This week my therapist told me that I need to exhale and reduce my anxiety because I appeared to be “speeding.” The last few weeks have been enormously stressful: work has been overwhelming (again); I’m adjusting to my father’s A.D. (Alzheimer’s Disease) and his personality changes; I’m planning to relocate. Good grief, has there ever been any extended period of time in my adult life when I enjoyed low stress? Probably not! Maybe a day here or there. Years ago, my first therapist in New York put me through biofeedback and her tests revealed that my baseline anxiety level is high. Scientific evidence that everyday life puts stress on my system, before anything happens to me.
Being detail oriented and conscientious at work throws me into paroxysm of anxiety every now and then. My therapist urges me to own my work as little as possible. You should leave the office after eight hours, she tells me nonchalantly. Take advantage of your job as much as you can. She should persuade me to have multiple personalities. On a less pathological level, can I try to pretend that I’m just a temp? I’ll work hard today, but when I log off after 8, 9, 10 hours–I need to leave the office in every way and embrace my Life. This is isn’t my family business, it’s a business characterized by regular turmoil and modest salaries. I can’t let it infect my Life, which is my precious possession.
Laughter is the best medicine, and I am fortunate to have some colleagues who regularly make me laugh. We poke fun at each other, I make jokes about myself, what could be better? Sorry, I can’t help you right now because I’m rearranging my NetFlix queue or filling out a 3-hour eHarmony questionnaire. Help me open my office window, I need to jump!
I wonder how I’ll manage working alone at home, once I relocate out west. I’ll have to meetup with others who also work offsite, go to a cafe or bookstore, take a walk, work out in the apartment community’s fitness center, ride my bike, volunteer at a palliative care facility, take a nursing class … to break up the monotony and loneliness of work-at-home. Or send a funny email to a colleague out east or call a friend or relative on the west coast.