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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stress and Bees: My mortal enemies

By Joy Mizzoni


There are numerous ways to deal with stress. You can drink it away, sleep it away or indulge in a myriad of activities designed to provide momentary relief from matters at hand.

Personally, I like the "ostrich" approach. I like to ignore little problems until they divide and multiply like amoebas. (Yes I had to double check if amoeba's actually do multiply before I used that simile...which they do. So there.)

How much stress do we create in our lives?

Let me rephrase that, how much stress do we CHOOSE to create in our lives by making no choice at all?

Recently, I've been questioning my sanity. Being a geographically-displaced New Yorker, I accept the fact I'm slightly more outspoken and passionate than some; but I'm basically sane. I'm kind, giving, and open minded. I accept others' advice and try to be accountable for my mistakes.

That qualifies as sanity, right?

But take one teaspoon of my so-called "passion" and mix in one-half cup "stress" plus add a few table spoons of "daily life" and then stand back...the lid's gonna blow!

Last week, I had two flat tires and some other unexpected expenses. Then there were my ex-in laws, you know, the Hatfields to my McCoys?  It was a recipe for the perfect storm and I am still cleaning up the aftermath.

In the midst of emotional exhaustion, I realized the potential health hazards such continued levels of stress could cause. It was then, realizing the hard cold truth that I'm almost 40, that I truly became aware that conflict, at this sort of level, could potentially result in, well, death. No, not my ex mother-in law's death (shame on you!) ....but my own.

I never thought about a heart attack before.

Or a nervous breakdown.

How many straws does it take to break the camels back?

No one knows.

Until it's too late.

That's some serious stuff right there.

I'm a mother of two young girls. I try to eat right, exercise, and I quit smoking cigarettes years ago. I'm also allergic to bees and yellow jackets. I always thought it was absurd that a small little stinging bug could take out this tough Sicilian gal. I scoff at you bee! (unless you get too close...then I will run away really really fast).

Stress? Ha. I laugh in the face of stress! Stress and me -- we go way back. If anyone can deal with stress, it's your humble blog hostess.

No wait. "Deal" is the wrong word. What I really mean is, "ignore."  I ignore stress. I laugh it off. I crack wise ass jokes. I smile. I giggle. I bat my eyelashes like a carefree debutante.

At least I did. Now, I'm not so sure I want to keep poking the proverbial beehive. It was an eye-opening week. I felt my mortality. It has stymied my creativity and, honestly, has scared the freaking bejeezus out of me.

Mid life crisis? Maybe. Maybe not.

A wake-up call? Definitely.

Stress IS dangerous. I don't care how strong you are, how much you've been through or whatever other super powers you "think" you possess. Trust me...stress floats like a butterfly...but stings like a bee.


Friday, August 24, 2012

I've Been a Bad Blog Hostess...

By Joy Mizzoni
Team Support Specialist at ActionCOACH Spokane

I'll just come out and say it. No frills. No fanciful fluffy excuses. No frosting. No sprinkles. No sugar- coated, below-the-line babbling:

I have ignored this blog.

There. I said it.

And I'm sorry.

Sorry because, I've ignored you, dear reader. I pretended your existence is unimportant. I've wondered off the beaten path of this journey and left you stranded in literary silence.

And guess who convinced me to humbly ask your forgiveness?  Yep. I'm just going to start calling him my mentor because, essentially, that's what Coach Jim Munro has become. This person, not only hired me but he also deems this blog worthy, even valuable!

All the days I've spent daydreaming about having a "creative" job and, here I am, actually BEING PAID TO BLOG! I love writing!

But that's the problem. I love it. So how on earth can this be a priority during my work day?

In a society that deems euphoria as a "side effect", it can be difficult for some people to accept the validity of their talents.  Notice, I said SOME people. What I really mean is, ME.  And if you are still reading this with intrigue, I'm guessing that MAYBE you too?

Why? Why is that? Being fearful of success is ridiculous. Right?  It's completely illogical! Or is it?

Let's explore this bothersome phenomenon together. Right now. Let's put all our cards on the table, shall we. Let's wipe off our lipstick (or Chap Stick, guys) and stop caring if "Sue in Accounting's" handbag is really a Coach knock-off or not; right now, we are just people.

I am scared of success because I am afraid I can't maintain. I can't take it to the "next level." I'm scared I'll wake up tomorrow with complete writer's block.

I worry incessantly about creative droughts.

I worry the novelty will wear off.

I live in "fear of the fluke."

To me, success is not sustainable. Eventually, someone will convince someone else that I can't write or that my graphic design skills are sub par, or my fine art endeavors are mediocre at best.

And what evidence is there of these fears? Why dear reader...self fulfilling evidence.

So I just stop. Everything.

And then it's everyone else's fault. Life is too hard. I'm too unlucky....I grab my trombone and lead my own self-pity parade.

Except this time.

This time I'm facing the music. I'm taking a risk.

Not every blog post will be Pulitzer-prize winning prophecy; but I know little sparkles of wisdom and growth shine into my life frequently, and in the name of abundance (or karma), my hope is that, somehow, some way, through this blog, we can become slightly more comfortable sharing our real selves, our real challenges, and, our real fears.

I hope you'll continue to stay for the ride.....

In peace and gratitude,




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