Stress and Stress Relievers

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I’ve been feeling some stress this week.  And it all has to do with this…

What? You can’t see that?  :p  Okay, yes, it’s a horrible picture, but what do you expect? I took it while sitting in a traffic jam, and the jam had just broken free when I got to this point, so I had to take it fast!  In case you’re wondering what it is, it’s one of those digital construction zone signs, and, had I taken the picture at the right time, it would have said something like, “Road work begins Monday, April 16.”  I see this sign on my way to work and on my way home on the only freeway I use for my commute.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I have about a 40-mile commute. One way. 🙁  A little less than thirty of those miles are on this one freeway.  On a really good day, I can get to work in 35 minutes, but that’s not common.  There are just way too many people in the area where I work, and the traffic is horrendous most days.  When I get about six miles from my exit, traffic gets really bad, and I usually spend that last six miles stop and go. And that’s not even counting if there’s an accident–then things get really bad.   It is So. Frustrating!!  My commute is the one bad thing about my job, but I love what I do, and my boss is great, so I just try to deal with it.  I really hate being late, though, and I get very stressed about it when the traffic is bad.  I do all my walking during the work week in the mall, before I go into work.  It’s just easier that way.  I try to give myself enough time to get a full walk in even if I run into a little traffic, but I can’t leave before my kids get on the bus (unless I want to leave them alone on the side of the road at 7am!), so I’m limited in how early I can leave.   If I’m running late, I will usually cut my walks short.  I hate doing it, but it can’t be helped sometimes.  🙁

Now, back to the picture above…I’ve been seeing lots of orange barrels on the side of the road during my commute this week, and it got me panicked enough that I went to the Dept of Transportation website.  Here’s what I found:

🙁  Seven months of this.  Starting Monday.  Double 🙁 My experience in the past is that this kind of disruption to the traffic pattern can easily add 20 minutes to my commute…which is exactly the time it takes me to walk in the mornings.

To say that I’m stressed is an understatement.  I’m so worried that my walks are going to get off schedule, and that I’m not going to be able to keep up with my regular training schedule.  I don’t know when else I will fit them in if I can’t do them in the morning.  I love my morning walks–they make me feel so good the rest of the day.  Not to mention they’re done by 8:30am!  I’m really hoping I don’t lose motivation if my schedule is disrupted, and that I’ll find the time to walk, somehow.  Wish me luck!!

Okay, so that’s the stress.  Now let’s talk about the stress reliever!  I have a great friend whom I just adore.  Her name is Tonia, and I met her through DS#1’s hockey team. She has done so much for me in the last two years, I can’t even possibly begin to go into it all. Suffice it to say she is awesome and amazing and one of these most kind and generous people I know.  🙂  She is also extremely helpful, in everything.  She helped me many, many times when I was managing DS#1’s hockey team, acting as my “co-manager” for much of that team’s existence.  Whenever I needed something, she was there, usually doing things before I even asked.  That didn’t just apply to hockey, either!

An excellent example of this came a few weeks ago when I mentioned to her in an email (we email pretty much daily, lol!) that I was trying to find a new bathing suit.  Having lost 25+ pounds since last summer, I was rather excited at the prospect of buying a new bathing suit (despite the fact that I’m not big on clothes shopping).   I’m not very good at picking out clothes, so I asked Tonia if she wanted to help me pick one, and she readily agreed.  I sent her the link to a few that I found, all in black and white zebra prints.  She gave me her opinions, but then she asked, “What’s with all the zebra prints?”  I told her the truth: It’s not that I’m overly excited about zebra prints, I just couldn’t find anything else I liked.  Everything seemed to come in colors that would look horrible on me (pink–ugh! orange–ugh! florals–ugh!), and black and white was the only thing I really found that I thought might look okay.  She then asked me what I wanted in a bathing suit.  My reply: “Red, of course! It’s my favorite color!”  Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find anything in red.

Less than five minutes later, my inbox was overflowing with links to sites with red bathing suits, lol!  Tonia is definitely a do-er. 😉  Not to mention she’s extremely determined!  It wasn’t long afterwards that I found not one but two great suits (both by La Blanca) that I was so excited about.  I ordered both and am now eagerly awaiting their arrival so I can determine which one I like better in person.  Of course, if they don’t make me look as awesome as the models in the pictures, I might have to send them both back. 😉  Speaking of the pictures, looking at these from a photographer’s viewpoint makes me really curious about the photo shoot and what kind of challenges crop up when you’re shooting “on location” for swimsuits or any other clothing wear.  I wonder if they’re in some exotic local, or if they’re just off the pier in LA.  I also wonder how hard it was for that one model to have to hang out in the water (and for how long!) to get that picture.  But mostly I just wonder if I’m going to magically be be tall and blonde when I put these suits on. 😉  No, I don’t really want to be tall and blonde (I’ve learned to live with my lack of height, and I’m proud of my fake red hair!), but I hope I make one of those suits look half as good as the models do!

Still have a few days to wait for these beauties (the suits, not the models!).  Can’t wait!!  I’ll let you know the verdict after I try them both on.  Meanwhile, tomorrow DS#2 has his first hockey game of the spring season–yay, another opportunity for more pictures!!

Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Stress and Stress Relievers

  1. Tonia

    Steph, I would do anything for YOU!!! You are an amazing person and a WONDERFUL Friend 🙂 Love ya lots Babes!!!


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