Full-nest Syndrome

Have you ever felt concerned about your lack of stress?

I am actually worried about not being worried tonight. The weirdest thing is, I’m not much of a worrier most of the time. But I am strangely calm at a time when, truth be told, I have no right to be. I don’t know exactly what-all I’m supposed to be doing with my evening, but I can tell you with certainty that it’s not: a) having a nice long chat with my husband over a yummy dinner delivered from the Heartland Cafe; b) catching up on email and blogs; or c) going to bed early and reading until I fall asleep.

No, I’m pretty sure my time is supposed to be spent doing something like the following: a) unearthing the kitchen counter; b) writing October therapy notes and doing the end of the month billing for my practice; or c) writing one of those many progress reports or insurance documents that families have asked for. But I’m not doing those things right now, nor have I done them for the past couple of days when I had a moment. I’m really behind on things. And I’m totally calm about it. This is unlike me.

Maybe this is the calm before the storm. (I do see the storm that is the period between Halloween and Christmas on the horizon. It’s a-comin’. Halloween, Baxter’s birthday, work days at nursery school, evening meetings, evaluations I said I would do for new clients (what was I thinking?!), and then sailing on into Christmas and our trip to California. Yee-ikes.)

Matt’s parents are taking the boys for the weekend. Yes, again! Although we have some fun things planned for ourselves, we are going to spend a goodly chunk of our quiet time working indoors on household chores that are long overdue. A few more pictures will be hung, some furniture will be rearranged, and errands will be run. So perhaps the promise of this upcoming productivity is enough to keep my stress at bay right now.

It reminds me of the New Yorker cartoon Matt stuck to our fridge tonight: a psychologist says to the thirtysomething woman lying on the couch, “You may be suffering from what’s known as full-nest syndrome.

Amen to that.

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7 responses to “Full-nest Syndrome

  1. Lori at Spinning Yellow

    Full-Nest syndrome!! I love it! The problem is that our society teaches us to crave being over-busy and to applaud those who stay-up-all-night to accomplish more than is really possible. It is hard to relax and realize that life is fine. Enjoy the moment. And the looming holiday count-down stress, don’t get me started!!

  2. Yes, enjoy the moment. There’s a phrase in writing (from a wonderful book of the same name)– bird by bird — meaning the way to accomplish an overwhelming task is step by step, one little bit at a time.

    I’m confident you’ll find your kitchen counter again soon and no doubt your reports will be written and sent — bird by bird!!!

  3. Ah, Anne Lamott! I love her books and I know that one is on our bookshelves and yet I haven’t read it yet. I’ll have to add that to my reading pile.

    Thank you for those words of wisdom, Kristen.

  4. Special Needs Mama

    I highly recommend Across the Universe as your movie choice. Or another blogger suggests Gone Baby Gone. Finally, doesn’t the Darjeeling Unlimited look good??

  5. Thank you, Vicki! You don’t know how helpful those recommendations are – we know nothing about the movies playing right now! I’ll let you all know what we see.

  6. Ooh, adults-only weekend? ENVY, pure envy. Um, can I borrow your in-laws next weekend? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Oh, hilarious!—I JUST read that cartoon last night in bed, and chuckled out loud over it and thought, “I should really cut that out and put it on the fridge.” ๐Ÿ™‚

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