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2011 was a year of upheaval for us. Some of the changes were thrust upon us without any say in the matter. Some were things we jumped into unexpectedly. Some were things we contemplated for ages before taking tentative steps.  Some were good, some were bad. A lot were major. End result? Stress.

Me and stress. Through high school, I was oblivious. I was the girl that coasted  along, trying just hard enough to get good-enough grades, not really bothered if they weren’t perfect. When the time came, I’d get the job done and do it my pretty handwriting, but until the time came I was content to stay up late watching tv.

And then, college. Turning 18 triggered latent Mojgani genes that controlled my outlook on things. Suddenly, anything less than an A- was failing. My idea of an awesome Friday night routine was to lift weights at the gym, come home and clean the bathroom (my dorm was a former  hotel, so each room had its own) until it was sparkly, and then study. There were some phases of tears, some bouts of weight gain. Overall, though, I’d say my blossoming type-A personality and the stress it cultivated was balanced by exercise and other coping mechanisms, even if inadvertent.

In recent years, not so much. My stress is broadcast in my abdomen and in my rising blood pressure. Yes, I’m aging, but that is not a full explanation. Last semester, I finally faced reality and decided that 6 am at the gym was my solution to keeping in check my rising cortisol levels. It helped to a degree, even just in my mood. I fell off the wagon for a while. But plan to resume again this week with all the change this year brings.

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