I have been banished from my home. Since early this morning until late tonight, I am not allowed to cross the threshold of the doorway.
While I am gone, my husband is frantically cleaning away any hidden traces of Mouse, now that we buried the poor little fellow. (And by buried, I assume he's in a garbage dump somewhere? I tried not to ask too many questions. The less you know...) I can't be around during the cleaning due to my asthma.
I spent the morning at my parent's house, but as they live in a rural area with lots of burning fireplaces, I can't handle that for very long, either. (That said, here's a shout out to Jenny's Fried Chicken in Gramercy, Louisiana. If you ever find yourself in need of some yummy chicken, that little hole-in-the-wall is the place to be. Very nice people running the place - and the best fried chicken on Earth.)
So I packed my bag with a sweater, my laptop, my yummy new Frixion Colors markers shipped to me all the way from Japan, and my planner, and headed out to Brew Ha Ha (another great little local coffee shop in Baton Rouge).
Even with lots to keep me busy this afternoon - blogging, checking my planning groups on Facebook, writing a chapter or two of my novel, and then going to dinner with some girlfriends - I feel somewhat out of control.
It's MY house, you see. My husband had to move our wedding pictures and my yoga mat to clean, and then he has to PUT THEM BACK. Gah! What if he doesn't put things back in their correct homes?!? Already, he had to toss the yoga mat, as it could not be salvaged. *Cough* Not-that-I've-used-it-in-six-years *cough*. But still!
The feeling that I am not in control of things on the home front is disturbing. I'm tired from my med-induced insomnia and living on coffee and chocolate, but no sleep, because I can't nap in my own home since the invasion of Mouse. It makes me sick. I am so blessed that he is dealing with this, but my lack of control of the situation makes me so nervous.
So how fortunate was it that, during the long drive from my parents' house into the city, NPR's RadioLab did a report on stress and how it affects us. Guess what I learned?
One of the major ways to reduce stress is to transfer your stress to others, say by abusing them. That's not a very viable, or a very nice, option.
The other major ways? Exercise (out due to the asthma) and warnings that stress is coming (again, I never know when I'll find Mouse droppings).
And the one last way to reduce the harmful affects of stress - a sense of control.
Hmm, I can achieve that one.
I have my supplies with me. I have my planner, with a list of things to do and a note to eat dinner with friends. I have a way to cope that is inexpensive, easy, and available all the time.
I feel better already.
See, my control-freak nature has a basis in science. Who knew?