Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stress and Such

Do I CREATE a lot of the stress in my life?

Legitimate question that many of us should ask ourselves, I think. Stress seems to be the buzz topic for all conferences these days:
  • "Identifying Stress in Your World"
  • "Eliminating Stress from Your Life"
  • "Confronting Stress"
  • "Avoiding the Stress Created by Confrontation" (A follow up workshop. Smile.)
Friday morning was a perfect example. It's usually the day off for Frank and me. Those mornings have a somewhat sacred routine that signals time off. Move slowly. Indulge in some leisure reading. Enjoy an extra cup of tea.

However, we reside with other adults (Kristin and Meagan) who do NOT have Fridays off. The other two adults in the house woke up late. They were obviously going to be late for work. Work is necessary for the paying of bills. If they can't pay them, everyone is in trouble. They need to get to work!

(Can you sense the adrenaline beginning to course through every vein?! Smile.)

I immediately felt compelled to kick into overdrive; start rushing around with them; toast a bagel; pack a lunch; pour some tea........... But Meagan looked at me and with all the wisdom of a twenty-three year old said, "Mom, we've got this. Go sit back down and read."

Somewhat reminiscent of when they were three years old, "I dood it, Mommy! I dood it!" In other words, "I really can handle this. Please back up and let me." Hmmmmm.

Yes, dear readers, the honest truth is that sometimes we like feeling needed. No one else can help like we can. If we push to make this happen, the people we've helped will view us as a hero of sorts.

Some even go so far as to inconvenience themselves in order to create an atmosphere of obligation. "I've helped you. Now you owe me." That's not healthy! Ouch.

A co-worker from years ago had this sign posted prominently by his office door, "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

We'd probably all benefit from taking a serious look at how much stress we create for ourselves. Doing things no one has asked us to do. Involving ourselves in problems others can or should handle by themselves.

Next time you feel the barrels of adrenaline tipping precariously near your nervous system, take a deep breath. Give yourself permission to back out of the situation if your services aren't really needed. Allow family members to "Dood it" themselves.

At least, that's what I'm working on this week! Smile. Have a blessed day.

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