Earlier this week a friend coined a term that made me laugh so hard I needed to pull in a quick kegel. Stressfuck. He was referring to another dear friend’s incredibly challenging situation at work that is so just dang awful it would make a nun want to shoot whiskey at 7 a.m.
In context, it went something like, “It’s really terrible. She’s experiencing a total stressfuck.” Somehow the word seemed to carry with it the appropriate levels of urgency, disgust, and horror, in a nice and neat little two-syllable package. (I have a thing for words; I collect them like tiny stamps in my subconscious, holding on to them until the perfect moment arrives for use). I informed him that I’d be borrowing this term when the time was right. Friends. Today is the day.
January 20th, 2017: The official beginning of whatever insanity Trump’s “leadership” is going to bring – has been, an unequivocal, total and complete stressfuck.
At this point, I suppose I could get quite political (women are the future!!), which I suppose on some levels I’m already doing, but usually I try not to get political (Elizabeth Warren 2020!!) unless I’m feeling particularly smart and level-headed, which is currently not the case at all. I’m on my third cup of “calming” yogi tea; it’s almost 10 pm; my hamstring hurts from pulling it earlier in the week; I’ve already cried twice today; and my uterus is pissed off so writing anything politically savvy is totally off the table. (Climate change is a fucking thing!!)
What I have been thinking about, however, is how I’ve been coping today. Not just with possible nuclear war and impending doom, but ya know, just, in general. How do I choose to cope with hard shit in life? I’ve been through plenty of heartbreaking stuff. We all have. Plenty of times in life something so completely outside of my control has rocked my world so hard I felt I might crumble from the sheer challenge of it. That’s not new.
My coping mechanisms, however, are. Historically, they’ve not always been the best. Like, I really wish I hadn’t shot up heroin with that table dancer and pimp in Tijuana right after my parents divorced. (I’m just kidding. Mom I know you’re reading. HA! I bet I just got your heart rate up a bit though. Which still makes me giggle OMG I’m a child)
Today I decided to throw the fucking book at my anxiety and horrible mood and, well, it kinda worked. I was “supposed” to do a ton of work. I was “supposed” to hit the store and clean my place. I stopped caring somewhere around 10 am and am so glad for it. Some days life won’t allow for this approach. And even if it does, some days this approach doesn’t work. But today, it did. I’m gearing up to march my proud vagina down to the capitol here in Denver tomorrow morning and show up with my brothers and sisters for human rights, equality, kindness, love and diversity. I spent my week counseling beautiful people, many of whom are also scared, and that felt good, and meaningful. But today, I needed to show up for myself.
I was laughing earlier realizing how simple and silly some of these things can be, these little things that – put together – can make us feel better. So, seeing as we could all use a bit more love and kindness toward ourselves and others today, and moving forward, here’s a list of some of the shit I did today to deal with this total mind-blowing, unthinkable stressfuck. It went something like this:
- Morning. The obvy things: make coffee, eat something, pee. Brush teeth and hair. Judge hair for not being luscious enough. Feel sad about this, attempt more kindness to hair. “I really like that mulberry on you.” Better.
- Notice that kindness felt good. Yes. More kindness! Kindness is crucial today. I should be kind. What can I do right now? I should give something away. Like my snowboard! I’m never going to use it again. I’m sold out to skiing.
- Drag snowboard down to alley where everybody puts free shit. Tape index card on snowboard (complete with bindings!) saying “FREE! Women’s snowboard. Only used one season because I’m a skier, and I never should have bought this. Really. Also, it’s not broken, and I love you! Have a great day!” This feels awesome. Snowboard is gone from alley by 12 noon. I picture it flying down a powdery mountain on the happy feet of some cute chic who couldn’t afford one for herself and has been praying for one, daily. I picture it as her answer to prayer. I pay no attention to any other possibility than this one in my head.
- Back in apartment. Feeling awesome. Need to do something and get some energy out. Put on loud gangster rap. Lots of DMX. Decide to finally take down Christmas tree. Starts off well, until I get sapped and needles explode EVERYWHERE and the lights are all tangled and it’s taking longer than I planned. Realize all joy is gone never to return anyways, and today is the beginning of the end so today is EXACTLY the day that Christmas and all it’s shine and glitter should leave, maybe forever. I’m killing Christmas. It feels fitting. Check myself. Realize I’m heading into the dark, existential place. Dangerous. Pack away boxes and regroup.
5. Find inspiring pictures and slogans and post them on Instagram with lots of hashtags about pussies fighting back and day one of the resistance. Feel more powerful. See all kinds of photos of beautiful people rallying for love and flying to D.C. and gearing up. Sigh. Relief. I’m not in this alone.
6. Decide that there has never been a more important or pressing time than RIGHT FUCKING NOW to scour the Interwebs for super cute, over-the-knee socks that make my legs look hot and were made to be worn while drinking coffee on my bed. Find and purchase said socks.
7. Decide I need to give more shit away. Run out to Goodwill drop off center with latest bag of donation items. While out, decide I need a manicure. Stop at nail salon, choose color with lots of glitter in it. Realize I need more glitter in my life. Realize news is on at salon. Can’t do it. Put in earbuds. More DMX.
8. Return home to dozens of messages planning dresses for a friend’s summer wedding. Throw myself into searching for “navy blue vintage lace dresses.” Feel super excited about planning a wedding with one of my favorite people. Get distracted by more socks. So many socks! Re-focus.
9. Run a hot bath with essential oils and sea salts. Stretch sore hamstring. Talk to my vagina. Tell her not to fear. We’ve got this, but tomorrow’s going to be a big day, so she should rest up now and save her energy.
10. More calming tea. And writing. 🙂 Totally spent, but I made it. We’ll make it. I love you all. Putting myself and my vagina to bed so as to be rested and ready to take on tomorrow with all kinds of nastiness.