Vent Sesh: Life Break

June 13, 2012

Last week was brutal. And by brutal I mean frustrating, devastating and all around, blech. On Monday I felt so overwhelmed with life that I asked my secret bff (the counselor) for an impromptu appointment. Luckily she had a cancellation. I visited her after visiting my papa in the hospital, who had recently had a stroke and we later learned mini heart attacks, too. I was also just on the mend from an awful case of bronchitis yet only took off about an hour off of work because I had too much to do. A new hire I desperately needed didn’t work out after just one week and I felt like I was drowning in every way. I was exhausted, stressed and seeing my grandfather so sick put me over the edge.

My counselor, as usual, let me vent — my ultimate Vent Sesh — and gave me some helpful advice. I’m so the person who, for better or worse, is always thinking 10 steps ahead that I create stress around things I cannot control and things that might never happen. She reminded me that I need to focus my energies in each moment on the things I can control. For example, at 10 pm I cannot find a new hire so stop stressing. At 7 pm is the limited window I get to spend with my daughter so enjoy it, see my husband, eat dinner, put the technology away and soak in the moment. Per usual, wise words and even though I left with the same stresses I walked in, I felt like life was more manageable again.

Twelve hours later, life didn’t want to give me a break: our old house that we’re renting (we moved in January) flooded due to the washing machine. All the floors have been torn up, lots of calls to insurance, GE, contractors, our tenants, you name it. THEN, on Wednesday morning, waking up completely drained and exhausted I got the worst text ever at 5:57 am: from my dad: “Call me when you can.” My gut knew what this meant. A minute later I was convulsing. My grandfather passed away.

If you’ve been reading here for a bit you’d know that my other grandfather passed away less than three months ago.  I couldn’t believe it. The week spun by. I delivered, between tears, my first eulogy and deeply cried as military did the most beautiful flag presentation to remember my papa, who served our country during World War II. I listened as my grandma, his wife of 67 years cried her heart out, and yet I tried to accomplish work between it all. Owning a business doesn’t give you the breaks being an employee does.

To make matters worse, I ran scarily low on my nerve medication that essentially enables me to function, and I learned the tooth that has been bothering me for six months needs a root canal. Really? Awesome. I had enough. You wonder in those moments who thinks you’re strong enough to handle all of this at once? When do we get to say, wait, time out, I need a break from life? Just a few days! I recall now sitting in my counselors office thinking I couldn’t take it anymore, and yet… here I am after all this crap. And yet, I’m still standing. My only small relief is knowing that my grandfather led such a full life; what pains me more is the reminder that so many die before their time.

While I can’t take a life break right now I am working to find mini time out moments that energize me. Time with friends, quality time with my husband and daughter, alone time getting pedicures or simply laying in bed catching up on magazines. A warm bath, playing in my closet, anything! How do you handle things when things seem like there’s just too much to handle??


SWITCHING GEARS + REMINDER: Do you have a #ventsesh you want to share… good, bad, learning experience, emotional, just a vent? Simply share via Twitter with the #ventsesh hashtag, or participate in our first Vent Sesh link-up next Wednesday on June 20. If you’re a blogger, let me know in advance and you’ll be included on the June 20 Vent Sesh. Not a blogger? Email me at [email protected] with your Vent Sesh and I’ll post all reader entries that afternoon in one post. Yay!

Vent Sesh’s are my cathartic way to share, vent, breathe a little easier and selfishly, I’ve found such reward in connecting with other women. I am hopeful that all women that comment on these pots — or simply read them — find a sense of comfort and relief in knowing that there are others out there who can relate, even on days when they find it’s hard to believe that’s true.

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  • Kristin & Megan

    I’m so sorry for your loss! When I need to escape, a little retail therapy, a bubble bath, a glass of bubbly, QT with my fellas…These all help.

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Hi Kristin, thanks so much. Totally agree with you on all fronts. Need to hit up the bubble bath more often though! 

