Monday, May 19, 2008
Balancing Work and Managing Stress
Wow. It's been nearly a month since my last Post to this blog. I think I really over-extended myself and have been trying to do too much on-line recently.
One goal of writing is the simple satisfaction of putting my thoughts down on "paper" (a figurative term these days). Another goal is to realize some "gain" over time. This is often measured in money. I have been spending a lot of time working for another blogger at One Thousand Things To Do in Western Montana and I have recently set up another site where I will address the challenges faced in retirement (Retired and Restless). That site will be more "generic" in subject matter compared to my other blogs, which are local to Missoula and western Montana.
The point of all this is that "balance" has to play a role in all facets of our lives. While dealing simultaneously with work, money, family matters, home concerns, pet health and income taxes, vehicles, maintenance and insurance (of all types), we all find ourselves stretched a little thin when it comes to finding TIME to devote a "little" to each of our endeavors. The resulting conflicts, confrontations, and compromises all contribute to our stress levels.
Yes, stress. The uptight shriek of a teenager's "I'm all STRESSED OUT!" takes on an entirely different meaning when the doctor says I need to find ways to reduce stress.
The funniest thing, seems to me at least, is that OTHER people's stress is often the source of my stress. (Well, I guess it would be more correct to say that I "create" my own stress by how I respond internally to another person's.)
So therein lies my solution as well: since it is my RESPONSE to another person's stressful situation that creates my own stress, all I have to do is control my RESPONSE. Sounds easy. You can find many books that say this. It is so common that it is not even necessary to find out who says so. And, while easy to say, it's not so easy to do.
I am trying to control my tendency to take on other people's problems. The worst part is that the other people's problems are (sometimes) just the things that they WORRY about. Stuff that hasn't happened. Stuff that isn't real yet.
Here is a quote from Mark Twain: "I have spent most of my time worrying about things that have never happened."
Here is a beautiful quote from Leo Buscaglia* that I should keep in mind: "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."
*Dr. Leo Buscaglia, a former professor of education at the University of Southern California, helped millions of PBS viewers realize improved communications skills and their fullest potential as human beings by stressing that life can be full of inspiration, joy and creativity.
Link to the Buscaglia Foundation
Bear at SplashMontana finding its "Balance"
(Splash Montana re-opens May 26, 2008.)
So, I have resolved to spend my normal "worrying time" doing something productive and perhaps, physically demanding, just to get "out of my head." I will find a good balance, and in that way make things more pleasant for those around me who are worrying.
See my other feature pages including videos and book reviews at Doug's Blog and my new site, Missoula Outside