Sometimes you can do little things to handle stress. Sometimes, it takes a BIG thing.

If you follow me anywhere, you know that I dealt with having a dog and recalcitrant cats in the house a couple of weeks ago. That situation came to an unfortunate end and I am still feeling sad about it.

I also mentioned on social media that the stress had gotten so bad that I had a herpes flare on my hands. That doesn’t happen unless I’m completely unable to handle a situation and hadn’t happened in well over a decade. The (diluted) Melissa/Lemon Balm EO I was applying helped but because the fluid in herpes blisters is contagious, I still had to keep my hands bandaged for fear of spreading the virus. (I looked like a mummy-in-training.) I was drinking Lemon Balm infusions to try to calm everything down from the inside. After the dog left my house I calmed down but obviously not enough because I was still getting new blisters.

What I didn’t say anywhere is that client had been driving me apeshit for a couple of years. To the point that several times, I answered her emails in all caps. (I have no idea if she even knows the significance of all caps. Probably not.)

Then she decided she could pay her own bills and track expenses – they’d save by not paying me to do that. This is the majority – but not all – of the work I do for them. My methodology makes it easy come tax time and, as she will find out next year, reduces CPA bills by a considerable margin. More than what they pay me on an annual basis.

I thought about a spell nudging her to go back to the way things had been but then, after remembering the past two years’ frustrations, decided they were no longer worth my energy – either mundane or magical. I typed up an email last Thursday telling her that since she was now doing the majority of my work, there was no reason to continue our business relationship.

Within 24 hours of sending that email, no new herpes blisters appeared. I dropped their stuff off yesterday (they made sure to be out so we wouldn’t see each other) and looking at my hands this morning, only fresh scar tissue remains.

I just gave myself a 15% pay cut. Will it hurt? Yes. But not as much as my hands have for the last three weeks.

Sometimes, you have to cut the stress out of your life rather than handle it.