The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for stress

Good mooded…

What amazes me is that I’m always in a good mood when I wake up in the middle of the night after I’ve slept several hours. Without fail, I feel good. I’m always good natured. To me that means that I should get as much sleep as often as I can and therefor I’m glad I take naps in the afternoon. I think they are very nurturing to my soul. I usually feel good too after I wake up from one and do my best thinking, just as I do that now. At least, I think I do. I do need to drink a cup of coffee, of course. I need to sharpen my mind somewhat.

Since it is officially Saturday already, I get to look forward to the weekend and sleeping late in the morning. Being completely lazy too. Well, as far as daily life allows me to be. There are the inevitable chores, of course. There’s always something to do, but it will be the minimum amount. You see, I still enjoy the weekends and the sense of freedom that they bring. Weekends are like mini vacations and give me the break I need. Whatever stress I feel during the week, I don’t feel during the weekends.

I haven’t really been feeling a lot of stress, as my life has been very low key and non eventful. Just as I like it. I want to say that I plan it that way on purpose and for the most part I do, but nothing important seems to happen in it at the moment. All the little hitches in it are other people’s and seem to resolve themselves with hardly any interference from me. All I am is a listening ear and an occasional advice giver. That seems to be my task in life.

As long as my mood stays steady, I have nothing to complain about. I’m currently not going through any great ups and downs. Thank goodness for that. I’m not on a roller coaster ride. One day is as predictable as the next. That’s very comforting. It’s nice to know ahead of time how your day will be and how you are going to be put together. That way you can look forward to it and make some sort of plan. There’s nothing nicer than a steady day.

I do appreciate predictability. I like for everything to be the same as much as possible. I do dislike unexpected events and I like to know everything well ahead of time. That means I’m not much of a spontaneous person. I think I used to be one in another life, but I’ve stopped being one. I like plain ordinary days. As long as they go without a hitch, I’m happy. To me those are successful days.

I find that I function best if I’m not stormy and dramatic and don’t go looking for adventures. My life goes better if I don’t. I have better outcomes and leave less casualties. I also provide the security that I really need and the solid base I need to build my life on. Especially now that I’m on my own.

I need to go back to bed. It’s time to sleep some more. It’s not nearly morning and no early birds are singing yet. They won’t start for another hour.  The dog is sound asleep on the coffee table and the cat is asleep on the sofa. To them it is still nighttime. And right they are.

I hope you’ll all have a good weekend.

Ciao,

Nora

 

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>Fooling my brain….

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I’m up again during the night and taking advantage of the fact that I feel as good as I do. I’ve had two cups of coffee that have helped me straighten out my brain and helped me think straight and I will switch to a nice glass of cold milk next. I’m in as much anticipation of that as a kid is of an ice cream cone. That’s how much I like cold milk. The fact that it’s nutritious is an added extra, although I would not drink it if it were just empty calories.
Yesterday, I dealt with my ever increasing stress by taking 20 mg Temazepam at regular intervals and it calmed me down very well. It really took the edge off and made me not suffer from my own nerves so much. I’m planning on doing that again today the moment the stress starts to hit again. It’s such a relief to feel it almost completely disappear and to be able to sit in silence and tranquility. And most importantly, to be able to walk the dog with a peaceful heart, as that had become an almost unbearable chore. 
I’m to the point now that I will do whatever I can to get peace of mind as the stress is something I find I can not cope with. It eats me up. If I were a candidate for ulcers, I would have a couple of them now. It causes a tremendous amount of anxiety that I can not live with and that makes me neurotic in all areas of my life. It influences my thought processes and forces me to make the wrong decisions.
At any rate, I’m sitting here now feeling fairly normal and I’m making myself some more coffee to fight off the feelings of sleep. It is Sunday today and there is time enough to go to bed. I don’t quite want the night to end yet. I want to enjoy it as long as possible because it’s the longest stretch that I feel good without taking any medication. 
I made the coffee strong and it tastes very good. It is almost as good as having  an espresso. It puts hair on your chest, whether you want it or not. It’s pure indulgence and to get the most effect out of a cup. I’ll have to drink it as quickly as I can while it is still fresh in the can. That’s when it tastes best. There’s nothing worse than overheated coffee. I’m already working on my second cup, granted that my cup is not a mug by any standard. It’s got my name on it so I know who I am. That could be confusing so early in the morning. 
I wish I had the kind of courage I have at night during the day. Life would be so much simpler. 
It’s going to be another warm summer day in April today without any rain, although we need it badly. Next week the weather is going to change completely and we will have lower temperatures and rain, which will be more normal for the time of year. It will mean dressing in layers again. I’m more than willing to do this because walking around skimpily dressed is not something I’m all that comfortable with. I’m not all that happy when it’s too warm. I like moderate temperatures, I don’t mind when it’s not all that hot. 
The farmers need the rain for their crops and nature needs the rain too as there are now fire danger zones. The traditional Easter Bonfires have to be canceled because there’s to much danger of a wildfire breaking out. They are a tradition that goes back thousands of years, so it’s a big deal when they are canceled.
I’m not having any chocolate for Easter, not even one tiny little milk chocolate egg. It’s for the best because I don’t need the calories and if faced with a whole basket of them, I would feel compelled to eat every one of them. I know no measure when it comes to chocolate. It’s best when I don’t have any around. To me it’s just another weekend with an extra day off on Monday which we call Second Easter Day. It’s an extra long weekend, that’s nice. 
I will mess around with my blog templates next. I’m not quite happy with what I’ve got now and I have time to do something about them now. I’m full of caffeine, after all. 
I hope you will all have a good Easter Sunday.
Ciao,
Nora

