stress pudding

Yesterday I almost drowned in a sea of paper.

I was at my desk plodding through mounds of work when, all of a sudden, I couldn’t breathe. Literally. I was struck breathless by stress.

You have to know that I’ve been floating along this year on a calm sea of cold-chilling, chocolate-pudding happiness. Even in the moments that I knew the water beneath me was deep, I was blissfully swimming along, making progress while ignoring the circling sharks.

And then, yesterday, I got caught in some weird undertow and was suddenly swallowing gallons of water, spitting and spurting, my eyeballs bulging, arms flailing all in the name of stress.

Everyone knows that flailing when you are drowning just makes things worse. But when you’re drowning, you bug out; all rational thought goes out the window.

Yesterday, I was flailing. I sat at my desk, rummaging aimlessly through piles of paper, talking to myself, gasping for air. Until I finally admitted to myself that I was overwhelmed.

As soon as I confessed to myself that I was, indeed, stressed, a life-raft arrived.

My friends.

Friends who just listened. Friends who gave me long hugs. Friends who reminded me that I dont have to do everything myself. Friends who told me to go home and take a nap.

I count on my friends all of the time to help me put things into perspective. They help me remember how to swim around sharks and to stop every now and then for a breather.

I am no good to anyone when I’m drowning. So that pile of papers? A great reminder that I need to nurture myself. I need to do right by my self. I need to listen to my body when it tells me it’s tired, listen to my soul. I need to care for my self with the same gusto with which I care for others.

Yesterday was a bummer.

Today?

Today I took the time to thank each of the friends that helped me through yesterday. Spending that moment with each of them made my today even better. Today I put music on in my office and rocked out while I made my way through the piles. I asked for help with what felt like too much and let go of everything having to be just so. I laughed. A lot.

I talked about what was contributing to my stress and the processing with friends helped me move through the muck back into a space of calm.

Today, thanks to my friends, I was swimming in the chocolate pudding with long, even strokes.

Mmmmmmmm chocolate pudding.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kat Van Matre
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 09:32:12

    Ahhhhh, accepting help when you need it-that is a tough one at times. Don’t we all think we can do it and we don’t need help? I amtrying to be better myself at asking for help. LOVED THIS POST!

    Reply

  2. Michael McGlamery
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 11:23:36

    Recently I got one of those emails that people send around…about how many Saturdays one has in a Lifetime. An American male with a life expectancy of 75 years has 3900 Saturdays. I did the math to see how many Saturdays I have left. 326! Gotta make the most of them and so do you Ms. S, because “life is short”. A Romanian pal of mine is trying to encourage his girlfriend in Romania to come to the USA. “Everybody there works too much. We’d never have any fun”, she cries. Well, maybe she has a point. Your post makes a good case for “Balance”, because life is just to valuable to “work it away”. Not to say “work” is not important, but there are other and maybe more important things to live for, like friends, family, adventure….etc. etc. etc. sorry for my editorial, but your BLOG does make one think. Love you, Dad

    Reply

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