When Life Is Extra Stress, With A Little Humor On The Side

Sometimes “good” change is traumatic.  Even well-organized plans lose their way.  Positive thinkers can choose to throw a pity party and succumb to dwelling on what is wrong, rather than appreciating what is right.

I learned all of this and more during our move, which turned into a spectacular mess.  The plan was to move from our ‘old’ house right into our ‘new’ house. Snags occurred on the new house, and it didn’t close until two days later.  During that time, we were given deluxe accommodations (sarcasm) at a local motel with all of our belongings sitting in a U-Haul, and a flat bed trailer, outside.

2 Kids + 3 Cats + 3 Dogs in a ~200 square foot room for 2 days = 4 cranky family members

Positive Note:  we got possession of our house and moved most of our furniture inside before it started to rain.

I like my own space.  I need alone time – quiet time to myself.  Without this, I allowed myself to dwell on the difficulties of the situation.  I worked myself into tearful outbursts, stressed over our miserable situation.  In short: if this was a stress test, I failed.  Failed miserably.

Two days after we moved in, my husband couldn’t find our Yorkie, Josie, when he went to take the dogs out in the morning.  We searched for several hours, inside and out, but didn’t see any sign of her.  Every neighbor he had spoken to had been friendly, but reminded him that coyotes were out the night before.  My husband and I cried, but not in front of the kids.

My older son decided to make signs and post them on the mailbox in case someone found her.  I eyed the hawk flying overhead and didn’t see the use, but let him make the signs anyway because that’s what he needed to do.

04-14 Lost Dog2

Late that night, I got a phone call from a police officer.  He asked if we were the ones that put the lost dog signs on the mailboxes.  My first thought: Great. We’re going to get a ticket for posting signs. (Just call me “Negative Nellie!”)

It turns out that he found Josie early that morning and had come back to see if anyone had put up signs about a lost dog – he found my son’s signs and called us.  My husband picked her up that night and she only missed 2 doses of her seizure medication.

For the umpteenth time in just a few days, I cried.  But this time, it was different.  Rather than wallowing in misery, I recognized my blessings.  I realized that the last few days were full of rocks in our path that I turned into mountains.  I finally got the message that those seemingly huge setbacks would be transformed into stories we can (maybe) laugh about in the future.

I am reminded that state of mind matters, hope promotes life, and negativity yields defeat.

Left:  view from our old house; Right:  view from our new house
Left: view from back patio of our old house; Right: view from deck of our new house

So that was the Cliff’s Notes version of the last few weeks.  Now for some humor.  On Saturday, I spent several hours cleaning the oven in our newly acquired house.  I avoid ranting on this blog, but to say I was furious at the condition of the gas range would be an understatement:

This is the side wall - one of the less disgusting views.
This is a side wall of the oven – one of the less disgusting views.

I showed the oven to my older son and asked him what he thought.  “That’s gross,” he said.  I explained that when he is older and gets his own place, the right thing to do is to leave it how he would like to have it left for him.

Well, hearing the word “gross,” my younger son (seven years old) ran into the kitchen.  He looked inside the oven and exclaimed, “that is gross…that’s even worse than the naked people in Washington DC!”


Further questioning revealed that he had seen something on the news.  I didn’t recall such an event, but a Google search yielded this story from several months ago, which must be what he saw.

I had to laugh because not everyone has an oven that’s even grosser than naked protestors!  I love it when the kids are able to make me laugh even when I’m in a mood that sends my husband heading for cover!

I hope you are able to laugh your way through stress this Sunday 🙂

21 thoughts on “When Life Is Extra Stress, With A Little Humor On The Side

  1. nrhatch April 14, 2013 / 6:36 AM

    Being stuck for 2 days in a 200 sq. ft. motel room with 3 people, 3 cats, and 3 dogs would put me “over the edge” and then some.

    I would say you passed your stress test with flying colors.

    So glad that your son’s signs worked to reunite Josie with the rest of the menagerie . . . oops, I mean “family.” :mrgreen:

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2013 / 10:58 PM

      Menagerie is about right, Nancy! It’s like we have a domestic zoo going on here (but we love them all :)) You should’ve heard my husband after a day and a half in the hotel, when he asked our real estate agent for an update and she told him to “be patient” – it wasn’t pretty! It’s likely we may never move again.

