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sunday scien If you know me or this blog at all, you know that Sunday is not my day. For whatever reason, my anxiety spikes on Sundays. Now, I do not hate anxiety. It is part of my basic language, my ABC's. I think it is part of what it means to be human. Like Mr. Kierkegaard, I believe that "anxiety is the dizziness of freedom" and like T.S. Eliot I believe that "anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity." Freedom and creativity? These are not terrible things. We all want these things. It's just that feeling anxious - even if it is a symptom of liberty and intimately connected to ingenuity - is not always fun. I might not be Soren or T.S., but I can come up with a fancy quote too. Here it is.

"Feeling anxious sucks."

I will give you a moment to let my utterly eloquent words sink in. Okay, time's up. Please know that I don't particularly like the word 'suck.' To me, it is not a nice word. To me, it is an example of faux profanity. It's a word I do not say in front of my girls. It's a word I don't say often. But here I am saying it. Why? Because feeling anxious sucks. It does.

Instead of succumbing to the waves of anxiety that buffeted me today, I took action. I conducted research. Research? Yes. Super scientific research online. I asked a number of anonymous strangers over at YouBeMom the following question:

We are all anxious, but we deal with anxiety in different ways. How do you cope?

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise [Ditto plus alcohol and prayer (not always in that order)]
  • Therapy, and Halo [Halo? Xbox. It feels good to blow things up. Oh! LOL! I thought it was some new antidepressant or something ;-)]
  • I really go nuts if I donΒ’t work out
  • 7-8 dance classes per week
  • Therapy, occasional valium, Robert Pattinson
  • I call on my intellect [Does it ever answer? NaturallyΒ  :) What are you anxious about?]
  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft and wine [Ditto but with a side of Valium]
  • Escapism

As I am sure you guessed (you ILI readers are smarties), the replies are listed above. In brackets, I indicated follow-up conversations. It turns out that, yes, there are others who experience anxiety (and are online chit-chatting about it on a Sunday afternoon). It also turns out that people cope with anxiety in many different ways, from exercising to playing video games to praying to taking prescription drugs. Personally, I have been known to deal with anxiety in myriad ways, some healthier than others - from hitting the elliptical machine to diving into a good novel to pouring Pinot to looking at pictures of my girls to writing.

One of the anonymous strangers who unknowingly participated in my exceedingly empirical poll above asked what I was anxious about. A fair question. Is it a bad sign that it would be far easier for me to list the things about which I am not anxious at the moment? (Nothing.) Maybe. But telling you that I am anxious about everything under the sun (while true) would be a little bit of a cop-out. So, anonymous stranger, here you go. Here's an abridged list of all of the things I am worrying about at this lovely moment in time, in no particular order: cow's milk allergies, Toddler tears, book deadlines, finances, kitchen countertops, future children, swine flu, calories in candy corn, unreturned emails, unbought airline tickets, the long-term effects of Splenda and cell phones and blogging.

There you have it. Just a taste. Yummy. Thankfully, writing this blog post, taking a few minutes to be honest with you and me, regaling you with my neuroses du jour has made me feel a little less anxious, a little less dizzy. It's a start!

What are you anxious about on this very first day of November? How do you cope with anxiety when it crops up in your life?

What Don't You Do?

Candy Corn Chaos