Monday, February 25, 2013

Relax (Take It Easy)

When I finally take a moment to relax, take even just 60 seconds for myself, I'm able to immediately recognize those telltale signs of stress: My back is killing me because I've been hunched over my laptop for the last three hours. My eyes are dry because I'm too focused to blink, & I probably haven't taken a deep breath in, oh, days. My muscles are tense & my mind is racing, & even 60 seconds feel like too indulgent to be allowed. I have work to do!

My first instinct is to let myself fall victim to the anger that accompanies stress. I never have time for myself! How can I possibly do any more work? I need 20 extra hours in the day! I feel too pressed for time to check my Twitter feed or read a friend's blog post or answer that midday phone call from my mother because ain't nobody got time for that. Ain't nobody got time for anything, am I right?! It's like I can never catch up or do enough or do it all well enough. It's almost 6pm & I haven't even thought about leaving the "office" (which is, in this case, a Starbucks) to go to the gym or make dinner. Oh, is it already dark out? When did that happen?

And then I remember.

Then I remember that even at its very worst, I'm doing a job I love for an organization I believe in with people I like. I don't save lives; if I have an off day, no one will die or even be irreparably impacted. I remember that my outside-of-work life, lacking though I sometimes feel it is, is pretty great: the best boyfriend in the world, the best friends in the world, the best mom in the world, & all that genuine-but-cliched jazz. I remember that I am smart & funny & driven & that I hold myself to higher standards, sometimes, than anyone else holds me to, so it's OK to scale it back every once in awhile. I remember that my life is really, really, really good, & I have no business wigging the eff out like I so often do.

And I'm OK again.

I'm always OK again.


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This month, I'm participating in a writing group that Kristen of Aw, Shucks invited me to. Each day, we receive a writing prompt to follow, or not. I'm not doing all of the daily prompts, but I'm doing the ones that appeal to me. This prompt was "Where or when have you felt the most relaxed and at peace?"

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