  2. Debbie April 14, 2013 / 7:16 AM

    Ah, Janna, I can SOOO empathize with your post today! I, too, have succumbed to stress big time, and if it’s any consolation, I, too, have failed. Too many things on my plate at one time, I guess. That said, at least you got moved (and what a lovely view!), you got your dog back, and all of you survived! Now for the fun part — unpacking and nesting in!!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2013 / 11:02 PM

      The boxes were unpacked pretty quickly, but there is still so much to do. I planned to paint my office/spare bedroom today but it didn’t happen. Perhaps next weekend.

      I’m glad I’m not alone in failing the stress test, Debbie. It would be nice if life didn’t have ‘tests’ like that…I’ve never done well on tests!

  3. SuziCate April 14, 2013 / 12:20 PM

    I commend you for seeing the bright and humorous side of stress….sometimes it’s difficult to move past it. Humor does help us get through, doesn’t it?

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2013 / 11:04 PM

      Humor can be life saver in stressful times, Suzicate!

  4. diannegray April 14, 2013 / 2:03 PM

    Good grief, Janna – you have a had a difficult time. First off, I’m so relieved that you found Josie – I would have been frantic because I just love my dogs so much! Phew 😀

    Your son is hilarious! An oven that’s even grosser than naked protestors! LOL I love it! (but I don’t love that oven – yikes!) 😯

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2013 / 11:09 PM

      We were so worried, Dianne, but are happy Josie is home and safe. My son is such a goofball. I cringe when I think of what he must be telling his teachers 🙂

  5. pattisj April 14, 2013 / 4:25 PM

    I’m so glad to hear you got Josie back! You have a much nicer view. I’d say it’s worth whatever it took to get there. I do love the things kids say!

    • jannatwrites April 14, 2013 / 11:11 PM

      I think it’s a nicer view, too, Patti. We’ve found some centipedes and scorpions, but thankfully, they have been outside. We’ll be spraying the outside of the house to keep pests out, that’s for sure.

  6. Widdershins April 14, 2013 / 4:47 PM

    Give young seven-year-old a couple’a years and he’ll probably think the oven is certainly grosser!

    Love the new view!

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2013 / 12:02 PM

      Glad you like the view, Widdershins…I’m enjoying it, too 🙂

  7. Paula J April 16, 2013 / 8:44 PM

    I’m so glad you found your dog. It does seem like troubles seem to pile up sometimes. Glad your sense of humor survived.

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2013 / 12:03 PM

      We were very relieved, Paula. She had another seizure a couple nights ago, so we’ve had to keep a close eye on her. Without a sense of humor, life would just be too much!

  8. Imelda April 17, 2013 / 10:35 AM

    Children do say the funniest things at (in)opportune times. Thank God for children who can make us laugh even in the cloudiest of days.
    I am glad that you found Josie. 🙂 I hope you are now enjoying being in your new house. 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2013 / 12:04 PM

      Inopportune is usually the case, Imelda! They can be funny, though (I try to remember that when they make a game out of being annoying.)

  9. pattyabr April 17, 2013 / 7:37 PM

    poor Josie 😦 ! I’m so glad you found her. Your sons were quite industrious in posting the flyers in the neighborhood.

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2013 / 12:05 PM

      I’m so glad that a ‘good’ person picked her up and returned her to us, Patty. My older son put the flyers up himself (unbelievable how much tape he used, though!)

  10. Diane Turner April 17, 2013 / 11:12 PM

    How dreadful – the 2 nights in the motel. KIds can be relied upon to find humor in most things, and that humor always diffuses the tension in the situation. So happy you found Josie. How frightening. Happy new home. Thanks for sharing.

    • jannatwrites April 18, 2013 / 12:08 PM

      Normally, two nights in a hotel is fun, Diane. As we discovered, not so much when you’re ‘sneaking’ in pets and all your stuff is out there to be vandalized or stolen. The middle of the night cat fights weren’t great either (my old cat dislikes my sons’ cats.) Thanks for stopping by – we are also relieved to have Josie home. The outdoors is no place for a little Yorkie 🙂

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