The Ten on Tuesday topic for September 30th is 10 Things You Stress About that You Didn’t Stress About 10 (of 15 or 20) Years Ago. So, you know, technology stuff or kids or jobs – you get the idea!
Oh dear. This could be a long list. But it also goes both ways – there are things I stressed about 10 (or 15 / 20 / etc) years ago that I don’t stress about any longer. Like 10 years ago I was stressing about a really bad relationship, and 15 years ago I was stressing about divorcing my first husband, and 20 years ago I was stressing about schoolwork. Looking at all of that, the only one that I would even CONSIDER trading for the things I stress about now is the schoolwork.
Anyway, what are those things I stress about now? Here’s the first ten stress-points in my life that I can think of off the top of my head:
1. Calorie intake vs. Output. I never used to pay any attention to what I ate vs. my activity level. I didn’t have to. But as I got older, I learned that I don’t have the metabolism I used to anymore… sigh.
2. My work commute. Ten years ago I worked a lot closer to home. And it was wonderful.
3. Mr. Wyrm’s current health issue. Granted, Mr. Wyrm wasn’t in my life ten years ago, so wasn’t a reason for stress because of that. Also, the health problem he’s dealing with is only a couple of years old, so that’s another reason we didn’t stress over it initially.
4. Global warming. I knew it was an issue, even 10 years ago. (Strike that. Even 20 years ago I knew it was an issue. That’s why we stopped using aerosol all those years ago.) But back then, I thought that people would actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Now, I have come to realize that people (in general) will only do something about it when it impacts their bottom line, and so by then it will be too late to do more than damage control. So while before it was something to help take care of, now it is something to stress over.
5. The rest of my family’s health. This one seems obvious to me. The older I get, the more health (mine and the rest of my family’s) becomes something to think about. There aren’t many specific things that are matters for concern right now (the undisclosed here #3 being the main exception) but the general state of family health is gradually coming more to the front of my mind.
6. Visits to see Mr. Wyrm’s family. They’re on the opposite coast from us. And I suspect I’m going to have to be the one to initiate discussions about visits, just based on the difference in our family dynamics.
7. Stupid politicians. Of all stripes. See #4. It’s less that the issue has changed, and more that I have become less idealistic and more jaded.
8. Making myself make time to write. This wasn’t an issue 10 years ago, because it was still too new to be a stressor. It was all fun and excitement. Now, while it’s still fun, it’s not “new” and so I have to work at it. And some of the “new” things (like new knitting patterns or new video games) seem more exciting, so if I’m not careful I’m likely to spend time on them that I should spend writing.
9. Downsizing my stuff. I only recently started thinking about all the craft stuff I have, and whether I’ll be able to finish all the projects in my lifetime. (I blame my knitting friends for this, as they are the ones I first heard talking about having more yarn than they could possibly knit in their lifetimes.) And so I’ve been recently going through some of my craft projects and getting rid of the ones I won’t be doing. The counted cross-stitch kits that I loved at the time but haven’t ever started yet (and don’t think I ever will), the yarn that I don’t know why I bought it, the scrapbooking supplies for books that I’ve decided to make digitally instead of with paper… all kinds of things. It’s sure freeing to get rid of the stuff I won’t be using! Even if it can be stressful determining which those things are – and where to store the things I’m not ready to get rid of yet.
10. The Kids Issue. Everyone has an opinion. And many people think that Mr. Wyrm and I should consider their opinions when making our choice. And most people claim to listen to our thoughts on the subject, but stop listening when we say “we’re not ready to commit to kids yet” and then chime in with the “you’re not getting any younger” BS, and then the conversation goes downhill from there. The assumption is that because I wanted kids when I was younger, I still want them now. And I’m not sure I do. The stress doesn’t arise from my opinion on the subject, or Mr. Wyrm’s. (We’re in complete agreement on the matter. I am SO THANKFUL that we are, too, because that’s the only thing that keeps this from being a huge source of stress in my life.) The stress arises from trying to get other people to listen to me about it instead of assuming that I either don’t mean what I say or am trying to make excuses. And so the best way I’ve found to deal with it is to change the subject when it gets brought up. I hate using avoidance techniques to avoid stress like this, but this keeps me sane. I’m not sure the alternative would.
What about you? Any stresses in your life that are new items from the past ten (or more) years?
(And for the record, most of these aren’t “major” stress-points for me. With the exception of health issues, I’d probably describe most of them more as “things I have to keep in mind” or “things that I tread carefully around” rather than “things I stress about”. I don’t stress about a whole lot of things now. Life’s too short for much real stress.)