A while back I wrote about the various stages of anxiety based on the first five colors of Newton’s primary color system. In the last week, I’ve realized that I’ve been at level green for at least three months.
At the time I wrote it, my description for Level Green was:
Green. This anxiety appears when the less-frequent stresses spark up. Yesterday was a perfect example in my world: I was already ramped up from spending the previous evening at the hospital holding vigil while my father faced emergency surgery that ultimately didn’t happen. The plumber was coming to install a new dishwasher, and to pound my mind into submission, I went on a chore spree. Then my cell phone died for good, and I had to spend the afternoon replacing it. The latter two events are problems we’re lucky to have, since the alternative is being too broke to afford these things. But it sent the day on a trajectory I hadn’t anticipated. The only cure for this one right now is to reach the end of the day and go to bed.
In the last several months a lot of stress has been in my life. My aunt and father died a week apart in June and my stepfather died in late July. A relative has been in legal trouble and there’s been a lot of wrangling about how best to help him.
Meanwhile, I’ve taken on responsibility for the site of the former family business, which is in sorry shape and in need of costly repairs. I’m learning more about the legal, real estate and financial systems than I ever cared to know.
I’m grateful for everything I’ve been learning along the way, but it’s a rollercoaster. Rollercoasters elevate the heart rate, and this ride won’t end after a few minutes. It’s time to address the low-level anxiety that keeps my chest tight, my head sore and my legs heavy.
All in all, life is good, and I’m learning to manage the added family business without letting it bleed all over the other parts of my life. Wife, kids and work are all well, and I’ve gotten through the last few months without collapsing into a bottle of numbing liquid. I’m admittedly pleased about the things I’m learning along the way, because it puts me in a better position to provide for my family going forward.
I’m glad that at this stage of my life I can see the feelings for what they are and act accordingly.“Swim Upstream” by EddieTheYeti