$36 Worth Of Stress

stress, numbers, life, coping with stress, mental health, humor, Modern PhilosopherWouldn’t life be easier, Modern Philosophers, if we could assign a concrete, numeric value to every stressful situation we encounter?

I’ve always found safety in numbers.  Witty word play intended, of course.

Numbers are rational (well, not all the time!), their value doesn’t change based on their mood or the phases of the moon, and no matter how many times you calculate them, you always come up with the same answer.

At least you do if you are good at Math like I am.

Have I ever mentioned that I came in second place in the school Math Bee as a fifth grader, losing out to a seventh grader?  And that I was on the Math Team in seventh and eighth grade?

Hard to believe a guy with a resume like that is still single, am I right?  Ironically, this Math Whiz has never been able to figure out that one plus one equals a couple.

So now back to my idea of assigning a numeric value to the things in life that cause us stress.  If every stressful moment had a corresponding place on the number line, we would then know the exact amount of coping skills we would have to apply the cancel out or null the effect of the stress on us at any given moment.

Brilliant, right?

stress, numbers, life, coping with stress, mental health, humor, Modern PhilosopherAs regular readers of this blog know, I keep a team of lab coat wearing super nerds on retainer to handle any pressing scientific issues that might arise in a blog post.

While they are locked in the basement, killing time in between brainiac emergencies, they keep themselves busy by trying to calculate the value of every imaginable stressful situation.

It’s slow work, but they have nothing better to do, and it keeps them from ever trying to find a way out of the basement.

Since I have to do everything around here by myself, though, I have managed to figure out the exact numeric equivalent of the stress that drove me up and down the walls of The House on the Hill all day yesterday.

Mind you, I didn’t even have to put on a lab coat to come up with this number.

It was $36.

Can you believe it, Modern Philosophers?

$36 worth of stress kept me hopping around like I had ants in my pants, and ruined what was actually a beautiful Hump Day.

https://moviewriternyu.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/when-the-car-wont-start/You might recall that My Car Wouldn’t Start yesterday, which sent stress levels soaring to levels that made the interns find excuses to clear the hell out of The House on the Hill.

Even though I tried various coping skills to reduce stress levels to a point where the interns would come out of hiding, and I could take off that Sleestack on crack mask I’m wearing in the photo on the left, nothing really worked.

I collected over 23,000 steps yesterday, and most of them were from frantic pacing.

As I later explained to my mechanic, the longer it takes for him to call and tell me what’s wrong with the car, the more positive I become that he’s going to inform me that my ancient vehicle has logged its last mile, and it’s time to buy a new one.

When Eric finally called me at 5:45 (he was nice enough to stay after his normal hours to work on my car), it was to inform me that it had cost $36 to fix my car.


All day long, I fretted, talked to myself, cursed Henry Ford and automobiles in general, and longed for the power of flight… all over stress with a final value lower than the cost of a dinner for two at a decent restaurant (not that I’ve paid for any such dinners lately since no one will date me, but I’m told that’s around how much such a night out would cost).

Imagine how much better my day would’ve been if I’d known right off the bat that I only had $36 worth of stress hanging over me.

I could’ve gone for a run and worked off that number with ease.

An hour of watching a favorite TV show would’ve crushed $36 of stress.

Hell, I could’ve figured out a way to get to the office and earned way more than $36 waiting for my car to be fixed.

life, stress, coping skills, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhat a waste of my sanity.  Going bat $%^& crazy all day over $36 worth of stress.

We need to step up our research to get the stress equation under control.  Maybe I need to buy another chalkboard for the nerd patrol to use for their calculations.

Whatever it takes to keep my sanity in check and stress levels in the safe zone.  My mind is a terrible thing to waste…


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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9 Responses to $36 Worth Of Stress

  1. davidprosser says:

    Nah, wouldn’t work. You can’t put a $ value on stress until the mechanic has looked at the problem. You’d have still been bat sh** crazy all day waiting for the mechanic to get to the car and find the problem. Back to the drawing board.

  2. Glad to hear it didn’t break the bank.

  3. woodtic says:

    Nope, nope, nope… That’s just $36 worth of life. Put two teen-agers in that car & send them to the Amusement Park to work until 11:05 pm. That is priceless where stress is concerned. Go ahead & get married, have a bunch of kids, then ask the basement nerds to recalculate. A wise man once said: “If it weren’t for children my life would be a radio”. Ya know, I don’t know what that means, but after five children I agree.

  4. Gail Kaufman says:

    Somehow you managed to turn a story with a happy ending into a problematic situation. Don’t worry. Be happy.

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