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Curve ball: Getting hit by "self-induced stress"

Updated on June 8, 2010

Reflections on a past experience

A few months ago I was thrown a curve ball by some of my friends. I know they thought they were having fun, but unfortunately I couldn't get into the game. I have to admit it... I was a victim of "self-induced stress", which prohibited me from telling the difference between reality and fantasy. I was in, shall we say, "very serious" mode, so when I logged into one of my favorite writing sites yesterday I completely lost it. I had no idea where I was. I felt like Alice in a Victoria-land, the clever creation of our new head administrator.

I couldn't find my own page or my groups where I posted my writing, and certainly couldn't make sense out of why we now had an ice cream parlor where we could visit and chat with each other. I was afraid to click on anything . I didn't know where it would take me and frankly wasn't up for any more surprises. I read one of the other member's posts and concluded that he too disdained the new look. Then I read what it said at the top of the page and it did nothing but confuse me even more because it actually said that the other member I mentioned had requested this ridiculous Victorian look. Now mind you, I'm not blaming the head administrator...don't want her to quit or any thing. The problem was me. I was on edge. I had come to the site for respite. Instead I had to think! and do a little problem solving.

For the reason, that day, I could not deal with change. As most of you know, I run a bed and breakfast. We were dab smack into our busy season and, for some reason, I was having a hard time dealing with it. Maybe it's because I'd sold the business and my beautiful Victorian house (where the bed and breakfast is housed) and had begun moving on mentally. I've been an Innkeeper here in Kentucky for 16 years and have loved it. Dealing with a business and so many different people personalities has taught me a lot about myself. It has been a whole new experience for me, so different from teaching (in Chicago for 30 years) so I may also be having some separation anxiety.

Before I logged into my favorite site, and this is where the self-induced stress comes in, I had spent a week running the business mostly by myself. At my age, this is no easy feat. Charlie would understand and that's why I miss him so much. I think we're around the same age. Anyhow, the self induced thing....I could have hired a second person to help. Kari my assistant can't work mornings during the week, so I'm doing all the cooking and serving. She comes around 10 am and cleans and makes beds but has to leave by 2 pm and nothing is ever finished. We have mountains of laundry, among other things. She needs to have a couple of days off every week so I'm the one doing everything when she's not here. It's exhausting.

Another self induced stressor is my having to move from room to room. Yeah, believe it or not, I stay in the room that's not rented. I started this nomad existence 16 years ago and for the most part it works out okay. But this week I had to move three times, move one of my long-stay guests a different room, deal with all the special diets (celiac, diabetic, vegetarian) and correcting all the mistakes made by Kari(remember Kari, my ADD/OCD assistant?). So, in order to handle all of this, I had to put myself in "serious mode" Add this to all of the following:

I rented the 5th room of my B&B because the Mid-America Truck Show was here, and had to move out to a motel. Nice room with small kitchen, but no dishes or utensils, the coffee maker overflowed this morning, hair dryer wouldn't work, two of the posts on the four poster bed in my room were bent and ready to give way, and the front desk person gave me the wrong code for Internet access. See? the stress is never ending. I'm trying to shift gears, relax, and enjoy all the creative people on Octagon, but sometimes it's hard. If I act strange and weird from time to time, please bear with me.

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    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      8 years ago

      Selling or buying a home is the most stressfull thing there is , I think. Good luck to you and move.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      You didn't offend me in the least. And actually I wasn't very stressed by it, just relieved. I think it was all for the best.

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      8 years ago

      Sorry , I just took it that the stress created may be that. didn't mean to offend you.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      I'm just fine. The house is up for sale again and I'm going with the flow. It'll sell eventually. BTW, I am not a people pleaser. Where did you get that idea?

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      8 years ago

      Alekhouse , I'm late for this , but I hope you are doing well. I have wondered about your selling your business and hoped you were well, Please tell us in a hub that you are . People pleasers like us must stick together.....

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Ah yes...screaming and punching pillows...great invention! You are so right about exercise. Actually I get a lot of exercise in the B&B. I have 40 stairs in my house and they keep me in pretty good shape.

      The thing with me is that I have to stay in a "business" frame of mine most of the time. Because you never know when you're going to get business, how much business you will have at one time, and even if you'll have enough business to pay the bills.

      People do book ahead, which is helpful, but they also cancel, sometimes at the last minute, and you also get "last minute" bookings. Actually I'm pretty flexible and have a well developed sense of humor, which helps, but I cannot let my "business" guard down too often. So, in that frame of mind, being thrown a "curve ball" is sometimes hard to handle. It requires tremendous flexibility, which is not always at my beckon call.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      I know - stress is kinda an ongoing issue for me as well and you get used to it. Doesn't mean you don't have a couple of days where you'd like to just quietly go scream - or punch a couple of pillows. I find exercise helps the most - when I feel like I'm at my wit's end (what's left of my wit) I just go walk, or get pulled as the case may be and that always seems to help. I did enjoy your honest portrayal of how stress can turn the best of us into mush brains!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Wow....that's really nice....what good support. I'm fine though. I can handle a lot. And I do eat right...I'm sort of a health nut! :=)

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 

      8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Group hug is in order for you. Hugggggggggg! Eat right and stay healthy! We love you!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks so much, aK, for the hug. I needed that. I'm fine though...pretty used to a lot of stress....and I'm very healthy.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Wish I was there to help - I love pitching in when the chips are down or people just have too much to do....virtual doing the laundry and helping you whip up some recipes. Hoping things settle down for you soon....virtual hug just for good measure.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Hi FP, Yes I guess it was cathartic, so glad I have a safe place to do that once and a while. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      8 years ago

      I'm sure writing this hub was cathartic. We all need to vent sometimes, but almost always feel better after that. Hang in there! :)

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Hey VS. I think it's okay to whine about cleaning up after guests, especially to someone else who understands complete. It's call "comiserating" LOL

      I actually like the online stuff. In some ways it helps me both focus and relax. And I will be doing mostly that, after the move, and hopefully tapping into what's left of my creativity. :=)

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Wow, GL. Really appreciate the support. You're right about HP. It is a nice respite and a way of both creating and venting to people who are understanding and sympathetic. Can't wait to settle in Austin. Chamomile tea sounds good. Going downstairs right now and brewing a cup. Thanks.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Geeze, now I am going to stop my mini whining when I have to clean up after guests in our cabin and have to work with our online business - its nothing compared to your hectic business! You deserve a life of no stress and much creativity!

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Oh my alek! I bet you can't wait to give up that hectic business. Have a nice cup of chamomile tea and surf our warm and uncomplicated HP. Hubpages is getting to be a bit of a cyber-holiday for me sans the bed and breakfast!

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