Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Eustress and Distress

What a buncha crap. We had a speaker come in today to talk to us about the physical dangers of acute or cumulative stress. Great topic - and kudos to both whomever organized this seminar and the company who puts it on.

So here's how it went... It was a lunchtime seminar, so we all brought in lunch and sat down. Two very caaaaallllm people walked around and passed out materials. These people had to have been trained in how to be so calm and gentle. When I'm at work, I go a hundred and fifty miles an hour all the time. So they appeared, to me, in slow motion. We were all asked to start with a survey in our packets of materials. The survey was a list of things that each had a value next to them. If that "thing" or "event" applied to you or had applied to you within the past year, you were asked to write the value shown on the line next to it, and then when you are done, add them up. So off I go happily filling out my survey, not thinking much of it. Got through it, added it up, then relaxed and enjoyed my fourth cup of coffee. Mmmm.

So the calm folks begin their presentation. The fourth or so slide in the show had a line on it with markers at different intervals. It went from 0 - 300, with the middle mark of 150 marked too. The calm folks went on to say that if you fell in the 1 - 150 range, you have a healthy level of stress in your life and are only 30% likely to end up with phyiscal ailments from stress. If you fell between 150 and 300, you are in the dangerous zone. Check your pulse, simplify your life, and seek medical help if you need to.

My score was 655. The red flag page describes what I've felt every day for about 6 or 7 years.

So what do I do about it? Run away to a carribbean island with a supply of string and beads and sell bracelets to tourists? Somehow I think that would send my score up past 800 at least.

So I went ahead and made a wishlist... A wishlist that I think would help me inch closer to the demeanor of the slow motion calm people.

1. Forget about guilt and the burning sense of obligation. I do not have to take care of everyone and everybody. If someone gets mad at me, and I haven't done anything wrong, I should be fine to walk on and not be bothered by it. I wish for more of a backbone.
2. Set better boundaries in my relationships. I am nobody's mother. It is not my job to plan, manage, and orchestrate everything that needs to happen in my world and his. I wish for more equality and respect in the realm of "gender roles" at home.
3. I wish to learn to say no for Christ's sake. To anyone who needs to hear it from me. No!
4. I wish for more personal time to unwind and laugh and just exist.


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