Thursday, April 22, 2010

The little things that kill

Recently, I overheard someone at work saying she went on Zoloft, an antidepressant. "Little things don't bother me anymore," she said. "Something will happen and I'll know that it's something that USED TO bother me, but it just doesn't anymore."

I was jealous. I'm not on Zoloft and I'm definitely guilty of letting little things bother me. I let myself get incredibly aggravated over details in my contract at work. (I definitely get way too aggravated over work stuff.) I worry my vacation won't get approved. I overanalyze every little interaction I have with everyone.

My latest "little" aggravation is over my apartment, where our lease is up at the end of the summer. Instead of accepting the highest rent increase in the building (and a landlady who won't fix things because "it wasn't broken when you moved in, so how could it be broken now?"), we've opted to move. Our landlady, who took a huge loss when the housing bubble burst, has recruited every housing broker in town to rent out our apartment at a monthly rate so high that it might never get leased.

As a result, I've been getting daily calls from sometimes multiple brokers, asking to show my apartment later that afternoon. It's hard to accept that there will be strangers coming into my apartment every day, usually with not more than a few hours notice, and I admit it bothers me. What's more aggravating is the emails from my landlady, criticizing me for having dirty pots in the kitchen, saying that because I am such a slob, the apartment will never get rented.*

My husband tells me to let it roll off my back, that I shouldn't let these things bother me. He's not bothered, after all. And he's right--it's SO unimportant. But I can't help it.

I'm trying to deal with these aggravations with exercise. I've been walking home every day, weather permitting, and trying to do exercise videos with Melly at night. It helps a little bit, but I still find myself obsessing more than I should.

How do you deal with the "little" stresses in your life?

*Note: Sorry, I probably went on and on about the apartment thing for way too long, but I am just SO ANGRY over the whole thing and I needed to vent. If you want to call my landlady a bad name, that would totally help me out.


  1. Weekly therapy (hoping to back off a little after the divorce:)

    Exercise 3-4 times per week - morning treadmill before the kids wake up works best - gets my head on straight and my music time in before kids/work

    Sunshine in the middle of the day - get out of the lab onto a bench in front of the hospital and peruse journals (granted, this only happens maybe once a week, but I try to at least walk for five minutes outside around the noon hour)

    Make lists of what I need to accomplish, instead of stress over what I can't control (easier said than done)

    Ignore phone/texts/e-mails when I am with kids - try to focus on just them

    Moderate doses (most of the time) of red wine

    Great idea for a post, Fizzy! I've never tried meds either, but I hear it can be invaluable for getting over big humps.

  2. I so hear you - I used to get bent out of shape over the smallest things that realistically I couldn't do anything about - but they still made me crazy.

    I recently read a series of books that has given me a rather zen perspective on things - although I didn't read the books to get calmer in my daily life, that's been the outcome.

    And I think your landlady sounds like a first-class p**phead.

    Good luck going through these!

  3. I definitely get it. I do the same thing. One thing to consider is that you are trained to sweat the small stuff. Attention to detail and being bothered about what is not normal in your patient makes you a better doctor. Also women tend to do this more than men so you come by it naturally. Best of luck.

  4. I understand the rant, being in a similar situation myself. Check into renters' rights where you live. Here in CA, we are entitled to 24 hours notice prior to a showing, and that extra notice does help you feel a little more in control.

    Good luck, and keep in mind how much happier you'll be after the move!

  5. I'm not adverse to meds... I think they can help with anxiety. But I tried an SSRI many years ago and had a horrible reaction that almost killed me and I would never try any of them again. Not worth it.

    Regarding the rent, we discovered our lease says they only need to give us an hour's notice! That's what we get for going through a broker. We decided to never rent from an individual landlord again.

  6. She sounds like a right little bitch.

  7. Mmmm, Zoloft. Makes the world a happier place. All those little 3am did I do that right worries just melt away....but a landlady who calls to bring people by with no warning? Shame on her, the nasty thing. You need to start a countdown on the wall, x many days til lease freedom! It would serve her right.

  8. I got a dog. That seems to help a TON. Though, I did read a study about Paxil that came out last winter that basically said that people who took SSRIs scored lower on tests that measured how irritated they became by stupid stuff. My immediate thought was that I should get on one ASAP.

    F your landlady. If someone won't rent your apartment that's her fault not yours. She sounds like a giant B.

  9. What worries me is that I seem to get MORE irritated by stupid stuff than I used to, not less. So I'm getting worse. What will I be like in 10 years?

  10. When I'm irritated enough, I blog. If I'm briefly irritated, it ends up on Facebook or Twitter.

    So basically... I vent.

    The huge stuff I discuss with Choreboy.

    And it gets worse as you get older. I'm forty, and noticeably more easily irritated than I was at thirty. God help us all when I hit fifty.

  11. people trooping through your home on short notice when you're vacating the property under less-than-awesome conditions is NOT a little thing.

    it might seem little to your husband, but that may be because a lot of moms make home their domain. it's invasive.

    would it be a "little thing" if he had to sell his car and had strangers driving it every day? : )

  12. I'm with Jhawke- NOT a little thing, not at all!
    I had the same situation happen to me- getting people tramping through my house all the time. The worst was when I JUST got home, wanted to change into pjs and relax and maybe watch 30 min of television before starting to study. Instead I ran around "tidying up" for that half hour, and spent the evening trying to play catch up.

    I eventually realized that I was only working FOR my horrid landlord, and stopped. I didn't try and help them rent any longer. If I knew my place was a wreck, dishes in the sink, laundry in the bathroom floor, etc... and they were coming over I did this: took the dog on a walk.
    Left when they did, came back 20 min later, done. No guilt, no interruptions, no nothing. Got him some exersize and a good chuckle at the thought of some little old lady walking through and seeing an empty wine bottle (or 3) on the table next to the couch.

    Good luck!


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