Stress

 

Last week we asked you to write about Stress. Here is my own entry to this stressful topic. I hope you enjoy.

 

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I can see it sometimes, the way he holds his face or breathes. Stress and my husband are silent partners, yet he is the sort of man that doesn’t complain about how frustrated he is. He just quietly peddles through the rough patches. But I see the subtle changes when he’s concerned about something in his field of view. I tease him, playfully pointing out the newest crop of pale white and gray hairs that pop up in his now salt and pepper hair. He’s a good man, he takes the teasing with a shrug. I love the way he lets things roll off him like water on a duck. I don’t have that, I am the one who thinks and rethinks what everyone says. I circle around my stress and talk through it. Not him.

He doesn’t think we notice the way he sighs more, laughs less, and finds things to distract him away from what’s bothering him. His children and I notice it all.  Sometimes we take it on and make his stress a frustration of our own. I know it’s not fair. He’s entitled to have his own moment and shouldn’t have my irritating ways adding to the pile. But again, he doesn’t complain. He just absorbs it and keeps moving forward.

I love that about him.

I know there is a fear that he will let us down, fail at being the provider. I can see it when he works late at night or gets up early without complaint to take an early morning call. I tease him about being a workaholic because he’s been known to take his work to the beach or along on family vacations. But always I know that it is because he works so hard that we can have that time away from our own stress.

I am a screamer when I am overloaded. I wish I wasn’t. I know that it radiates from me and lashes out on everything in my path. I cringe as I think of the times when I lost my temper and screamed at my children. I acted the way I swore I wouldn’t. Yet I did… I wish I could take all of those things back. But you can’t.

Yelling never did anyone any good. The volume of your voice never made anyone a good parent or a good spouse. I’ve been screamed at many many times and I can’t remember a single time when I walked away from being yelled at feeling good about myself. In fact it was always the opposite. No matter how many times you try to smile and patch up the cracks, yelling and screaming always shatters everything. I know that there’s only so many times you can shatter your relationship with a person before they don’t want you anywhere close to them again.

I’m working on that.

My husband isn’t loud. He’s quiet and sometimes sarcastic. But he’s not a screamer. He doesn’t use profanity. He’s sturdy and keeps circling around what he’s upset with. Yet he doesn’t make the world a part of his problem. I learn a lot from that man.

Stress isn’t kind. It doesn’t take pity you when you are having a bad day and skip your house. Stress builds layers and layers, until it weighs so much that you can barely stand. I need someone like him to show me how to keep peddling through those storm clouds and find my way back into the sun.

I’m thankful that no matter how many times I fail and get stuck, he’s always there to hold my umbrella.

 

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