Tag Archives: Libraries

My Stress Managment is Too Stressful

by Lillian Csernica on June 30, 2016


How do I manage my stress?

  • At the end of the day, I watch TV
  • I go to the library and write in my journal or my work notebook.
  • I get out in the sun and enjoy Nature.
  • I play with my cats.
  • I see my physical and mental health care professionals.


How do these activities increase my stress?


  • Are you familiar with the term “binge watching”? There are a number of TV and cable shows available on Netflix, Hulu, et al. Some of my favorites include “Person of Interest,” “Once Upon A Time,” various Food network shows, and a few that try to document paranormal activity. One episode is just like one potato chip. One is never enough. Even though it’s summer, I still have to get up at 6:30 a.m. for Michael’s morning routine.  If I stay up too late watching TV (and I do), I don’t get enough sleep. Less sleep = more stress.


  • Libraries are no longer the Sacred Sites of Silence. I often find a remote corner, depending on the time of day, but even so, noise travels. Shrieking toddlers, teenagers with no concept of muting their phones and themselves, and the endless clicking of everybody’s laptop keyboards. Makes me crazy. If it’s a bad time of day, I retreat to Denny’s. Yes, it’s noisy, but in Tourist Season, I’m OK with that.


  • Santa Cruz County is full of beaches and national parks and redwoods. We’ve got artist colonies and museums and aquariums. And yes, this means we’ve also got Tourist Season. Generally speaking, I like tourists. I can take a stroll down the Boardwalk and hear three or four foreign languages being spoken. What stresses me out is the traffic. People who don’t know Hwy 17, Hwy 9, and the major artery streets can get confused, which means they slow down. Then there are the people who insist on going insanely fast no matter where they are.


  • It’s summer. I have three cats who are all shedding. One is a black longhair who decided to hack up the mother of all hairballs on the stairway landing some time last night. The last thing I want to see first thing in the morning is some big furry disgusting mess on my stairs, especially when there’s a good chance it might be alive. I live in a somewhat more civilized area than I have in the past two towns where I’ve lived, but we still have all kinds of flora and fauna that can and do take me by surprise.


  • Now we come to the big issue of the moment. I’m having trouble with my heart. Arrhythmia, which is no big deal. At least I hope not. I had an attack today that lasted long enough to make me consider going to Urgent Care. I made an appointment with my doctor. The thing is, my general practitioner is over the hill in San Jose. That means I’ll be driving Hwy 17 tomorrow. Tomorrow is the Friday of the 4th of July Weekend. That means on my way home I will be dealing with everybody on the face of this part of the planet who wants to spend the holiday weekend at the beach. On a slow day Hwy 17 is a nightmare. Just thinking about it stresses me out. I didn’t realize the logistics of the drive until after I’d made the appointment. Doesn’t matter. I have to see my doctor. This is one of those things that just can’t wait.



Filed under doctors, Family, frustration, hospital, Lillian Csernica, nature, reality TV, research, specialists, therapy, worry, Writing

When Meltdown Meets Meltdown

by Lillian Csernica on July 17, 2013

Most of the time I count myself very fortunate, because while Michael has serious medical problems, he’s still cognitively intact.  He knows we love him and he has a good quality of life.  John is on the spectrum, but he’s doing very well and he has outgrown a number of the more publicly embarrassing demonstrative behaviors.

And then there was today.

The local library offers a “Teen Tech” class on Wednesdays, taught by a wonderful man from the Digital Idea Factory.  John loves to creates storyboards, so he was having a grand time learning to use the digital camera and the MovieMaker software as well.  I had a nice chat with the librarian supervising the class, which may result in me giving talks at the library.

When the class ended, I was ready to move on to the next item on the To Do list.  John was not.  John wanted to stay at the library until it closed and use one of the computers to listen to his favorite music videos.  Having already spent an hour and a half on the class, we did need to move on with the afternoon.  Unfortunately, John is now in the habit of going to the library for the express purpose of using the computer to listen to these videos.  Why?  Because we limit his electronic activity time at home.  Too much of it and he gets rather wound up and contrary.

I’ll just cut to the chase here:  John dug his heels in and refused to leave until he’d used the computer.  I had to start going down the list of privileges he’d lose if he didn’t do as he was told.  When he was still four or five years old, I could just pick him up and haul him away.  Now that he’s six feet tall and build like a wrestler, I might as well be trying to push over a bronze statue anchored in cement.  He lost his temper, I lost my temper.  I don’t know how I finally got him in the car, but I did and we came straight home.

That confrontation left me in such a state of aggravation and exasperation I had to isolate myself for a while until I could get a grip.  Later I found out that John had given my sister a similar bad time about doing his outdoor chores earlier in the day.  My sister’s solution was brilliant:  she turned the garden hose on him.  That left John gasping and spluttering and so startled that it snapped him out of the contrary holding pattern.

This is really upsetting.  As a discipline issue it’s very draining.  What’s more, once John starts high school in the fall, he’s going to find out the hard way that you just don’t tell off your teachers like that.  He might still be designated special education, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences.  I want what’s best for John, but I would also enjoy what’s best for me, and this level of stress is not healthy for either of us.  Looks like I’ll be giving the adaptive skills trainer another call.


Filed under Family, Fiction, Humor, Special needs, Writing