Fear and Neglect -or- Where's the Flippin' Reset Button?

I took a breather this morning, a moment when I looked back at myself over the last several weeks and dispassionately observed my own behavior from the safe distance of an outsider's perspective. Here's what I saw: fear and neglect.

Yes, I've been sucked in with the collective soul's media-driven, recession-spawned fear of what shoe will fall next. I've had enough phone calls from newly unemployed, talked to enough people about business financial reports and tuned in to enough NBC and NPR to have incrementally built up a certain insidious level of anxiety. All the while I've also been playing health games with individual events including allergy testing, food tolerance testing and high blood pressure monitoring. (Can I say that trying to be 100% dairy free while eating out and on the go is incredibly annoying?) And oh, let's throw in a small dose of Daylight-Savings-Time-Lag. Grrr.

The result of all this spinning is neglect. I've found momentarily exciting ways to avoid reality. I stay busy with odd things like incessantly updating my Facebook status. I shuffle papers around like I'm actually doing something meaningful with them. I virtually run around our Animal Crossing: City Folk virtual town watering all the flowers, giving gifts to my "friends" and getting my hair done at Shampoodles. And I sigh and fall to the sofa as if I've just run a marathon. All the while, my real life and real work continues to move along with a determination that says, "with or without you, Nila!"

So, as I continued to observe my subject (me), I got out my Myers-Briggs information and looked at her type. Sure enough I saw it. Among the clues that an INFP may be overwhelmed are that she withdraws and isolates herself. Because the INFP can be idealistic, one way to deal with her stress is to get realistic, as in realistic about what she can do and what truly needs to be done. And deal with it. Yes, she can play up in the clouds, but she also has to balance that play with time back down on earth taking care of day-to-day realities. And she needs to look at what activities truly refuel her and work to make them a part of daily life. Oh, there's the flippin' reset button.