>Taking advantage of the mood…

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If it hadn’t been for the dog gently waking me up because he had to go out, I would still be asleep, I am convinced of it. Once I stood by the back door in the cool night air waiting for him to get done, I was awake and ready to stay up. I tried to go back to bed and fall asleep again, but I was unsuccessful. My brain was functioning and ready to do something active. 
The fact that the dog was on the bed also licking my face didn’t help. He wanted me to get up and keep him company. He always wants a certain amount of attention in the middle of the night as if we have to re-bond again. He is a spoiled dog. He’s used to my funny schedule and thinks that is normal and he wants me to stick to it. If I sleep too long, he becomes concerned and wakes me up. He’s sound asleep on the coffee table now. 
I may as well take advantage of the good mood that I always have during the night and that seems to be so elusive during the day. It is only present in little chunks of time, but seems very hard to keep a hold of. I struggle most of the day and fight off the feeling of depression for a lot of it. I’m not really happy until the evening when the sun comes down and I feel that I can relax and put my pajamas on. I find life to be mostly a struggle of trying to stay balanced and being unable to.
At night I am relaxed and even tempered and I feel that I can be myself without any of the stress that I feel during the day. Obviously, I’m a nighttime person. It’s mostly the fact that I have a dog that needs to be walked that forces me up and about during the day. I’d gladly spend a large time of the day in my lounge wear taking a nap whenever the mood struck me. That would be mostly when my mood became unbearable and I could not see the forest for the trees. 
I would very much like to take some medication during the day that would take the stress away that’s almost constantly gnawing at me and that prevents me from functioning well. I’m getting tired of the struggle and don’t want to do it anymore. There has to be an easier way. 
I think I will go back to bed now and get some more sleep. The worst part is that when I wake up, the day will have started. I’ll have to arm myself against it. Somehow I have to make it through it and make the best of it, no matter the thoughts in my head. 
Ciao,
Nora

>While I’m at it…

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Seeing as though I’m up still and completely calmed down by the extra anti-psychotic tablet I took, I’ll take advantage of the quiet, peaceful feeling and write another post. My state of mind has improved tremendously since I’ve taken the tablet and I feel ever so much better and able to express myself in a much more normal way. I felt sort of flighty before and somewhat angst ridden, but that feeling is gone and now I feel tranquil. 
I think I do have to take advantage of every good moment and not spend it sleeping. There’s time enough for that, as it is early in the night still and tomorrow is Sunday and nobody will be waiting for me to get up on time. Well, there usually isn’t, is there? Not even on weekdays, come to think of it. I do have the luxury of sleeping late very often and I do take advantage of it, but I feel less guilty about it on the weekends. On the weekends, I’m my own mistress and I don’t have to keep up appearances. 
I don’t know who I’m keeping up appearances for, but I suppose it’s for the neighbors, as I feel the social control is very high. I do always feel as though my every move is being watched and that much gossiping is going on. That’s why I always dress with care when I go out, while sometimes I really don’t want to give a hoot. I’m already the odd woman out, being a Hollander and not speaking the local language. Being a woman on my own is an extra disadvantage. 
Well, that’s neither here nor there, you do get used to that and inside you don’t notice it. I think that’s why I like rainy days and everybody is inside minding their own business. There’s a lot of freedom in being the only one out on the street. Of course, I do mind when It’s raining cats and dogs. Even I can’t handle that and don’t venture outside, but an ordinary rainy day with showers is just fine, although I know there’s still a lot of peeking through curtains going on. 
Hey, I don’t want to discuss this subject at all, but it has to do with the loss of privacy and I guess that’s high on my mind. It subconsciously puts pressure on you and causes a constant level of stress. It’s what happens when you live in an overcrowded country. I would like to live someplace where there is lots of personal space and not so much social control. I wouldn’t have such tight muscles in my neck and shoulders so often. 
I’ve been playing with my templates and I don’t know if I’m done yet. I may experiment some more. I have nothing better to do at the moment. I’m not quite ready to go to bed. 
Sleep tight, all you people.
Ciao,
Nora

