Oct 152011

Good morning everyone, and Happy Saturday once again! Where has the week gone? It just sort of flew by! Part of it is because I’ve spent less time home this week than last, due to a few shopping trips that I’ve been putting off from the job switch. I got a refill on my makeup at the “rich people” mall, and I must say I actually felt like I blended in this time, all dressed up from work and Coach bag in hand. (It felt sooo good to walk past the Coach store knowing I only paid $28 for mine at a thrift store!) A trip to Ikea was also in order, picking up more of my oh so particular spice jars (it took me years to find exactly the ones I wanted!), and a follow-up to the coop‘s bulk section for a few more exotic spices I’ve been needing. In all, I’ve spent about $50, not including the $30 apple picking and shopping last Saturday, which is a lot for me. I hate spending money on myself, I really do, so I have to remind myself I am entitled to a few niceties throughout the year – even if it is the weekend before Ron’s 40th birthday! (He wants Dead Island and dinner at Fat Willy’s.)

Ryan has taken a liking to photography, borrowing Ron’s fancy-pants camera down to the job sites the past few weeks and snapping anything that looks interesting. He’s gotten quite good at taking pictures that tell a story, which really makes me happy. It’s a nice reminder that somewhere in there is a creative soul. I don’t see it very often anymore, so it’s a treat when it comes out. He’s working at a huge project right now that will probably last him a few more weeks. After that, the work will be winding down for the winter, and Ryan will be back at the recruiter’s office restarting his journey. So yeah, I hope he takes lots of pictures, because I’ll be back into that phase again and needing the extra positivity. I trust he’ll have a much better go at it this time around!

So yes, it’s been a rather busy week, and work for me has been getting better as well. I’ve been given more responsibilities and tasks, as they see I really do know what I’m talking about. It’s an extremely blue environment from top down, as the owner himself works a route nearly every day, and that’s rare anymore and is refreshing to see. I genuinely do appreciate people who don’t ask others to do jobs they won’t do themselves and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. And, I do like working in the service industry over others; yes, I like customer service, even difficult customers, so as long as I’m given the opportunity to fix things the way I see fit (and at this job, I can).

But I will say, many people I know would not be able to handle the environment and have told me so, and some people think I should quit due to it. But there’s a big part of me that says I need to stick it out, because I have a number of skills and experiences they really do need. And too, because this is the first job I’ve had in many, many years, where even though I’m under a tremendous amount of stress and pressure, I like my job because I get regular thank you’s and praise, detailed explanations to all my “why” questions (albeit fragmented at times), and direct, open apologies when warranted. And yeah, the money’s not bad, either, and I actually enjoy the drive – even when I’m stuck in traffic. It’s that sense of accomplishment I crave, and things are never boring, so it’s all good.

The personalities and quirks get under my skin at times, like the evening telemarketing lady who never. shuts. up. but is super nice and sweet (even when she’s in the bathroom!) or the technician who thinks he’s hot shit but is always screwing up, but meh, I’ve dealt with worse. It has me wondering if I would be able to handle working with people like them 24/7 like our troops do – one more aspect of the work they do that has me appreciate their service that much more. Which brings me to the focus of this week’s posting:

- How do you, or how did you, handle stress and living/working with folks whose ethics, personalities and beliefs that clash with your own while serving? I would love to read some of your thoughts and experiences, as I’m sure W&K readers would as well. Do/did you meditate? Write letters? Read (and what types of materials)? Play video games? Listen to music? Call home? Play pranks? Work a hobby?

I’ll be posting this question on Witchvox momentarily as well, hoping to gather more insight to this. I know it will be very helpful for those struggling with stress to understand the pressures faced and perhaps garner some ideas on coping. As I pointed out, what helps me is shopping, even though again I really hate spending money on myself. Doing things for myself makes me happy, so the money I spend goes towards beautifying my vessel and home, a little at a time, and doing so even without a coupon. (Ha!) Which brings me to this week’s couponing update:

Not a whole lot to report this week, since last week was such a big deal. Tomorrow’s paper will have three inserts, including a bonus P&G, so hopefully my paperboy (or girl, or man, or woman, or…) has a lot of extras for me again. We’re up to three adoptions now, and I’d like to keep that momentum going and growing!

For those of you new to Warriors & Kin who are wondering what I’m talking about, please visit the Facebook page for all the details. Basically, we clip manufacturer coupons and mail them to military installations overseas so the families living there can help themselves to some savings. While doing so, we are promoting positive Pagan awareness within the military. They see us as ordinary folk who do ordinary things (and what can be more mundane than clipping coupons?), which is the whole point. We are you!

If you’d like to get involved, and clipping coupons is a nice stress-reducer by the way – something I do while watching the Sunday morning news, please mail your coupons to:

PNC Military
Attn: Lori Dake
PO Box 306
Chicago, IL 60690-0306
United States

I gather them up and sort them as evenly as I can among our adoptees, and I mail them out in Priority envelopes after the end of each month. We’ve been doing this since Memorial Day, so it’s still a new thing, but it’s been steadily growing as everyone can see in past articles. And for those wondering:

- No: I do not retain any of the coupons sent for myself. As a “crazy coupon lady” – trust me – I have plenty of my own!

- No: Do not send printed coupons, as I’ve gotten notice at least one commissary is sadly no longer accepting them.

- No: Do not send store coupons, like the ones you may see in the paper that says “Target Coupon”. The commissaries only accept coupons labeled as “Manufacturer Coupon”.

- No: Do not send whole inserts; please clip them. You do not have to clip them perfectly, but less paper mailed means less postage for you. I’m already doing a great deal of work as it is, so I appreciate the extra help on your end!

- Yes: Please encourage your family and friends to join in! Keep the coupons you want, and send me the rest!

- Yes: PLEASE RECYCLE and/or repurpose your paper scraps! (Paper mache projects for Samhain, anyone?) A good tip is if you’re printing coupons for yourself, use the backs of junk mail or unimportant documents from work or home. I know at my job, they’re constantly hitting the “Print” button unnecessarily, so I take that batch home for my printables and use the rest for scratch paper.

- Yes: I pay for the mailings myself out of my own pocket, now totaling $14.85 per month. If you’d like to toss in a buck or something, I wouldn’t frown on it.

- Yes: I do all the legwork by myself, which takes quite a few hours. I don’t mind and actually enjoy it! But if anyone local would like to stop by and help me sort at the end of the month, feel free to volunteer.

- Yes: I actively promote the campaign and have already done a talk on it and have been interviewed. I’m more than happy to discuss if you need to fill a deadline or need someone to fill a workshop slot.

- Yes: Expired coupons are great – up to two months old. While the commissaries overseas take them six months out, they end up already being up to three months old by the time I’m mailing it to them. And then, there’s sorting going on on their end, so yeah – two months old, please!

- Yes: Everyone is thanked publicly by town. “Thank you to Des Moines, IA, Kenosha, WI, Boise, ID,…” etc. I know some of you need to maintain your anonymity, so that’s how I’m doing it.

Welp, that’s it for this week. Tar-jzee’s opening in 15 minutes, and we have quite a few needs this week. Have a great week everyone! Take care!

  One Response to “How do you handle stress?”

  1. [...] to introduce you to someone who emailed me from a submission question I posted back in 2011, asking how you handle stress. So here is what Meddian had to [...]

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