According to a list I found online, the top ten stressors are:
- death of spouse
√ marital separation
- jail term
- death of a close family member
√ personal injury or illness
√ being fired at work
√ marital reconciliation
I experienced half of these (checked), spread nicely over the last six months. (I was surprised to not find moving on the list, because we all know how exciting it was to sell and/or buy a home last year.) Also, I watched one of my best friends suffer the loss of a parent; I went through the delightful process of kicking a Vicodin habit, courtesy of my gastroenterologist's (the Sadistic Prick) decision to treat my symptoms rather than figure out what was going on with my body (cold turkey, three days of hell); I faced some financial setbacks; I watched the Perfect Roommate become the Perfect Nut Job; I raised parenting anxiety to an art form; and I spent the holidays away from my parents for the first time since moving to Portland. It sucked.
So why am I so happy? I've never dealt well with chaos and uncertainty, but all the recent drama seems to have perfectly illuminated the good in my life. I'm making positive changes; I finally feel healthier now than I have in years; Grace seems to be adjusting remarkably well to her new living arrangements and is gradually transforming from a giant energy drain into a little person who makes me howl with laughter; and, of course, the people in my life continue to amaze me with their support, generosity, patience and compassion. Family, friends (old and new), and even cheerful strangers make me smile every day and appreciate what a fantastic little community I am part of.
I am optimistic about the new administration and the direction our country could take; I look forward to discovering the nuances of Grace's emerging personality; and I remain absurdly hopeful about publishing my novel and making a living as a writer. And as far as this is concerned? Time will tell.