Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

This week has been a roller coaster. My stress level was up and down every other hour, so much so that at one point I was physically dizzy. I was joking with my friend, Denise, who was having a similar week, that my theme song should be "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off." Then she reminded me that should be the theme song not just this week but every week.

To reduce stress and keep myself in check, I practice yoga, run, meditate, and breath. I back away from stress slowly, keeping my eye on its source so that it doesn't sneak up on me again for a repeat performance. I think of it as a very hungry grizzly bear, something to be handled with extreme care and to diffuse by almost any means necessary.

I keep looking for ways to cut stress from my life, as if it's some disease. The moment it rears its ugly head I want to banish it. This week I tried to appreciate stress's occasional appearance in my life. It puts a fire under me to get something finished. In my effort to diffuse stress, I actually max out my productivity to get the job done. Stress often leads me to some of my most creative work. (I wish some scientist would do a study on stress's effect on creativity.)

This isn't to say that I crave stress, seek it out, or love opening up my front door to see it glaring down at me. It's true that when it arrives, I hang my head a little low and quietly curse under my breathe "not again!" However, after a minute or two, I sit up straight, roll-up my sleeves and get to work. In the case of stress, there's no way past it except through it. While the temptation is to step off the stress merry-go-round, there are a lot of learnings and value to be derived from its occasional visit. Our challenge is to manage through it so that it doesn't set up camp and make itself at home in our everyday lives.


Stephanie said...

Me again...
My heart smiled when I saw the title of this post. My Mom used to lay down with me in bed sometimes when I was a teenager and with the lights off she would listen to me cry about my broken heart or whatever teenage issue was plaguing me at the time. She used to say, "Steph, let's stop the world and get off."
Thanks for the reminder of why I loved her so much and also why I am writing my own book. Its really about her. xo

Christa said...

Hi Stephanie! I am tearing up. That is such an amazing memory, and I am so honored that this post conjured that memory! Whenever you need volunteers to read parts of your book, please please please sign me up!