Friday, May 13, 2011

Stress v. Happiness

I've been really thinking about this today, as I was accused of being unhappy, and I wonder if my level of stress is an indication of unhappiness. Is it?

I'm not so sure - I know I have a lot going on - it's budget season at work and the expectations of me amount to that of a two-man crew. (I'm only one person, however, as many of you are too)

I had a leaky roof for a while, the contractor dodged me, I had to put in a claim and make a report to the BBB. Now, the insurance company is suing the contractor and I am stuck making repairs ... again.

My son's asthma is an issue - and it's now attributable to the leaky roof making the fucking ceiling moldy. So, I have that to deal with too.

Lots of debt that I am trying to get rid of - and for whatever reason it just doesn't seem to go away. I'm constantly borrowing from my savings in the middle of the month, putting it back on the first - and borrowing again on the 15th. I'm struggling to get my savings to where it was just a year ago!

A tooth of mine hurts when I apply pressure to it - and I can't get around that when I eat.

Did I mention I'm raising kids?

Yesterday I felt the pressure building in my chest - the well-known sign of my bouts with anxiety. I took a chill-pill and within an hour the pressure subsided. Long ago, I would've been in the ER scared of a heart attack - but nowadays, I recognize anxiety rather well.

So - tell me ... is my contending with stress for a prolonged period (like forever, really) an indication that I am unhappy? I know life could be better - I think it can always be ... but I do feel blessed to have a home, a car, a job, a family.

I do admit that it would be nice to be in a healthy relationship - but I really cannot settle for anything less than a healthy one. And I've known settling - let me tell you. I mean, I even married a woman! I was so fucking miserable in that marriage, I cannot even tell you.

Hmm - as I think about it, THAT was unhappy. And I don't ever feel like that anymore. Not that hopeless, regretful or depressed - it was a terrible 7 year period of my life, trying to be something I'm not.

Hmm, again. I really wonder what that accusation was about. Let me ride out these temporal stressors and reassess on the other side. Budget season will be over after the board votes in June, but I'm done with my submission next week. The ceiling should be replaced as soon as the first good rain proves the roof above it is leak-free. The contractor did ask me for a copy of the invoice for the roof repair - so maybe I'll get that money back. I'll give it a month to do away with a few big stressors so that I can in perfect hindsight better ascertain the correlation between stress and happiness.