A day in the life of a stressed-out American

A day in the life of a stressed-out American

Column by Kay Frances

Your dog wakes you up at 4 a.m. and needs to go out. You aren’t able to go back to sleep until 10 minutes before the alarm rings. You hit the snooze button a couple of times, then finally get up. You wonder how you’re going to get by on four hours of sleep and if you don’t get moving, you’re going to be late to work. You hope that the stars align and that you hit every green light perfectly.

Coffee. Must have coffee. With no time to make any, you decide to just wait until you get to work to java-start your day.

You start the car, and the gas warning light is on. You hadn’t planned for a stop to get gas in the morning, but have no choice. The prices just dropped by 5 cents, so there are long lines at every pump. You contemplate what everyone thinks they are going to do with that whopping extra 60 cents they are saving.

You are late to work and of course it’s the day your boss needs to see you “first thing.” So there is no chance of slinking unnoticed into your cubicle. She says that smart-alecky thing that people say when they want to shame you for being late. “Well, good afternooooooooooon!” She lets you know that there is a budget crunch and you are going to have to let two people in your department go. You get to choose. Great. Could this day get any worse?

But, wait! There’s more!

You stop by the break room to grab some coffee, but an empty pot has been left on the burner and now has burned, caked-on coffee residue. For a moment, you ponder scraping it into a bowl and just eating it that way.

You go to your cubicle and flip on your computer, but only get the Blue Screen of Death. You call I.T. and tell them you are having computer problems. They wryly ask you if it’s plugged in. Ha. Ha. Very funny.

Your least favorite co-worker appears at your desk to lament about her bad day so far. She’s drinking coffee. You have zero empathy and even less tolerance for her than usual. Normally, you let her blather on with lots of polite “yeahs” and “uh-huhs,” but today you tell her to “put a sock in it.” She walks away grumbling under her breath about “some people.” Knowing that people are on the chopping block, you run after her and apologize. You feel your soul quietly slipping from your body.

And, it’s only 9 a.m.

Have you ever had one of those days? When we are in the throes of it, it feels like a downward spiral with no end. So, the best thing to do is stop, take deep breaths and try to find some humor in the situation. Even if we can’t control what is happening, we can always control how we view the situation.

And, maybe consider switching to tea.

Salt Magazine