Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Background Stress

I'm under a lot of background stress now.

That's the stress that's different from "how am I going to get all my work done this month?" stress, or "geez, now I'm going to have to appeal my health plan's denial of my claim for one lousy pill" stress (I'm sure they denied it just figuring that I wouldn't go to the trouble of the appeal for $30 -- they may be right), or even getting this book read before Friday ... or any one of a number of other immediate causes of stress.

It's largely the (apparently) neverending stress caused by my condo not being on the market.  I pulled the listing back in, what? March? and I was sure I'd have the repairs done and have the place back on the market by June.  It's July and I'm afraid to report there is no actual end in sight.  OK, sure, they cleaned the mold (back in May) and plugged some of the leaks.  And I just had the balcony resurfaced.  And the balcony just passed its final water test, as did the balcony above me.  (So they're going to put my walls back together and I can re-list in a week, right?  Wrong.)  The exterior stucco walls have again failed the water test.  While we can patch those areas, our management company representative thinks the walls are just going to keep failing water tests and we might as well just, um, restucco/paint the whole building.  That's a major expense (for which we don't have the money) and will probably take months just to set up.  So, right now, my living room is still half covered in plastic; there are two major holes in my ceiling (which will get really ugly if it happens to rain); the Homeowners Association is doing the math on how much to Specially Assess us for the repairs; and now there's a possible major repainting between me and having my living room back.

I'll be taking bets on whether my housewarming party (for when I eventually move) will happen before my 40th birthday party (next June). 

Of course, it isn't just the building that's causing background stress.  I am outrageously behind on my theatre reviews -- to the point where it is background stress rather than short-term stress, in that I should be seeing two or three shows every week from now until the end of the year.

Both of my computers are showing signs of demise in the foreseeable future.  I haven't done anything about this -- mostly because I'm trying to save cash for the house, but also because I just won't know the set-up that I'll want once I'm in a new house, and I'd like to wait until I have a house, if at all possible.  Still, it means putting up with temperamental computers and/or the constant fear that one or both of them will just drop dead on me unexpectedly.

I've been fairly accepting of the high level of background stress -- although, as probably could be expected -- it has manifested itself in disproportionate reactions to the occasional additional stressor (the "last straw" as it were).  But I've noticed my fuse is getting a little shorter on other things.  Like, I haven't been able to really balance my checkbook in months because I haven't actually had use of my desk since they opened up my ceiling.  I sort of put together a temporary method for dealing with bills (important incoming mail on my coffee table, checkbook hiding in a living room cabinet), but, as time stretches on, I'm becoming less and less able to deal.

I'm hugging the cat a lot more, but I'm afraid I'm putting too much pressure on her, as well.


hewasolddog299 said...

I do hope writing about it has helped, if only a little.

Do yourself a favor and get an external backup drive big enough to accommodate both computers' hard drives and use it, religiously. I know you are trying to save money, but really, what is your time worth? What are all your records worth? All your reviews and other writings? Database on the Guild?

Maybe time to sign up for a yoga class, or perhaps Tai Chi? Or join the "Wine of the Week Club" and obliterate your stress in an alcoholic fog (not really recommended - I've tried it and it doesn't work).

Good luck with the HMO -- I'm of the opinion the only way to deal with them is high explosives and a "take no prisoners" policy. Each to her own...

Likewise, the Homeowners Association. Just remember, it was a committee that set out to design an elephant and arrived at a duck-billed platypus.

Good Luck!

grodygeek said...

The external HD suggestion is excellent. Iomega has a 100 Gig for like $99 bucks. There may be better, I know they have larger ones too. Size per dollar is a great way to price them.

Why stress about the house (condo)? It will be done, when its done? Its placing undue pressure on  yourself. Why worry, be happy, the cat has more places to play? You can't influence some things and this is one.

Yeah, I know, I'm a *big* help. Sorry.