With apologies to Grandmaster Flash.

There are a lot of things that have been stressing me out lately.  I’m basically this puppy on the best of days:


Here’s a short list of the things that are stressing me out:

Looming unemployment:  I haven’t spoken much about this yet on the blog, but I found out a few weeks back that after more than fourteen years, my last day with Mr. Company is the 15th of December.   This is something that we’ve all known is coming since certain announcements were made during the summer of 2015.   Knowing that it’s coming at some vague future date is not the same thing as knowing precisely what your end date is, however.

I know I’ll be able to get a job, but I’m nervous about what type of job that might be.  After all, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  Still, this is not insurmountable and I know I’ll get through this.  I just have to plan for it and take some time to process everything.

The end of my lease:  My apartment lease ends on the 9th of December.  Armed with the foreknowledge of my end of employment, and certain that I want to move out of South Florida, I chose to let the lease go.  Over the next month, I will be putting my things in storage and relocating once more to my very gracious brother’s spare bedroom.  His rent is much more reasonable than any South Florida apartment, and the company is marvelous.

Large crowds and long distance travel:  You’d never know it from all the trip reports in this blog, but I do have travel anxiety, and I definitely have problems in large crowds.  This runs contrary to that thing where I keep going to concerts at big venues in faraway cities, but that’s my personal circle to square.

My father’s health:  This is another thing I don’t talk about very much on the blog, but it’s a huge stressor for me.    Last winter, my dad fell and broke his hip.   One year previously he had broken his other hip, so his recovery went much less smoothly this time around.  His mobility has never quite recovered, and he uses a walker now.   I go to visit him when I can, but that’s never more than once every week or two.  It’s traumatic and astonishing to see my father change this way-  my dad is about to celebrate his 78th birthday next week, but it’s only in the last two or three years that he’s really ever seemed old.

The irrational fear of robbery:  I have a minor OCD tick in which I check my door lock several times before I leave for the day.  I do this every day.  Intellectually I know that the door is locked the first time.  Furthermore, there’s almost nothing in my apartment that is irreplacable-  I usually take my laptop with me to work, and most of the things that are valuable to me would be worthless to another person.

This thrice damned election:  Every time I read anything about this election, it makes my heart beat faster. I had to stop listening to Rachel Maddow for a while because it was just too much.  I have full blown election anxiety, and I’ll be really glad when it’s over.

Change:  After moving to Germany without knowing the language and having never been to Europe at any prior time, you might think that I take change in stride.  In some cases, that’s true.  I can handle small crisis with unflappable grace- a flat tire, a burned pizza, an unexpected cancellation.  Those are easy.

Now, however, I find that for the first time in literally decades, I don’t know what’s next.  I’m changing my job and my residence all at once, but I don’t know what either one will be.  I know where I’ll be as 2016 ends, but I haven’t got the foggiest idea of where 2017 will take me.  I have a vague mental image of finding a dream job and getting the hell out of South Florida with Amelie by my side, but I don’t know entirely what that looks like.  I’ve barely had time so far to process the changes that are coming, because I’m still too busy closing the books on all the things that are ending.

What stresses you out?  How do you combat your stress?

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?


13 thoughts on “With apologies to Grandmaster Flash.

  1. Tmmb

    You may or may not take solace in this (obvious) fact but remember that you aren’t alone with the stress thing. Sometimes it helps to keep that in mind. I’m 2 months in to the not-knowing-what’s-next phase and I think it’s helped me to just sit back and take it 1 day at a time. It’s a fortunate thing that you have your brother’s to crash in while you figure out employment. And the fact that you’re open to leaving Florida is a big plus because finding a job will be sooo much easier for you. Take advantage of morgan freeman and maybe think about where you’d like to live. You don’t *have* to go where you find a job. You could decided where you would really like to live and make it non-negotiable to find a job there. The lack of control can drive anyone nuts, but maybe you have more control than you think!


    1. Thanks for the input, T. I’ve been curious to see how those of you from the 15Aug group are faring. Everyone has a different course. Randy just interviewed in Orlando, but he told me they went with someone who had more Oracle experience.

      You’re going to have no problems finding a gig once you really start looking, I think- You have the dev ops skills that everyone seems to be looking for.


  2. The election. Waking up to the inconceivable (Brexit) on the last day of school last year was devastating. Now my Brit friends keep saying…your worst fears will happen, just like it did for us. You will wake up and check Facebook and see what you never thought would happen.

    Airplanes. I know they are safer than my walk or drive to Edeka. Still can’t shake the anxiety at times.


  3. Aaah… after reading this I feel stressed!
    Losing a job is always scary. I wish you all the best with that.

    Ugh, the election. I fear another Brexit… complete with morons saying “I voted Trump but I didn’t think he would actually get in!”


  4. That is a LOT to deal with all at once! I’m particularly sorry to hear about your father and the job. *BIG BREASTY HUG*

    Where do you want to live next? If you could give me an idea of your next place — and a sense of the kind of work you’d like to do — I might be able to send a few job ops your way.


    1. Thanks, Jade. I don’t have answers yet to your followup questions, but I will surely talk to you more once I know what I want to do. I’ve been too busy wrapping up the current stuff to really think much about the future, but that will settle down through the month of November.


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  6. I have crowd anxiety as well. Just last night I was at fireworks (5th Nov is bonfire night in the UK) and there was a group of girls behind me that kept knocking into me. I hate it. I hate not having a clear route out of a place.

    I know you probably don’t feel it right now, but you are a very strong person. I really admire you for all you do. I cope with things by breaking them down into little chunks to manage – and also I started seeing a therapist a few months ago, too. Brits don’t usually do that so it’s rare, but just being able to speak with her once a month makes things seem more manageable.


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