There are systems in my house. I usually cook, my husband does the dishes. I walk the dog Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, Mike walks him Tuesday and Thursday. When I make dinner, I make extra so that I have an easy-ready lunch to grab the next morning.
Sometimes though, systems break down. A system breakdown is generally something I can handle. But if it happens when I’m already feeling overwhelmed, it can result in… a personal breakdown.
And so one morning last week, after a sleepless night spent agonizing over my to-do list, I saw that the dishes weren’t done, I hadn’t remembered to put the leftovers into the fridge, and I didn’t have enough time to deal with all of these things and still be on time for work. I broke down.
And I threw the yogurt.
Now, generally, throwing things is not good. But I’ve never thrown an object at a person, and it’s really not a reaction that happens often. Maybe I’m crazy and this is not at all normal, but personally, I think everyone occasionally loses it.
My mom even shared a story with me about when she threw a grapefruit against the wall, where it left a giant splatter stain as a constant reminder of when she lost it.
It’s an irrational way to express frustration, though. Because then on top of having to put together a lunch, do the dishes and get myself out of there, I also had to clean up the spatters of yogurt coating the counter when the container exploded. My mom had to repaint her kitchen.
But you know what? Cleaning up the cool, wet smears on the counter and back splash brought me the calm I’d been lacking. I let that frustration explode on the hapless yogurt container, saw how useless and destructive those feelings were, and then tossed them out with the sopping paper towels.
I can see how this might not be the healthiest approach to feeling overwhelmed, and I’m not condoning it. Losing control is not good, especially if there are other people in your path. There are certainly much more constructive ways to deal with stress, like meditating or gardening or taking a hot bath. Yoga, not yogurt.
But I also find it irritating to only hear about serenity in stress management. When I’m really stressed, it pisses me off to read some article that tells me to have a hot cup of tea and sniff some lavender to deal with stress. I’m thinking, really? Lavender? I’m more likely to go for the glue right now!
As a blog rule, I try to offer a positive spin on my experiences of navigating my way through the complications of life. But I also want you to know that I’m a real person. I don’t have it all together. I’m just another 20-something doing her best.
And sometimes, I throw the yogurt.
Do you ever lose it? Do you have any tips for constructively managing stress and frustration?