I'm back to thinking about positive stress, not the kind that has its roots in unresolved anxiety or unexpected problems, or even the kind that comes from a who-knows-why bad day. Positive stress is my reaction to circumstances that are rooted in good things--in people and events that exist because of my decisions and desires.
Today is a good example. jb and I have been fortunate to be able to convert our rittery back porch into what is now becoming a bona fide four season room. We've had a great carpenter replacing the windows so they now magnificently extend across three of four walls, putting in a new door with a cool built in mini-blind, adding new woodwork, etc. The tranformation and prospect of using this new "sunroom" has been exciting.
But today a simple job--blowing insulation into the roof--took on a life of its own. The insulation company did a bad job, it rained, all the insulation got wet, it leaked into our new room in two places, and the mess can only be fixed by replacing the entire flat roof. We now have a blue tarp blowing in the proverbial wind of our back yard and jb and I have spent too much of the day protecting ourselves. learning about levers and tar, and figuring out how to handle all this.
Tomorrow the nefarious company will replace the roof and assumingly make it all whole again. Probably we'll spend another day being cautious and vigilant, but in the big scheme of things, this is a small small event. I know it's a small event. I just have to train myself to act accordingly.
I am working hard to differentiate between legitimate difficult stress and optional positive stress because I waste precious time when I go off due to reasons of my own making, and good reasons to boot. The sunroom is a good thing. It will be a wonderful space for years ahead. We're proud of how it will look and feel. That's the real story. The rain and the roof are just a paragraph.
Every day there are reasons for me to overreact. I took my car in and the service manager was a bozo. (I'm lucky I have a car). I lost my ATM card (I have money in my account). Another bad haircut (Hair grows).
I know I'll never be above being petty here and there, but getting it right about stress is going to help me. I'm reminded of a silly little quote I saw on a greeting card: "Angels fly because they take themselves lightly". This summer, I'm working on my own version of flying.
UPDATE--8 hours later
The shingles are flying. The saws are screeching. The grass is shuddering from the thrown wooden planks and hostile nails. The guys brought the wrong tools. It is all a total mess.
Our stress level is through the roof. So much for positive growth--we're ready to rip this company apart along with the roofing material. jb is on her way to work and I, beginning my unexpected summer off, will spend my day dealing with this XX@**X$@**.
I'll update again: the pathetic diary of an agitated homeowner.
UPDATE--16 hours later
The new roof is on. The yard is a mess. The chimney has tar on it. But: My day got better as it progressed. Tomorrow is the Wednesday Farmer's Market, I am revising my book proposal, and Stella and I took a mile walk in Look Park. Today WAS stressful, but I wrestled it down when I could. Right now I'm reasonably dandy.