>Reading is a nice hobby too…

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I’m sitting here very early in the morning with my second cup of coffee, but I’m really so thirsty that I’m looking forward to a glass of cold milk. I’m going to have that as soon as I finish the coffee. Like I said yesterday, coffee isn’t doing so much for me anymore, so the joy of it is gone and I don’t need it so much anymore to wake up with. I’m very much awake on my own when I get up out of bed. That’s a much better state of affairs, of course, and I’m not complaining. It is good to be clearheaded when I wake up and to not sit here half comatose. 
Yesterday morning, after I had written my post here, I didn’t go back to bed, but sat down in my armchair and finished reading ‘The Girls’ Guide To Hunting and Fishing.’ It was thoroughly enjoyable and I finished it in one fell swoop. It was such a different book than I had anticipated. It was actually a very mature look at a woman’s experience with the various men in her life before she possibly found the one that was the one that was her soul mate. I say possibly, because that’s left uncertain. We assume so. 
The book is not without humor and lots of insights into a woman’s way of thinking about love and longing, all the feelings we share as women and that we spend a lot of our time doing, especially when we are younger and looking for our potential partner. When we are in our prime.
After I finished reading it, I started reading ‘Vinegar Hill’ by A. Mansette Ansay which is a book that takes place in the early 1970’s and that is a dark and somewhat disturbing novel. The men in it are especially disturbed, although a lot of the characters are and the only really sane one in it seems to be the wife who is trapped in her role before women’s liberation has really made itself known to her. There but for the grace of god went many of us, except that we weren’t married to very odd husbands, or so we may have assumed. Those husbands of that generation may have actually all had a screw loose. 
I’m almost done with it and am already looking forward to the next novel. I spent a lot of time reading yesterday and not having the computer or the television on. I think it’s better that way. It’s better to lose yourself in a book and to use your imagination and picture the scenes and the characters. It’s also better not to be constantly exposed to the latest news like I was. I get enough of that watching the 8 o’clock news and listening to the radio at night when I go to bed.If I can keep this habit up of reading like I used to, I won’t be watching television all the time.
I don’t want to be hooked on the computer. I have the habit of turning it on several times a day when I get bored and I can’t think of a better thing to do. It’s really ridiculous because I expect something magic to happen when obviously there is not. Turning it on once a day (or at night) is more than enough. Nothing bad will happen if I don’t check my emails more often. I’m weaning myself of the habit to want to turn it on more often and really, when you’re caught up in a good book, you have no desire to. 
I have several novels that I’ve read before in a long ago past that I’m planning on reading again. It’s been long enough since I read them that I’ve forgotten enough about them so that they will be like new again. ‘The Joy Luck Club’ is one of them. ‘The Accidental Tourist’ is another. First I have to read the novels that I’ve never read and I have enough of them. I have a bunch by Edna O’Brien that I never got around to reading. They are in small print and I had no reading glasses when I acquired them. I have novels that were on Oprah Winfrey’s recommended books of reading and she does do that very well. Most of those books are worth reading. If you need exposure to English language literature, it’s a good source. 
I’ve increased my anti-psychotics by one more milligram and now feel very comfortable. I feel normal again and not so haunted and stressed. I had a fairly normal day yesterday, although that may also have been because I spent my day differently. I have to take care to build in as many soothing moments as possible and to keep the stress to a minimum. The weather co-operated and it was a gray and overcast day which suited my mood. I like those kinds of days better right now. I don’t like glaring sunlight in a blue sky. Not right now anyway. 
I’m going to take my medicines and sit down in my armchair and finish that book. Then comes the joy of picking out another one. 
Have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora

