Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stress and blah

Woa, sorry for the long absence.  I warned you that April was going to be a crazy month, and it is the blog that has suffered.  Now you all know where my priorities lie.

This month I have interviewed nine people for 2 positions, hired one person and will hire another person next week, gave a presentation on a whole bunch of projects that are at most halfway done, completed one manuscript and sent it out for review yesterday, and completed the data analysis for another manuscript that will be sent out for review next Friday.  Oh, and I spent 3 grueling days sitting in Illinois at a mandatory work training.  Can you see my eyes crossing?  Can you feel my heart beating with its occasionally irregular palpitations?

I do not like operating at this level of stress.  I am very good at being productive and efficient while protecting my enthusiasm and my family time.  And I still managed to protect my family time, but the stress temporarily sapped my enthusiasm.

Say what?

Sapped enthusiasm is not something I have much experience with.  I am, after all, the H-bomb.

The day I realized that my work stress was taking the fun out of my free time was the day I saw a rainbow and only gave it a passing glance.  Granted I was driving south and couldn't give the eastern rainbow the attention it deserved, but I at least could have talked about it when I arrived at my destination.  I did no such thing.  H-bomb would have stopped everything to observe the rainbow until it faded away.  H-bomb would not have thought about the rainbow making her late.  H-bomb would have described the proceedings of the rainbow to everyone she met.

Later in the week I was eating at my favorite Indian restaurant.  They had my favorite item on the buffet, which is a creamy, tamarind-y sauce with potato dumplings floating in it ("the orange" as my college roommate liked to call it).  I slopped it on my plate and ate greedily, failing to savor each bite.  H-bomb would not have let "the orange" go down so ingloriously.  H-bomb would have dissected each flavor with her tastebuds and sent the pieces down her throat one by one.  H-bomb would have called her old roommate to tell her that she ate "the orange" that day and was thinking of her.

Since recognizing this stress-induced blase I have been actively trying to counter it.  I'm not sure that there is a single solution, but I think that slowing down the pace of life is the first thing to try.  No, I don't have to re-caulk the bathtub while the kids are napping.  No, I don't have to run to the post office before they close.  Let me just sit and watch the big maple tree turn from green to black as it becomes a shadow in the evening light.

I need to quit trying to be a rockstar and simply go back to being the H-bomb.  


  1. The pendelum constantly swings in search of balance. The left complements the right, the right compliments the left. Don't lock it in place. There's time in a day to share professional talents and also take in life's subtle miracles. A few deep breaths & glances upward during the day seem to help.

    1. So that's your secret to being the rockstar that you are. I knew you had one.

  2. THE ORANGE! They never have it on the buffet when we are in town. I would kill for some orange.

  3. Maybe you can borrow some of this guy's rainbow enthusiasm?

  4. One of the things I admire most about you is your ability to be a rockstar in so many areas of your life. Sorry to hear the balance feels off at the moment. I think summer fun will help shift the balance back to H-Bomb standards! Very much looking forward to seeing you soon!