these past few months, but specially these last two weeks, have been an extreme test of my ability to handle stress. to keep my head from popping off. to maintain a professional demeanor and not glare at anyone and everyone who emails, calls, walks into my office. to get it all done and explain to the next person how it works while wearing a smile on my face. to balance on the thin wire of work and life outside the office.
being at work lately has felt like i’m the ringmaster, the lion tamer, the girl riding bareback and doing back flips through hoops while still landing on the back of the horse, the tight rope walker, the elephant trainer, the driver of the clown car, the 57th clown that gets out of the car, the juggler who’s just switched from bowling pins to fiery batons, the person hawking popcorn and cotton candy and those blinking light souvenirs, the parent watching over their child, AND the person who has to clean up and pack up the big top tent.
which leaves me with ZERO energy for anything outside of work. and putting in no effort with your life and hobbies and friends and health and family? that leaves me with a very flat existence. much like the big top tent after the support poles and bleachers and equipment and people and animals and air has been pulled out.
i’ve learned that me + stress = one big grumpypuss. i know this, but now i REALLY know this. it’s lodged at the forefront of my brain. (it’s probably making my forehead look a little lumpy.) but i don’t know how to stop. i want to do a good, complete job. there is a reason (i can’t think of it at the moment) that my boss chose to give me oh so very much work and i don’t want to disappoint him. but what about when i disappoint my family and friends? it’s a little like this, i suppose. where work is the “new friend” and everything else is the “old friend”. i need to make sure i pick up my undies for both my old and new friends. they deserve to be treated equally. but how do you do that when one demands so much more attention?
when do you draw the line? when you reach your breaking point? right before you crack? right after your head’s exploded? when your TO DO list reaches 100 items? when you arrive at work early, don’t take lunch, and still have to stay late? when your roommate wonders why she hasn’t seen you all week? when your friends are shocked by the lack of emails from you? when your family wonders why you don’t call? when you seriously consider early retirement? when you don’t smile a true smile all day? when you can’t remember the last time you heard good news? when your stress levels rocket because you have no outlet (working out, hanging out, writing) of release?
where do you put it? and how do you draw it? a stick in the sand? masking tape down the middle of the room? with a closed door? with tears down your cheeks? with hershey’s kisses?
what do you do when you give too much to one thing and not enough to another?
and so, to all those (online and off, in real life and digital life, in my manuscript) who have been neglected by the recent rush of work i’ve been doing, these are for you. they’re forget me not’s.
please accept them with my sincerest apologies for disappearing. and please, FORGET ME NOT while i’m gone.