Canada + Survivor Mode

Oh Canada.

That's where I was all last week. And let me tell you, I am exhausted. I've recently realized that I cannot handle stress. At all. Honestly, I don't know if this is linked to my anxiety or not. And maybe I am so used to not handling stress well that now when I am stressed, I don't even really realize it because not handling it is the norm.  Does that sound confusing or what?

I know I need to get a handle on this because I clearly don't. I mean, seriously, the last work trip I went on I got sick. Before I went to Canada, I was a super mess. Levent came over for brunch Sunday morning before I had to leave for the airport and when I said goodbye to him, I cried.

Then I cried when I talked to my sister via the phone on the way to the airport. I did not have it together, nor could I really name what was wrong (minus knowing that some of this was travel anxiety). When I got to Canada, my face broke out like whatever gross metaphor you want to insert here. I also almost got sick again on this last trip. Now, I am home. (I came back Thursday night). But I still cannot get caught up with my sleep and I am sure tomorrow back at my desk is going to be hell. Levent and I went out with some friends last night and I struggled to carry on conversation and make eye contact because I was so exhausted.

I feel as if I am functioning in "survivor mode," although I am not exactly sure why. I hate it. I am too much of an achiever to be okay with just putting my head down, doing the bare minimum and plowing through to get to the end of the day.  I also don't want to be that type of employee. I need to figure my stuff out. Maybe I should give our employee assistant program another shot. (This means that MCC pays for 4 free therapy sessions. I've tried it before but didn't find it very helpful, probably because I didn't really like the person to whom I was assigned).

I'll figure something out.

Don't get me wrong. There were a lot of highlights for me at the Thrift Shop Conference and I feel as if I should mentioned them so you don't get a too negative view of my recent travels. Here they are:

I roomed with Mimi, a fellow donor relations person from a different region. It was really nice to be able to talk about our specific slice of work with someone who knows exactly what it's like. She also bought me a chocolate bar. Fantastic.

One day, we visited area MCC Thrift shops. It was really cool to see high functioning shops and I feel inspired to be a better thrift resource in my own region.

I got to go to a Tim Horton's, which was my first time going to one in Canada. (I have been to several in Ohio before).

I got to see Niagara Falls in real life. Our hotel was right next to it, which means we got to wake up to a stunning view every day. One afternoon, I ditched one of the sessions (where I was not really needed) and went on a walk down to the falls. I am so glad I did that. It was good mental space and stunning, despite being windy and cold.
See? These are good things. But like I always say whenever I come back from work trips, I am so happy to be home.