>The sound of silence…

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There doesn’t seem to be much pleasure in drinking coffee lately. I don’t get the kick out of it that I normally do. I used to count on it really carrying a punch and waking me up well, but nowadays it doesn’t do that anymore. I hardly seem to notice the effects of it. I still drink one or two cups when I wake up, but it doesn’t give me the pleasure that it used to. That heady feeling that I used to get is not there anymore. 
It’s a shame that this is so because I used to look forward to my cup of coffee and the way it made me feel. I could always count on the rush it gave me. Now that I don’t get this anymore, I sit here like a dull person and have to stimulate myself, which is a much harder thing to do. I have to try to get excited when I really don’t feel that way very much. I’ve come to depend on the coffee too much. Now I’m just addicted to the caffeine without the fringe benefits. 
Hopefully this is a temporary situation and I will be back to normal soon. I will once again be stimulated by the caffeine and be my old jolly self. I’ve already started to make the coffee stronger in order to get some effect. I can’t stay this dull person forever, it just will not do. I’m counting on a little bit of life force in these posts. A little bit of joie de vivre. 
It’s in the middle of the night and I’m almost content sitting here. Underneath it all shimmers the layer of dissatisfaction that I feel all the time now in some measure. It goes from mild irritation to outright stress and slight panic. The medication helps, but during the day I have a hard time and am not happy. I’m glad when the day is over and it is evening and I can put on my pajamas and bathrobe. That’s when I’m most at ease. 
I tell myself that it’s because I’ve had all my medication for the day and that its accumulated effect is working for me, but it may be that the evening, like the night, is the safest time of the day for me. The blinds are closed, the lights are on, and nothing bad will happen. I look forward to going to bed where I will listen to the radio for a while before I fall asleep. It seems to be all about keeping safe and out of harm’s way. I feel exposed during the day and at danger of the unexpected. 
In reality, I’m safe inside the apartment and I’m even safe when I take Tyke out for walks. Nothing bad ever happens. They’re my own thoughts that haunt me. I imagine terrible things will happen that never do. It’s the anticipation of them that makes it hard. 
I have to try and make a better day of it today. Yesterday was a complete waste of time. I didn’t get anything accomplished and just survived. I have to do better today. There are some chores that I have to do and I have to arrange my day differently and better. 
Taking a nap in the afternoon is turning out not to be such a success because I wake up in a bad mood and it takes me a while to get over it. I spend precious time trying to pull myself together and it is a painful process. I should spend that time sitting in my armchair reading a book with a nice cup of tea. As if that is too much of an effort. 
I think I will go back to bed. I’m not quite done sleeping yet, although there is some temptation to stay up and change my whole schedule around. Maybe I will do that yet. I could stay up and sit in my armchair and read my book and wait for the morning to start. I can arrange my day as I see fit, after all. I did say it is time to make some changes. 
Have a good day everyone.
Ciao,
Nora

>In the quiet moments…

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I’ve slept a good long time this morning and took a while to wake up in my armchair with several cups of coffee. It was a pleasant time out. I petted Tyke and found my equilibrium. It wasn’t actually too far away. 
I have a day off and not much on the program, which is fine with me, because I don’t feel all that ambitious today. All I want to do is have my peace of mind and hold on to it as much as I can. I have it right now, so I’m in good shape and don’t want to lose it. I’m going to prevent myself from doing anything to let it slip away.

The best thing to do, is do everything as calmly and quietly as possible without being in a rush. Every move has to be thought out as well as possible ahead of time. There’s to be no stress in my day and I want to keep things simple and unhurried. 

I’ll make it a nurturing day and pretend I am under the wool with a minor ailment. Actually, my knee is bothering me quite a bit, so I could use that as an excuse. I got up with it feeling quite sore and is hasn’t gotten better yet.
I want to enjoy the day as much as I can, but do it in a very peaceful way without the least amount of stress. It’s going to be a mental health day. I have to be in a certain frame of mind to have one of those and I think I am today. That’s why I’m still in my bathrobe and I’m planning to be for a while. 
Wednesday is usually a day on which I don’t have too many chores. Not too many dishes have accumulated and the laundry has been done. Things get busier again by Friday, but for now I have some time off. 
I’m going to the hairdresser tomorrow. Yesterday I realized that my hair was too long and unmanageable. That seems to happen from one day to the other. You realize that you’re spraying too much hairspray on it to keep it in place. It’s a mess in the morning when I get up out of bed. There’s not much shape to it and it looks quite funny. Flattened on one side and sticking up on the other. I look frightful. 
The sun is coming out and it’s about time. It does make the world a little more cheerful. Things have been gray and gloomy. We’re supposed to have a wintry shower this afternoon, that’s how cold it is, but after that, the temperatures are going to improve. Hopefully, spring will be in the air from that point forward. 
Tyke wants to go for a walk, so I need to get dressed. It will be good to get some fresh air. 
Have a good day. 
Ciao,
Nora