Coming back from my weekend away, I realized something has got to change. Trying to do it all is not working because, in order to do it all, I sacrifice what I need to stay whole. That is space, time, activities and the like – things I can’t do because, when prioritized against other things in my life – I can never justify doing them in lieu of something “more important”.
The problem is – they are important. They allow me to exhale and keep balance. And by sacrificing those things – I lose balance. And have lost it.
This past weekend – I had to constantly remind myself to exhale. I had remind myself to let the tension go. There was no tension. And when it felt like I finally had let it go – my body did not know what to do. It got anxious because the feeling its used to was gone. It made me feel almost sick because of the anxious around it being gone. It was weird and stupid and just not where I wanted to be. Thankfully, love and lots of good wine got me well beyond it. (See post from the other day.)
But it was eye opening – and coming back to life and feeling the tension the closer I got to the house – the tension of what needed to be done for Monday morning. The tension of what will the mental state of people be. The tension of wondering what my dog did today that has upset someone. By the time I got back, I was not necessarily in the best space. I had no reason to believe things would be tense – but I should made the that in my thinking about what-ifs and wonderings.
Truth be told, as the night went on, I was acutely aware of what was bugging me. And G and I had to have a talk about it. I was done with feeling like I had no space, no stuff of my own, no time of my own outside of the weekly escapes to spend time with SB. I was sick of feeling like my stuff was community property – while everyone else got to expect their stuff would be respected by others. I was sick of feeling like I had no space. I barely have drawers in the dresser that are mine – or even space next to my side of the bed. And I said aloud the words I had been feeling – this place is stressing me out to the point where I don’t like being here. Scary thing to say aloud.
G understood – agreed with some of what I was saying – and was supportive of my feelings. Then I went to work – and realized along the way – I need to do something different.
I need to be mindful of the situation – and act accordingly. Mindfulness should help keep me a bit more centered.
The essence of mindfulness practice is focusing on one thing in the moment–each breath you take, each step as you walk, the sights or sounds around you.
Right away, I was faced with a test. A bunch of shit flew my way. I stopped and asked myself:
- Is this mine to solve?
- Is this my battle to fight?
- Is this worth fighting?
- Is any good going to come from saying what needs to be said?
I have gotten pretty damn good at picking my battles at work. I truly have. Years doing IT support on the operations side taught me well. But when you work in the land ‘o crazy and crazy-logic, it’s easy to get sucked into that vortex. So forcing myself to stop and examine things in a mindful way before doing anything is necessary I realized.
So the first situation came up, and I decided – that was not my battle or my issue. Could I solve it? Yep. Is it a battle worth fighting? Sure. But it was not MY battle. So, I listened – and when asked, suggested they take it to the right person.
Another situation came up – and this one, I decided, was not my battle to fight. So, I sent a comment to my boss saying “this is the situation – what would you like to do about it? He asked for an opinion, I gave one, but made sure he took the action items with him. They were not mine.
This is how I practice mindfulness at work. It hasn’t been a perfect week – but it hasn’t been the gigantic bag ‘o stress either. I’ve left work – come home – and resumed my night. Wednesday night, I came home with plans to sit with the girls, watch the Portland Thorn play Houston on TV, and eat pizza. Fuck work. Fuck the stress. That’s my high point. Each night, I’ve had the same thoughts.
And, while I have enjoyed working out, I have cut myself slack this week too. I’ve been working out every week solid since the start of the year – no break or vacations. Even while others in my group have done so – I have not. I decided that instead of starting the second half of my 10 week program, I would do the few workouts I missed so I can check all of the boxes – and sleep in the rest of the days. Such a nice feeling really – to take that route. To exhale.
Because I cannot do what I have been doing. It is not worth it for me or anyone else. And while things are not perfect – they are closer to being in balance than they have been. I only hope this can continue in this direction because it had to continue. Because I want to laugh more and smile more and be happy – stress does nothing but drag you into the mud and mire you in negative. And nothing good can come from that.