  • Holly-Lynn Carotenuto

    when it rains it pours, always, right?  glad that you are able to take responsibility for yourself & see a counselor & understand that we can only control so much at any give time & to not focus on the unneccessary.  your words about your grandfather brought tears to my eyes, but like you said hopefully we all get to live such wonderful long lives. sending you good feelings!

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      You are so sweet, and thank you… seeing a counselor, and being candid about it, has really added such clarity to my life when I needed it most. Sometimes an outsiders/professionals insight is invaluable! Appreciate your words. 

  • PennyPincherFashion

    WOW - I cannot imagine you dealing with all these things crashing down on you at once!  I’m so sorry, Alyson!! :(  Praying that the next few weeks/months are much less eventful and stress free!

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thank you!! Things finally seem to be slowing down, or at least looking up. Husband’s bday is this week! 

  • traycisperring

    Oh hun, I’m so sorry to hear abut the loss of your grandfather.  What a terrible week you’ve had

    X x

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thank you; we all have these weeks in one way or another. Glad things are looking up! 

  • the stylish housewife

    i am so so so sorry for your loss. you are in my thoughts. my husband CONSTANTLY tells me to stop worrying about things i can’t control…and as much as i hate hearing it…there is some truth to it. hoping you can find strength in your daughter’s smile. xoxo

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Haha, there is total truth to it though I totally love to waste my time worrying and thinking about things I cannot control :) 

  • RealGirlGlam

    I can’t believe you’re dealing with all of these things, let alone all at once. I am so sorry! I’m glad to see that you do know you need a break and even taking just a little time for you will help. Remember, we aren’t given things in life we can’t handle and even though it seems terrible now, you will make it through. Stay strong lady! I’m sending good thoughts your way.

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I do moments why some people are given some struggles, sometimes more than others, but hopefully it’s used as a life lesson for the person and those around them. Glad things are starting to look up! 

  • My Dressy Ways

    Awww Alyson, I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. Thinking of you and praying that you’ll find a moment or two of peace. Love you. XOXO

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      THanks, Ying. You are so sweet.

  • Jenlinn

    In those kinds of moments, I try to remember ‘nothing lasts forever’ - not the bad times or the good times. Things will not be this sad or hectic or annoying or devastating forever - on the same hand, when things are great enjoy them cause they won’t last forever either! 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Wise words. Things always turn, even when you think they can’t or won’t. Glad to hear things have finally shifted from the bad around here. Looking forward to a great week! 

  • Nichole

    I’m so sorry about your loss.  I agree with jenlinn, nothing lasts forever. There will be a point where all of this dies down.  I really like what your counselor said about stress.  Definitely something I can take away.  Spend your time on the moments, and hug your wee one.

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      maybe my counselor can do group sessions. :) She always gves me great parting words to think about. Really helps.

  • [email protected]

    Praying for you and your family my sweet friend! Life is not always our friend and doesn’t let up! You are strong, beautiful and capable…you will get through it all with grace!

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      You make me smile! Thank you so much for your kind words. Life is not always our friend for sure, yet other moments it’s our bestie, right? 

  • Mel

    Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts with you and your family. 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      THanks so much, Mel. Really means a lot that you said so! 

  • Jordan - Queen of LA

    i am so so sorry to hear all this. sending lots of positive vibes your way, i am always available to talk if you need anything! keep your chin up, things are bound to go up from here. xoxoxo 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thanks, Jordan! Your positive vibes seem to be working… things finally are looking up again. xoxo

  • Deb

    Although I am several years older than you, I have been enjoying your website as well as your comments and insights.
    My sympathy goes out to you and your family.   My father, who also served in WWII is getting ready to leave us.  We are
    privledged to have had the opportunity to know and love these of the “greatest generation”. 
    As a side note on your root canal.   If it is one of your back molars—-ask your dentist if you can do with an extraction instead of the root canal.   I got an infection 1 year after a R.C.—ended up getting it yanked.  I never missed the molar and it was so much easier and cheaper and less painful. 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Deb, so sorry to hear about your father… it is so sad to see this generation leaving us. They’ve lived through such incredible times and transformations in our culture. As for the root canal, it was a back one but the dr suggested we repair. Luckily no pain at all! Keeping fingers crossed it keeps up. Thank you SO, so much, for taking the time to comment. So sweet of you.

