halloween cures all ills

Photo via Splash

Are you stressed? Are you sad? Are you sad and stressed and tired? It has become absolute scientific fact (because I read it on the Internets) that Halloween is good for you and will fix all problems, everywhere, for everyone. Research says that no matter how bad the economy is, that Halloween candy spending and costume-buying remains on the rise, with Americans spending over five billion dollars on the holiday. That is the kind of stimulated economy behind which I can get.

And with everyone all stimulated and stimulating the economy, cheerfulness goes up, wigs get broken out, and everyone gets even cheerier–Halloween as debauched, wild crazy time for adults has come back in vogue:

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what i miss

To get my work done, I’ve been having to wake up hours early, go to bed hours late, and I admit that I have been resenting it. I am aware that I made the decision to add a full-time job to an already pretty full work schedule, that I made a choice, that many people, especially the kinds with babies, have it much more difficult than I do or are far busier than I am, that I am being well-compensated for my time, that it is neither a tragedy nor the end of the world, but I resent it.

I miss reading for pleasure. I miss writing. I miss taking baths–you cannot proofread or write copy in the bath. I miss my boyfriend, who has his own ridiculous hours to work. I miss seeing the dogs over at his house. I missed a party because I had too much work to do. I miss a glass of wine at night with dinner, because I have to be clear-headed to work some more after I stack up the dishes. I miss writing emails that have nothing to do with work. I miss not being resentful and I miss having things to think about other than work, things to talk about other than the way the project managers screwed up again and I had to stay late again and everyone has their thumbs up their asses again and I swear I will never, ever take for granted my free time, my happiness, or being able to go to the bathroom without coming back to three panicked people ranged around my computer with piles of work in their arms for me to have finished an hour ago except they screwed up again.

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comforting yourself

This was not the greatest of weekends, which is fine. When you have to spend your weekend working, you go into it expecting that it is not going to be the kind of end-cap to your week that you will remember fondly and for all time, that you will toast to at your wedding and tell nostalgic stories about to your grandchildren who will be irritated because you are so lame. I didn’t plan on being the happiest girl in the world, but I planned on getting my stuff done and maybe having a few minutes with E and the dogs on the couch.

Instead, I got a nightmare of a freelance job that had me breaking down into frustrated tears half a dozen times, that should have taken about ten hours total but ended up taking 14 hours to get all the way through the first chapter and only halfway through the second. I raged, I growled, I wrote strongly worded letters to my editor. I tried not to panic because I wasn’t getting anything at all done on any of my other work, and I wanted very badly to crawl under my bed and not come out until someone told me I had won the lottery and here is a magic golden pony that will kick to death anyone who is mean to me.

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stress and its effects on the body

This morning I leaned in real close to the mirror and jerked back in horror. My skin is not baby-smooth and delicately pink even on my best days, but it has not been quite this–unfortunate in a very long time. Pimples. A constellation of tiny pimples, angry little bumps along my jaw and my chin and cheeks. I am a ball of zits, a zit ball, not even a ball, just a giant zit, and it is not attractive, as it turns out. And it is because of stress.

Some people thrive on stress. Some people internalize the stress and sort of glow from the inside with the brutal, incandescent energy that stress turned into action and dynamic fortitude can create. Of course, it is nuclear, radioactive, dangerous and it isn’t good for you in the long run, but it can be used for good in the short term.

Me, I break down a little bit and the pieces that fall off are replaced with angry, overworking sebaceous glands who panic and secrete panic through my pores.

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working for the man every night and day

Last week, in my fit of despair and wretchedness, when I was swooning on the couch, feeling isolated and miserable and poor and just the tiniest bit trapped, I decided that I needed to Make A Change. Maybe I would–no, not exercise. Exercising is hard. Take up a new hobby? I had enough of those, and enough half-finished scarves and quilts and decoupaged…things. Maybe I would get a job at a coffee shop! Awesome people get jobs as baristas–it would be like getting paid a salary to make friends! And I’d get out of the house! And I’d get free coffee! And possibly also pastries.

This vision was so real and possible and true, despite my complete and total lack of coffee shop experience and utter ignorance of how, exactly, a latte is made (these things would work themselves out!) that I immediately pounced on my laptop and started surfing Craigslist, looking for the barista position I knew was out there for me. I was going to be a coffee girl, and it was going to be the start of a hip new lifestyle for me! I already have the tattoos! I’m sure I could pull together the hipster-indie wardrobe, and I’ll get a facial piercing if I have to! I was very excited about my new facial piercing and also the tip jar (and the free pastries). My excitement lasted through a long and fruitless search of every single entry in the craigslist retail job postings, none of which were for coffee shops.

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