Symptoms of Move-itis

Y’all, March has been somewhat of a booger-bear for me, through no fault of my own.

Okay, that’s a lie – the insanity of this month is entirely my fault.

You see, I thought it’d be interesting to schedule both surgery AND a move to a new city within the same month! And I was correct. It is interesting. Interesting in the way that makes you want to commit yourself to a mental hospital just to get some rest. Forget the idea of this month being named after a Roman god – I’m pretty sure the name March means “Life’s gonna march across your face, sucker!”

Let’s take a look at the month:

March 17: Had my wisdom teeth forcibly ripped from my gums. Interestingly, I am still numb on the right side of my face/mouth. I don’t feel a thing, even when I poke at it with knives and fire! According to the surgeon, this means one of two things: 1. The nerve has gone dormant, and will return to normal within the next few weeks, or 2. I’m turning into a cyborg.

Stay tuned for the outcome of Amanda’s face, coming soon to a theater near you.

March 31: I will finally, thankfully, after 3 months of commuting, be moving to Austin! It’s an exciting change, but as you all know, even exciting changes come with stress-induced acne, sleepless nights, unforeseen expenses –- and a crap-ton of cardboard boxes.

 

 

 

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If you’ve ever moved before, you know that the process is somewhat daunting. Dishes need to be carefully wrapped, boxes neatly packed, and holes in the wall gingerly spackled. But you also still have to live in the hellhole you’re trying to leave, which means re-using the same plastic fork, re-wearing the same outfit, and making weird meals out of hotdogs, noodles, and Jello.

It’s no wonder you start to get a little frazzled. It’s a condition that I like to call, “Move-itis.”

Symptoms of Move-itis:

  1. Second-Guessing. Happens in the beginning stages of a move, when you realize how much you have to do, and how many places you have to contact with your new address. You start to think maybe you should just stay put to avoid the whole circus. Forever.
  1. Anxious Tetris. When you find yourself overly concerned with packing the boxes so perfectly, that a single grape could not fit inside, and yet – it’s not overstuffed. It’s neatly filled to the brim. This feat of engineering is basically impossible, so you find yourself trying a number of different combinations with frustration, before finally giving up.
  1. Rage-filled Unpackings. Taking several minutes to thoughtfully pack a box and adhere it closed with several layers of tape, only to realize you need an item from inside of it. This symptom may be met with amusement and mild-mannered face-palming the first 7 times it happens, but on the 8th time, you’ve lost patience with yourself and with the whole idea of moving, so you find yourself ripping into the box with your talons and fangs, and soon all you can see is bits of tape and cardboard flying everywhere, and all you can hear is the sounds of growling and roaring, and then you realize it’s all coming from you, but it’s not enough to stop you until you’ve reached the goddamn item you so stupidly packed.
  1. Box Begging. You run out of boxes and containers, but still have a lot left to pack. You wander into various businesses and ask them, with desperate eyes, if you can have theirs. In the severe stages, you may stalk people in the grocery store for signs that they may have recently moved and therefore have boxes to share. (Sign 1: They’re sweaty, dirty, and buying large appliances.)
  1. Cyclic Wandering. Being unable to find the packing tape, so you wander around your apartment looking for it, only to get distracted by the pile of bedsheets you meant to box up earlier. After filling the box, you realize that you need the tape again, so you go look for it in the kitchen, only to notice the growing pile of trash and be reminded that you need to take it the dumpster. On the way back in, you see all the open boxes and go hunting for the tape again, but this time you see your bed looking all lonely and decide to take a little nap. The longer this cycle goes on, the more severe your syndrome is.

If you suspect you may have Move-itis, call your doctor immediately. He won’t be able to cure it, but maybe he can prescribe you something strong enough to find the whole situation highly amusing.

 

 

 

5 Antidotes for Road Rage

In early January, I left my agency counselor job in order to pursue new adventures in private practice. Although I’ve been working in Austin, I’ve continued to live in the same rural town about 45 minutes outside of the city, mainly because the expenses are a kajillion times cheaper.

Did you just Google Map Austin to try and figure out where I live? What. A. Stalker.

For all the money I’ve gained by staying in a cheaper area, I’ve probably lost an equal amount of my sanity from making this commute every day. Thankfully, we’re not talking about highway rush hour gridlock here. Instead, I’m forced to make the journey on an open, winding highway with scenic views of the Texas Hill Country – complete with lakes, rivers, and newly budding wildflowers.

It’s just as awful as it sounds.

Okay, I can grudgingly admit that the commute is actually quite lovely. Most days, I can enjoy it on my drive into work. But when I’ve had a full day of clients and networking, I couldn’t care less about the views. I just want to go home.

And all of these other drivers, on their slow, scenery-enjoying drives, are making me feel a little … irrational.

Let’s put it this way: if it were possible to murder people with only your thoughts, I’d be a serial killer by now.

I’m excited to say that this problem will not be a problem much longer, as I’m moving to Austin at the end of this month! Woo hoo! However, it’s still a problem now, and I recognize that my road-rage-induced stress is not doing great things for me. Therefore, I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can improve the commute so that I feel a little less murdery.

These are the ideas I’ve come up with so far:

Antidote 1: Take a moment to actually appreciate the scenery

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Only problem: My appreciation for beauty is destroyed by my rage. Fuck off, flowers!

Antidote 2: Channel my frustrations into a rap song

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Only problem: Hard to write when my hands are on the wheel. Also, not a good rapper.

Antidote 3: Keep a vat of melted cheese nearby as a comforting snack

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Only problem: Unlike most cars, my car does not contain a built-in crockpot. Or, as I like to call it, a Cheese Keeper Warmer.

Antidote 4: Assign background stories to my fellow highway travelers.

Maybe the huge red pickup with oversize tires belongs to a sweet-faced, hot-cocoa-making grandmother who’s on her way to bridge club. Meanwhile, the purple junked-out minivan belongs to… I don’t know, Matthew McConaughey.

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Only problem: Thinking of McConaughey reminds me of his Lincoln commercials, which I hate. I want to know what drugs the writers were using when they wrote his lines.

Antidote 5: Turn it into a drinking game (for once I get home).

I can have a sip of wine every time one of the following occurs during the commute:

  • I have thoughts about the other drivers that are aggressive and/or not in keeping with my career as a mental health professional.
  • Someone pulling to the side of the road so they can take pictures of their dogs romping around in the wildflowers.
  • Someone not moving from the passing lane, despite going ten miles under the speed limit.
  • Someone driving a gigantic automobile that’s clearly meant to compensate for non-gigantic body parts.

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Only problem: None. This is genius. Off to buy some wine.

On a less-goofy note, I have actually found some luck with a couple of podcasts – This American Life and NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. If you’ve got other suggestions for podcasts (preferably humorous ones!), I’m all ears 🙂