I’m sure this is a title that strikes fear in to the hearts of those who cower in the dust behind a Type A in their life. I know my family does. Routinely. This is something that we all have come to live with. My impossibly high standards and accordingly weird mood swings and their understanding that Mommy is a little “different”. It is with this symbiotic / neurotic that my Type A life runs. Until I run aground as I’ve done today. Today the Type A is fried.
It has been a couple of VERY stressful months. I don’t use caps willy nilly. This is a VERY true statement. It’s actually been for the past 6 years but just as we come to the end of this long journey, don’t I go and book another train ticket. One round trip ticket to Nuttyville please ! Dealing with my husbands apprenticeship and wonky employment for five years was not enough. Dealing with my son entering a different school and self-contained learning was not enough. Dealing with my daughter being bullied to the point of pulling her out of school was not enough. Nope – I had to go and get accepted to college full-time in the fall and quit my job. Toot Toot – all aboard the Type A train !
Now most folks who have heard this news, and know me well, have looked at me as if to say, Of course you will succeed. Of course this is the right move for you. Of course you are taking on another challenge. It seems that the only person unaware of this part of my personality was well, me. I thought I had my Type A all hidden away and under control. I thought my penchant for taking on more than I should had become so common place that nobody noticed anymore. I thought that being a Type A was a more accepted personality nowadays. I think what I thought is wrong.
Being a Type A personality: driven, restless, detail oriented, high standards, perfectionist, etc. has its perks. I am great on a committee: forming it, leading it and meeting the goal. I am great at planning and doing whatever activity needs to be done: camping, birthday parties, church sales. I am great at finding information when needed: medical info, cooking info, Aspie info. I am your go to girl for getting it done because I will drive myself in to the ground to meet that goal. That is the not so good side of Type A. And I have the clenching jaw to prove it.
Today the stress of the past two months, with applying to college, contemplating quitting my job, planning our summer vacation, getting the kids in to camp, finishing up Guides for the year, actually getting in to college and actually quitting my job all came crashing down. On my pointy Type A head. I have been feeling a bit peculiar since Friday when I got the news that I’d been accepted. Swinging between relief, terror and excitement. It’s kind of been like going on a roller coaster without the whiplash. Today, I am bagged. Wiped. Fully knocked down. Working today was painful on a level I haven’t experienced in a while. Not putting my head down for a nap took all the power my Type A could muster. Luckily I had a project to work on to keep me going and 430pm came soon enough.
The physical toll on my body from being a Type A is a scary thing. Clenching jaw. Fatigue. Muscle tightness. Stomach upset. All indicators that I am not handling my stress load well and my body is about to let me have it with both barrels. Add to this a penchant for staying up late to watch Designing Women re-runs and you get the idea. No amount of eating well and going for walks is going to undo the knots I am tying myself in to. So it is at this point that I look at my Type A characteristics and start to wonder what I’m going to do about it.
I am going to continue to investigate and learn about Buddhism and Yoga. I am going to continue to work through the Artist’s Way which has been hugely helpful in providing cheap but effective therapy. The conscious acceptance of my life and the things that have happened in it has been very rewarding. Epiphanies and insights abound in the pages of my journals. My Type A is very satisfied by the neatly organized pages, beautiful penmanship and amount of trees sacrificed in the name of self discovery. Maybe as I work my way through the clenching of the jaw will loosen. The body aches will lessen as I continue with my morning Sun Salutation. The fatigue will fade as I continue to walk away the stress and let my frontal lobe go free. The stomach upset will soften to the occasional hungry rumble as the need to self medicate with food declines.
In typical Type A fashion I will go at this stress reduction thing with all that I have so that I can be the BEST at stress reducing, PERFECT at introspection and will MASTER the art of walking away the worries of the day. Oh yes, I see this problem resolving itself in no time. In fact, I bet I can have it licked in one month or less. It only took me 5 years to get so wound up, one month seems reasonable don’t you think ? Oh well – would you like some fried with that ?