A Week in the Life – Stress, coffee and painting.

Saturday: I have a four hour shift at the shop today. I still have a cold, I’m still tired, and I still haven’t talked to Luke about my deadline on client hours coming up. I need to get quite a few more hours of counselling work in before the deadline or I miss the qualification, and I’m scared I won’t get there in time, so mostly I feel sick. When work finally ends some snow has settled on the ground outside, so I go get a cup of coffee in my favourite coffee shop and stare out the window at the snow.


I feel less Lorelai Gilmore and more Rosie Burns as I snuffle into a pack of tissues and feel too tired to get out of my seat once the coffee’s finished. Eventually I wander back up the hill and to my flat, and end up collapsing in a heap on the sofa.  Thank goodness for Jessica Jones and blankets. Turns out I still needed a bit more time to recover from my cold.

Sunday: I have high hopes for today. I have the day off and way too many things to get done. For the first time in what feels like weeks (it’s probably not been that long), both Luke and I have a great big lie in and wake up super slowly. The snow has covered everything outside and we have the perfect excuse to be super lazy. It’s been a long time since I’ve bothered with self care, and it’s usually pretty important for me to look after myself quite a lot.  I don’t want to give into another day of just lazing around, so I do some ironing, some cleaning and some work for Pom Pom Paints. Then I give in and watch a movie on Netflix, eat dinner and enjoy a Sunday evening without stress.

Monday: Today hits me in the face. I wake up from a vivid dream. Vivid dreams are a problem for me – they’re very difficult to wake up from and shake off, and they feel so real that if I don’t wake up crying, I wake up feeling like the thing has really happened and unsure of how to separate the dream from real life for a bit. Today is no exception and I feel disorientated and glum. As if by magic, just as I’m putting on the news to wake myself up, my husband comes back home (having left 20 minutes before) because he couldn’t make it to work in the snow.


He makes me a coffee and I start thinking about how to address the client hours issue. I feel sick again, and it turns into a panic attack by the middle of the day. I make a list of how to fix it (if I can), and make sure I do at least one of those things. It’s difficult, and I cry, but I do it. And just like that I’m one step closer to it not being so overwhelming anymore.

Tuesday: This morning I finally get to be a counsellor. I have a lot of stuff to sort out in terms of actually being officially qualified, but this is the most satisfying part of my week. It takes a 5:30am start and a 7am commute to get there, and I don’t remember most of it because the anxiety from yesterday is still distracting me. Once I get back home at midday, I decide to attack more items on that big and scary to do list. I take a lot of time going back and forth, thinking too much and feeling sick. It’s difficult to eat when I’m this anxious, but I call my husband on his lunch break and talk to him about how I feel – it helps. I cuddle our pet degu, Niles, and feel a lot calmer for it. I get the list done. I eat food. I get through a day that’s hard.

Wednesday: I wake up and know I have to do boring things. Pay bills, reply to emails, book appointments, make orders, and somehow it takes hours and still feels like I’ve achieved nothing. The stress of the day builds up, and by the time the evening rolls out I pour myself a drink and listen to music from my adolescence. My Chemical Romance and Regina Spektor and rum. It’s sort of fun, and sort of silly, which is exactly what I need.

Thursday: After a day of cleaning the flat top to bottom (one of my favourite things to do to help me feel productive), I sit at the desk and paint this evening. I have sticker designs to develop and designs in my head I need to get onto paper. I spend the evening listening to music and quietly painting. It’s incredibly relaxing and fun.


Times like this, I’m thrilled that I get to do this for a living. Granted, I’m making up money with a part time job, and working towards a qualification in something else, but if even part of my bills are getting paid because I’m painting, then I’m already in heaven.

Friday: I wake up early today and Luke passes me a cup of coffee before he leaves. I watch the news in bed, look out the window and realise that I finally feel like the fog has lifted a little. I have more energy than I have had recently, the early morning feels refreshing instead of exhausting, and I’m ready to face the day. I make my usual smoothie, scan in some artwork, and before I know it I’ve powered through editing, designing and printing. I go outside to run errands, and the fresh air feels amazing. I can move forward through problems, and after a stressful week of trying to get things fixed and organised, I’m hopeful about the future.


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