Posted by: Aunt Magaidh | July 6, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta sit

The dentist office is a great barometer of the stress our community is feeling.

How do I know?  I’ve been there about 8 times in the last 2 months, including 4 times in the last 3 weeks.  And counting.

Apparently, I am showing symptoms of stress through my teeth.  Clenching is my personal bad habit.  It leads to fractures in teeth.  A simple filling replacement turned into an adventure in crown installation, accompanied by slow healing gums.  (Just last week Dr. Oz talked about stress being manifested in gum disease. ) Yup.  Apparently, I am among many patients that my dentist and her dentist colleagues are seeing by the boatload for the last year.  (Last year I lost a tooth to a fracture that was discovered during a root canal.)   My dentist, Dr.  Susan, is a generous soul.  She even came into the office on the 4th of July to work on me when I made an emergency call.  And now I’m slowly recovering from a week of intense discomfort and dental mystery.

During this week, I’ve felt less than human.  In a fog of ibuprofen and antibiotics, I learned that sometimes you just gotta sit and wait it out.  When your head just won’t let you focus on the normal activities (laundry, blogging, resume tweaking…), you learn to sit.

Luckily, I’ve been able to sit at the sewing machine and the spinning wheel.  Nice rhythmic sounds and movement.  (Knitting is out…too much counting and having to pay attention to pattern.)

Friends and the staff at the dental office all say I have to relax and stop worrying.  But really, how do I turn off the mental whirlpool that I get sucked into every night when I hear the latest on the economy and ongoing global conflicts and hideous environmental disaster on the evening news?  How do I not worry about how Husby and I are going to take care of our aging parents?  How do I not obsess about how we’re going to save money for Daughter to go to college in less than 3 years?  How am I to reinvent myself (again) as I read the job listings in search of an opportunity?

A good friend said that I’m going to have to look at how I’m worrying about things beyond my control and that I have to let go and believe that everything is going to work out.

I need an attitude adjustment.

But I’m taking up the challenge.  While I continue to look for work, I will also do my best to get back into the groove of when I was a full time stay-at-home mom.  I have to relearn the lessons I learned then about making realistic to-do lists and pacing myself.  I have to learn to not be so hard on myself for being unemployed.  I have to acknowledge that the economizing we do is really good sense and not something to be ashamed of.  I have to do one really productive thing and one really nice/fun thing each day.

Today is laundry, making a berry cobbler (brought back by Husby and Daughter from the berry picking party that I missed on July 4th), and sewing.  Tomorrow I’ll drop off some clothes to the battered women’s shelter and maybe (if my head lets me) start knitting some socks.

I’m also going to count my blessings.  I have a wonderful, loving husband who is supportive and funny.  I have a smart and kind daughter.  I have sweet and charming and solid friends who call me on my self pity.  I have a roof over my head.  I have enough to eat.  I have a wide spread family (by blood or choice) who love me.

So as the recession inches on and oil gushes into the ocean, I’m just gotta sit and wait it out.  It’s gonna get better.




  1. so…got room on that bench you’re just sitting on? My stress is manifesting itself in the total inabilty to lose weight!

  2. I find that I feel best when sitting in a quiet room and letting my mind relax. I’m right there with you (as are so many) regarding money, the world, natural disasters etc. The reality is that I can only affect MY life, home and family. There is extreme wisdom in “Seeking serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Know that you are loved, and by taking care of yourself you are then able to take care of others. Patience is a hard won asset.

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