Stress bunny

Let’s be honest here – I’ve been a bit of a stress head of late (which might have come out in last Wednesday’s post, among others).

I think there’s a few key reasons for my stress:

  1. Money
  2. Work
  3. Moving house
  4. To do lists!

Cause my blog is as much my journal as anything, I’m just going to workshop it out a little now.

1. Money

I’ve had to pay close to 4 figures to move house, on top of new rent – all whilst not getting ANY rental income.  It’s due at the end of the month, but will be less the expenses (advertising, landlord’s insurance etc), so it won’t be as much as it will be other months.  So, basically, I have rent + mortgage + bills for two houses on the same income that used to do mortgage + bills.  Naturally, an adjustment.

Then, on top of that, is working through how to budget as a household, not a single being who goes on dates.  Suggestions welcomed!!  Once I have a day off (which I usually get once every ten days), I shall head to the bank to set up a shared account for shared expenses – hopefully this Friday.

2. Work

I went from a role where I managed construction projects – so big things, that happened slowly, with lots of warning.  I blogged and read blogs and did many other things (managed a water polo club for example) to fill the inevitable gaps in my work flow.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a maintenance based role.  EVERY single day, two crews must have work from me to do.  It’s nice to have dedicated staff to do work (in the construction role, I waited to be ‘given’ them on a said date).  However, there’s a constant demand for me to output work for them! Then, from the other direction, I have a L-O-N-G list of tasks that all of management are diligently tracking (against my region and others) and hoping to see drop.  Let’s say there’s at least 6,000 tasks on said list for me to work on.  I hit the jackpot the other day, when 19 tasks = 1 day’s work, but it’s not always that good!  Anyhow, I’m constantly analysing spreadsheets and coordinating with the same five people over and over.  It’s a HUGE change from what was a much more stop/go mode of my former role.  Now it’s mainly go go go (and cheer when it’s the weekend!)


3. Moving House

I always think moving house will be a breeze, cause I’m organised.  But it’s not – there’s always so much to ‘settle’.  So many little tasks you want done.  And you just want to start feeling ‘at home’.  Thankfully, as a renter, I asked for a few pictures to be hung and doors and shelves to be planed (so they fit the spaces) – and I got a lovely handyman delivered.  I do get joy in doing the tasks, but just having them done is nice too!  I have also finally rebuilt my sofa – it now has two arms!  And I’ve rebuilt my lovely acro lamp.  I’m still getting accustomed to my wardrobe, and the shelves that are less wide then before (see my wardrobe before).  The second bedroom shelves are far nicer, but I know once I move stuff in there, the possibility of renting out the spare room will vanish… So I’m hesitating and cursing my small shelves daily.

4. To do lists

As my blog name implies, I like to list.  And this weekend, I listed! But then I had a mini meltdown on Saturday – started from frying my nerves driving (even though I drive every day!?).  Anyhow, the BF sat down with the list, and assigned priorities to what was on there – I had to achieve one high, one medium and one low each weekend day.  And anything extra could hold off (the ‘rest’ were predominantly low – no urgency to get done).  In the moment, I may not have been totally on board with the prioritisation.  However, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, with the list more or less completed (at least the important stuff), I’m pretty chuffed at his suggestion!  I got my run in, I rebuilt the sofa (not again… just once!), I baked and delivered brownies to my neighbours.  And (not on the list) I even finished a novel (Amity and Sorrow – I did enjoy it Lucinda!)  So, I end this post with – overall, the stress bunny has relaxed a little.  For now.

16 Replies to “Stress bunny”

  1. I've been wondering how your job has changed and this is a good description. My brother is a facility manager who assigns work to maintenance staff as well as managing projects, but just for one building! He says there is a big difference in the type of employee between maintenance and construction/projects. He inherited a lot of "lifer" staff when he started the job, and some of them need a lot of motivation and/or enforcement!

    I agree that moving is more stressful than you would think, let alone starting a new lifestyle (live-in partner, new budget and accounts, being a landlord, and so on). I'm glad you worked out a "system"!

    As for the money part – I would suggest that you take a deep breath and give yourself permission to access your savings! I know everyone wants their savings to be untouchable, but if you won't let yourself use them in situations like this, when will you? It is a very temporary situation (since you already have tenants) and you will soon be over it!

    1. Thanks Dar – I realised I hadn't really taken the time to explain my new job. For the first week or so, you have no idea, but now I know what my job involves, I'm able to explain to others. I'm in a company of lifers, so I totally understand your brother's predicament. I've been here almost 5 years, but I don't think the unmotivated part has sunk in enough (at least if it was setting in, I've kick started it now!!)

      I think there'll be a lot of money moving around in the next month or two, as I settle into knowing what my rental income is, as well as a new budget as a shared household, and how we manage that. Somewhere along the line, I should also get a four figure tax return, that will smooth out some of the bumps! Thanks for the encouragement – you're right, I am hesitant to dip into an increasing balance, so I canalised my '12-in-2' fund – cause I wasn't adding to it, and I'm not actively needing money for any of the 12 goals.

      PS I'm trying the new intense debate comment system – what are your thoughts?

      1. It is much easier to comment because I'm already signed in, but the WordPress users no longer get an orange bubble showing you've replied 🙂

        1. Oh now that\’s a bother – I did like WP blogs cause they came up in my task bar like you say. But for all the non WP blogs, I had to remember to check back to see if they\’d replied to me. Do you get an email with my reply to your comment? (Sorry, you\’re my little guinea pig!)

