sure there are ways you can find on the Internet. Avoid the stress as much as you can. It is a far worse killer than so many other things. You must not let your worries command your life. Only worry about what you can control and put the rest away in a drawer and let someone else worry about it.

  4. annie says:

    I love having birds at my feeders too! We call those “Ring Neck Doves” because of the ring around the neck. Thanks for the advice on stress, I agree I need to get out and work in the garden.

  5. I was involved in a very ugly lawsuit after my car accident. The stress was horrible and I couldn’t talk/write about it. There was even a private investigator following me trying to prove my REAL disability was fake. It took over two years to settle the case. The entire time I never knew when a camera might be watching me. Awful! Hopefully, your situation will resolve faster than mine did – but I definitely understand the stress.

    I have lots of birds this year too … including a pair of doves. I love watching them!

  6. MzOdell says:

    Hi Anne, boo hiss stress, yay endorphins. Having a bit of stress myself, it definitely dampens the urge to blog. Hang in, this too shall pass!

    Great bird pics, positively amazing captures.

    The west coast is usually so far ahead of the east coast bloom-wise, it is reassuring to me that actually we are only a week or two behind you. Lilacs here in full glory, irises just out, poppies about to pop. My garden greens are just about ready for my first meal.

  7. dale says:

    Oh, Anne! I’m sorry. It is dreadful, the particular stress of legal disputes: such a strange combination of personal and impersonal, the obsessive importance of detail, realizing that there’s no way to really prove your good faith. Ugh.

    Hugs and hugs. As for *being* boring — you couldn’t be if you tried, you know. xoxo

  8. Darlene says:

    After the stress I endured when my husband was dying from malignant brain tumors I vowed to avoid stress at all costs. I have dumped friends who caused me stress with their incessant whining and I try to avoid any situation that is stressful I was doing fine until my daughter’s life turned upside down. Because I love her dearly, I was sucked into her stressful situation and it is still going on. So I can empathize with you. I think legal stress is the worst, because it drags on endlessly and justice does not always triumph.

    I accidentally found out that hard work reduces stress by releasing nature’s tranquilizer many years ago. I was going through an exceedingly stressful period in my life and instinctively went outside and did the most physically difficult job I could find. It helped and I only learned about the endorphins many years later. Now that option is no longer available to me due to my advanced age and physical limitations.

    Now, when I get yet another bad piece of news on my daughter’s situation I am under stress for about 24 hours and then I have learned to ask myself what can I do about it. If there is nothing I can do other than listen I accept that fact and shed the worry. If I can do something I do it promptly because taking action makes you feel more in charge. A feeling of being impotent is the most stress producing emotion you can have.

    I hope this terrible ordeal is over for you soon.

  9. Definitely the wrong time to be frustrated by knitting, Anne. When I read your comment, my instinct was to have you send me a picture of the problem and maybe there’d be ideas to offer. Often people give me more credit than my skills deserve: I angst much over the needles.

    Love the bird families and similarity to human ones: diversity, trying to relate to one another. And the photos!

    Deep breathes and try some mindless project like a scarf. yours, naomi

  10. Friko says:

    It might help if you ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen in the legal case. If you find it, compare it with something which would really frighten you, like the death of your mate and serious ill-health for yourself; you may have other terrors.

    Apart from that, you already seem to go the right way about alleviating your stress: working hard in fresh air, watching nature, i.e. squabbling birds, talking to your mate, these are excellent means towards a well-balanced mind.

    I hope your legal problems will be solved, although they do tend to rumble on. Lawyers and courts need to live off them.

  11. Hattie says:

    I hope this all gets untangled, because stress is the last thing you need. Love the bird photos!

  12. wisewebwoman says:

    Really good method for dealing with stress – exhaustion. I do hope it sorts soon Anne, we can’t keep feeding the stress-vulture, it is insatiable.
    (Advice to self).
    Lovely photos of da boirds.

  13. Beth says:

    Yes, it’s very hard to deal with chronic stress. It’s that serenity prayer thing: change the things you can, accept the things you can’t, and have the wisdom to know the difference: not always easy. Meanwhile, the garden is the best place to be, I agree wholeheartedly!

  14. Betty says:

    from me to you Anne – take the attached [NOT] invisible magic pill – it will absorb all your stress for an hour or more! It will leave you young and lighthearted and on the edge of laughter if not over the edge. Guaranteed to work rain or shine, night or day! Take another and another when you feel you need one – no harm will be done – I promise!
    I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy!

  15. Pauline says:

    Set your oven timer for 15 minutes a day during which you gnash your teeth, weep and wail and rail and then, when the timer goes off you stop. When stressful thoughts assail you remember that you’ve already worried about that for the day and go find something else to do. It helped me get through a year of difficulties. Hope things ease for you.

  16. Deborah says:

    I’m sorry you’ve got something so unpleasant in front of you, Anne. I wish you well, and encourage you to keep writing about whatever happens in your life, and forget about whether or not it interests your readers! Writing is therapy – at least I’ve found it to be.

  17. Anne — I’m so sorry to hear about this craziness in your life. My husband, The Psychologist, would advise you to write about it — privately, of course — for 20 minutes a day. It’s always helped me. Thinking of you and Jerry. — Ruth

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