Yesterday was a classic stressful day.
It began with a note from #1 son that there wasn’t enough gas in the car for the drive to my 8:00 class. At least he left me a note. But that meant I was in even more of a hurry than usual on teaching mornings, and I didn’t get any blog posts done.
Back from class, I got to work with multiple interruptions, and then took off for a luncheon with speaker Luis Urrea. Quite a story teller, and I really enjoyed catching up with friends, but as we were driving to the luncheon, La Bella and I, my husband called to say that we had to have a set of documents to his HR dept by 5:00 or we would lose our health insurance.I also had a phone meeting set up with a particularly demanding client for about an hour after the beginning of the luncheon — a meeting for which I had to be at my computer to refer to files.
So, when Mr. Urrea told stories for two hours, it was increasingly stressful for me to think about the client and the documents. It was also stressful to rush La Bella away from there; she’s retired, and would probably have liked to stay and talk with Mr. Urrea and have him sign a book for her.
I called the client on the way back, and also called the boys directly upon arrival when I saw that my car wasn’t there.
Then I got back to work, hoping the boys would get the car home in time to take the documents.
#2 son returned, with car, at 3:00, which was plenty of time. I brought him along on the errand so we could have a little more time before he left. On the way, he realized that he was being picked up to return to school at 4:00.
My husband’s workplace is a 20 minute drive — except when the factories and schools all let out at 3:30. Then, it can easily be 45 minutes.
So, if we got there and dropped off the documents without incident and dashed right back, then #2 son would be at the house when his ride arrived. Otherwise, not.
At the factory, no one would open the visitors’ door and none of the phone numbers helpfully posted there would answer. When at last we got in, by dint of pounding and shouting, we were not allowed to go anywhere by ourselves, and had to wait for ponderously slow people to take us to the right place. Once we got to the right place, we found that we needed one more paper — which my husband, who got off work at 3:30, had.
We stood in the office fretting and trying to call my husband until 3:30, when he picked up his phone, came to the office, and took over. #2 son and I had to be escorted from the building, of course, and they chose a very slow-moving person to take us. It was 3:36. We raced home as though there were a storm chasing us, and #2 son texted his friend.
We were ahead of the worst of the traffic, so we arrived at the house only a few minutes after the friend did, and all was well.
I got back to work, but of course I had missed a lot of hours, and I had more work than week anyway, so it was tough to choose: do I finish up the Brits, in deference to their time zone, so they would at least get the stuff I had promised them for the week before their midnight, or do I take care of the East Coast Orthodox Jews, for whom I am not allowed to work after their sundown on Fridays?
And of course I had phone calls and emails — the chocolatier being alarmed about his rankings and me trying to suggest that if he quit calling me four times a day I’d have time to work on that for him, the new website getting a thumbs-up on the mock up so it needed to be sent along to the designer, two new inquiries about website building, a realization that I hadn’t done the midmonth invoices…
I think that in some ways this sort of relentless small stressful stuff is worse than actual problems. Worse in the sense of being stressful, I mean. Adrenaline surges and stuff like that. Obviously, I’d rather have that kind of thing than problems, but getting tensed up over and over during the day is tiring.
I try very hard to quit work at 5:00 on Fridays — the one day of the week when I have my computer set to remind me I should take some free time. I should have put something into the crockpot early in the day so that dinner would have been taken care of, but #1 son was willing to go out for Chinese food after only twenty minutes or so of whining. I guess that was marginally better than calling out for pizza.
#1 son and I watched the Numb3rs marathon and I worked on #2 son’s sweater. It’s a Christmas present for him, but we did measurements and worked out all the details while he was here, so I can make it confidently.
This morning I am of course working, but I’m also going to go to the farmers market and get apples for Gloria’s Apple Cake. It seems to include a lot of sugar, but #2 daughter and I are trying these recipes out and making YouTubes of our experiences with them. I may also make Gloria’s Pot Roast with Beer and Onions. I also have grocery shopping to do. And the new Terry Pratchet to read.
Sounds like a nice day.