Posts Tagged ‘stress’

You ever have one of those days, or weeks, when you just want to throw down your weapons and quit or at least take a break for a while?

Yeah, that’s how I’ve been feeling a bit lately. It’s not one particular thing. That would be easier. That moment during your life when it all just seems to be too much and you want to sit down, cry and give up.

That’s not always such a bad thing to do. Maybe every once in a while we need to do that. Just sit down, cry and whine and close out the world for a bit. I think the only mistake we can make is to not get back up and have at it again.

I have been stretched just a bit too thin for too long. I knew I could handle it and would keep going but exhaustion was starting to creep back in. I get plenty of sleep and exercise but there was just a lot on my plate and now I was at the tipping point with no end in sight.

A new client was arriving on Friday and would begin his training with me for two days. I had agreed to work Saturday and what I wanted to do was call up my ex-boyfriend and go see him and hide out for the weekend and have a warm body next to mine. I didn’t care what happened after Sunday night. I just wanted to walk away from everyone and everything for a few days. I knew I wouldn’t call him and I knew if I did, he would be happy to have me come over and stay.

But I didn’t, of course. I knew I wouldn’t but I did like entertaining that thought for a while.

Friday morning came and in walked Dennis. He is in his late 60’s. I heard him walk in and my receptionist greeted him. I was tied up with another student and couldn’t break away, but the consultant was already shaking his hand, so I knew he was being taken care of and that I would meet him later that day.

I wrapped it up with my student and broke for lunch. I quickly ate my lunch standing over the sink in our small kitchen. I had no time to eat but had to. I had a new client to meet and start his training. I needed to run down to the bathroom plus I had about two hours of phone calls to make along with a backlog of emails that needed my immediate attention and I had less than three minutes to get four hours of work done.

I could feel myself get pulled further and further away from myself. I took another large bite of my lunch, chewed as fast as I could while I drank from my coffee mug. I went down the hall to use the lady’s room and couldn’t stop and chat with people I knew in the office building. I gave them all a quick hello and smile as I raced back to my office.

Dennis was waiting for me. I greeted him. He now had a face to go with my voice that he had heard so many times on the phone before his arrival. He is in his 60’s and is very pleasant. His consultant had been working with him for some time before his arrival for training, so he was relaxed and anxious to start.

We get started and let my assistant know I was “going dark” which means I am officially under the radar while training and cannot be interrupted unless there is a fire and we need to jump off the balcony or we will all die. Anything other than that is not important.

We started and the hard work begins. During the next two days, I learned quite a bit about Dennis. It’s my job and I dig in with each client. They have paid me and my company to help them and they have entrusted their lives to us so no matter what I have going on, it’s left behind the closed door once they arrive.

I learned that Dennis is dealing with his third bout of liver cancer and had just completed another round of chemo. I knew of the difficulties he was having with his business but sitting across from him, I did not see a man who was ill.

Instead I saw a man who was full of hope. He had recently married a beautiful young woman. He told me about surfing every morning and asked if we could start our training earlier the next morning as he was so excited about being here with us that he didn’t want to waste one moment of it. He looked healthy and told me all about the things he was grateful for as the day progressed.

Throughout the day, every point I made on his training was met with a smile, a nod and him thanking me for spending time with him. He made me feel important, valuable and worth every moment of his attention. He had paid ME to help him and yet he was thanking me.

Thanking me for doing my job.

Thanking me for spending two days with him. That he paid for. I mentioned that before, didn’t I? Yes, I did.

Smiling at me and hanging on my every word for two days. Two long days for him as he fought his body that was demanding that he slow down and take it easy and roll over and die.

My exhaustion began to dissipate. The horrible PMS I had been suffering with for three weeks lessened and became a distant memory. My headache left and I picked up my sword and decided to start fighting again.

He fought for two days and I fought right along side of him. I picked up every tool I could think of. I mustered every bit of information I could find and we slugged it out together. Together we fought to save his business and improve his life and the lives of his staff and customers.

I had made a mistake and that was I had been looking around and just focusing on the things that were wrong in my life and had forgotten to focus on what was right.

I had failed to take and practice my own advice. It’s perfectly fine to notice the things that need to be corrected and then correcting them.

It’s a whole other thing to only pay attention to them and become worried and doubtful of one’s own ability to deal with it. All I had been doing these last few weeks was looking at how everything I needed to do could not be done.

I was wrong. Oh so wrong.

By the end of the second day, both Dennis and I were smiling and I thanked him for teaching me so much. He gave me a funny look and asked what the hell I was talking about.

I hugged him and told him that I loved his wonderful and positive attitude and that it had rubbed off on me when I really needed it. He didn’t say anything but hugged me back.

I might still have too much to do but somehow after today it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Somehow it feels like everything will be OK soon.

It was time for me to follow my own damn advice – just disagree with how things “have to be” and agree to all the good shit in life.