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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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