  2. Wow, it does sound like your job responsibilities have multiplied! I would probably have a difficult time prioritizing 6,000 tasks. Lately, work has been "go go go" for me as well, and it's wearing me out. I definitely cheer when it's the weekend, but then it goes by too quickly!

    Expenses are always going to be tight when moving. I fronted the majority of our first months rent + security, and it cost me over $2k. I was not happy, but it was something that had to be done. Thankfully, I've mostly recovered from that and the boyfriend is slowly paying me back. Since we've mostly settled in now, we aren't dealing with any more spontaneous "we need this for the apartment!" purchases, which is nice. We are also looking to set up a joint expenses account.

    That was so nice of you to bake brownies for your neighbors! Sometimes, having a limit on the amount of things to do for the day really helps. I will get overwhelmed quickly when I think of all that needs to be done, but I try to take it one thing at a time. It also helps to split the "chores" with my boyfriend, who has been washing the dishes lately!

    1. I'd love to learn more about chore splitting with your partner – we're not quite sorted on that just yet. And, I think I admitted I *liked* washing up (silly me!)

      I was just thinking on the drive here this morning, how we've been lucky not to need any big purchases for our place, other than the fridge. I do need a few hardware like items, but the two trips so far have totalled $100 which I think is fair, given what we've got (I now have a fancy mini reading light for weekend mornings when I still wake up at ungodly o'clock and don't want to wake the BF). Sounds like we're at a very similar stage at the moment, or maybe offset by a month or two.

      1. For the most part, I cook, and he cleans up the mess :). We don't have a dishwasher so I put everything away after it dries. I don't mind cleaning the apartment – appliances, counters, tidying up. We kind of split laundry as we take it to my grandmas and then just have to put it away when we get home. So whoever needs stuff out of there first usually does it. He cleans the litter box because I wouldn't able to, though he doesn't like it either, haha. I am sure it will all fall into place soon. You'll get into a routine once you're used to living together.

        1. We have a dishwasher, but I always find there's so many things that need hand washing anyhow! And I think drying up is silly, so it drains for an eternity. I realised that my parents ALWAYS dry up, and always have clear benches, so I think that's why it gets to me – it's just what you get used to. Ewww… kitty litter! Actually, I will do a 'he said, she said' (GMD style) soon about pets. The BF wants a dog SO much!!

  3. I like the idea of assigning priorities to your to-do list to make it more doable – I might use that myself.

    In terms of budgeting, it's tricky. Bills are easy because you can just split them down the middle, but food is another story. When I was vegetarian my ex and I shared food but he would buy his own meat (since it is quite expensive). We didn't have the best system for it though, because he refused to pay more than $25 a week towards food and then would fill up the trolley with chips and soft drinks. So I don't suggest doing it that way!

    PS. I really like the new comment system – I may implement it on my blog too 🙂

    1. It's strange that I put priorities on my work to do lists, but it'd never dawned on me to do it for personal ones!

      Oh wow, there's some rogue choc chip cookies (not GF), but that's ok with me. Just makes me think I should bake more though. It's hard for me, as coop food is pricier, but I'm committed to lower waste. And they also have more variety in gluten free options.

      Oh I'm glad you're on board with the commenting system – I use it on other sites, and I like that it emails commenters my replies (when I'm a commenter, I like it) Had some hiccups getting it live, but it's working now.

  4. I can see why you have been stressed, with so many more responsibilities at work and then adjusting to a live-in arrangement and the costs you incurred, I would be stressed out as well.

    About dividing chores, could you find an equitable arrangement of who likes what? My ex and I had that to a point. For the most part whichever of us saw something that needed done did it. But there were things one liked or disliked less than the other. For instance I hated doing the laundry as we had to use a laundromat, he liked laundromats but hated the folding and putting away, which I didn't mind. It worked for us. Also we took turns in the kitchen and because he made a bigger mess cooking than I did, who ever cooked cleaned up that night.

    1. I use the blog to vent, so I appreciate the support Lois – it's been a busy few weeks, that's for sure! The chore dividing will get there, it's just going from doing everything, to getting help – but not feeling like I'm a nagging mother, or doing it all, or complaining if any of it's not to standard – it's a fine line to walk, so I'm learning (and wobbling) a lot! I shouldn't put it in black and white, but there are some chores I quite enjoy (or at least, don't actively dislike!), I just can't get it all done in the bigger place and still have 'me' time.

  5. I’ve been reading along the past few weeks thinking, “That’s a lot of points stacking up on the Homles and Rahe Stress Scale.” (it’s worth a Google!) I would be a stress bunny, too! I hope it starts to taper back a bit. Loved the BF’s priority idea with the list!

    On the chore dividing…I feel like creating a big red flag! DH and I initially split chores as per what we each liked doing (he cooking, me mostly cleaning.) I so much wish in those early days we’d rotated and both got familiar with doing a bit of everything! Now (14 years later) we still have “his” and “her” chores and it’s not always ideal!!

    1. I'll definitely keep that in mind – I'm loathed to stop cooking, I actually quite enjoy it, even if I'm not speedy or anything. I like experimenting and using recipes. And cause I lived alone for a while, I think (for now) I can do most things so so. I could be better with a screw driver. I will definitely email the Holmes and Rahe stresses – I'm sure I'm on the chart somewhere!! I am working on it, and the BF is being great trying to help me – next step is managing the manager :p

  6. Ugh, that work transition and the new living arrangement does sound stressful. I'm not a great candidate to give advice on handling stress, but try to take it one day at a time!

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