For years, my mantra has been “Calm. Wise. Kind.” Not that I always achieve that! But at least I try. Lately, my biggest challenge has been “calm.”
You see, we’ve moved. After nine years of living in one house, my husband and I moved to a condo in a nearby town. The move itself went remarkably smoothly. Only one small jade bowl was broken; we eventually found the lid to the wok (in a box with the porcelain Tang horses – why didn’t we look there first?); and after two weeks, we’ve unpacked all 50 boxes of books. We’re basically settled in.
But after the move, I fell apart. Why? Comcast.
First, they canceled our longtime phone number, with no forwarding message. Then, two days ago, with no notice, they abruptly canceled our e-mail account. Basically, no one can reach us at all, by phone or by e-mail. I’ve spent countless hours on the phone with Comcast, with no results so far. When they told me “maybe” they could fix it – but not for three days – I literally felt like vomiting. I reached for the TUMS.
That dwarfs my previous problem: Our Comcast internet modem signal isn’t strong enough to reach my husband’s office within our condo. In the last few days, I’ve wrestled with more wireless routers and co-axial cables and range extenders than I care to count. Do you know how hard it is to screw a co-axial cable in to the back of a modem that sits high on a shelf in a closet? Now our TV – which wasn’t working at all for the first 12 days – bounces back “on” every time we turn it “off.” At least the “mute” button works.
“Calm – Wise – Kind” has evaporated. Now it’s “Yikes! Freak! Shriek!”
“B R E A T H E” – a wise person tells me. Yesterday, after a long, frustrating phone call with Comcast, I was gripping the steering wheel of my car with fists like iron. I willed my muscles to relax. “C A L M,” I told myself. “Think of something else.” I distracted myself by making plans for my next blog post – on a topic I’ll probably never write. Then I got to my appointment, and my friend told me Comcast did the same thing to her, and she lost 800 business contacts. I had to take another TUMS.
My daughter tells me I should always provide a “takeaway” for readers – some solution to a problem. But today, I just can’t.
How do you deal with stress?