  • Leeann @ Join the Gossip

    Oh, I am sorry sorry for your loss - and all of the bad stuff taking place right now. When it rains, it pours. Just remember it can only go up from here. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your grandpa sounds like an honorable man that will truly be missed. I have so much respect for our military.

    I know I’m just a blog friend, thousands of miles away, but if you need ANYTHING, do not hesitate.

    BTW, I have a post prepped for tomorrow that mentions you ;)

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      So true, Leann! Things luckily are on the up and up and definitely sweet to see you mention me this week in your blog! Totally agree re: military. You’d be shocked that I hardly know anyone who has/currently served so it means all that much more. Amazing service they provide all of us. 

  • Good Girl Gone Blog

    Oh wow, that’s a lot to deal with all at once. I’m so, so sorry. The only advice I can give is root canal related- make sure to get it fixed before it develops and abysses, which is about 10x worse (trust me!). Hopefully, you’ll at least get a hot oral surgeon (mine was super dreamy). I hope tomorrow is a better day. 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      I’ll take any advice I can get! So glad I finally got it handled. So stupid that I waited so long… mouth already feeling much better. I can chew on the left side of my mouth again, haha. Small victories. :) And, tomorrow is a better day! Appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  • Tara

    I’m so sorry to hear all of this!  You are a strong woman, and you will get through this.

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thank you! Seems to be getting better around here so no complaints! 

  • Dianna aka The Budget Babe

     my heart goes out to you! wish we lived closer so i could give you a hug.  i’ll say a little prayer for you :)

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Awww! Will take one in a few months when hopefully we meet in person! :) haha

  • Erin @ Thanks, I Made It

    That’s a lot to deal with, but I think you’re on the right track by trying to live in those mini-moments of energy and happiness. I hope things start to look up! 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Thanks so much, Erin! Happy to report that things are looking much better this week. Excited to keep this momentum.


    I am so sorry for your loss, and hope that you find some peace with friends & family.  With that said, you have plenty on your plate right now, and that would get anyone down.  Don’t beat yourself up, and try to compartmentalize.  Deal with one thing at time.  Good luck.  I hope next week is a better week!

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Wise words!!! Def. handling one thing at a time, with some blogging and whatnot in between. :) Really appreciate your candid, helpful remarks.

  • Fashion By Alicia

    Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you!  You are one of the strongest women I know and I know you will get through this even if right now you feel like you are swimming. 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Oh my gosh, thanks Alicia. You are such a thoughtful, caring person. Really appreciate your supportive words. they really help.

  • M.J McDermott

    I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather.

    Life can seem super brutal sometimes.  When it gets like that for me, I just try to remember that I am never given more than I can handle and in the end, I will be a stronger and wiser person for it.  Like you said, you are still here and enjoy any little break you an.

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Totally agree! I try to give myself a break — and that’s why I share so other women don’t think it’s just them dealing with crap weeks — but things are definitely looking better and I’m grateful for it. Thanks, M.J. for your sweet words. 

  • Emily

    So sorry to hear about your grandfather, and all of the other stress you are dealing with.  Life doesn’t give us more than we can handle, although sometimes it is hard to believe that.  Hang in there- things will calm down! 

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      Definitely hard to believe sometimes but that seems to be the sentiment from a lot of wise women here so I’m going to believe it. :) Things are looking better! Thanks, Emily for your thoughtful words.

  • Lisa Koivu

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather. My condolences to you and your family.

    When things are particularly bad, remember, “this too shall pass.” Things won’t suck forever, I promise, and if nothing else the trials are making you stronger.

    • AvgGirlsGuide

      So true, Lisa!! Things do pass, they have and I’m appreciative. Let’s keep this momentum going! xo

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