Tag Archives: stress

A New Year’s epiphany

Happy 2012 to you! I am just finishing up my first week back at Headquarters after the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, and it has been a week filled with hard work, accomplishment, occasional distractions, exciting plans for the future, and a plumbing incident—uh oh!

Yeah, as I was cleaning up the office on the last Friday before Christmas—trying to get it cleaned up enough that when we all returned it wouldn’t smell or anything—I was just finishing up cleaning the bathroom and went to wash out the sink and it wouldn’t drain. I tried everything; it was clogged. I told Lou before she left, but there wasn’t much I could do about it at the last minute on the Friday before holidays. So I packed up my gear and headed to the in-laws’ for a long weekend filled with eggnog, ninja-bread cookies (basically gingerbread ninjas), and Pictionary tournaments. When I returned this Tuesday the sink was still clogged up. We tried again to unclog it using boiling water, baking soda and vinegar, and finally a plunger, all to no avail. It was time to call in the pros. When the plumber took apart the pipes under the sink, the entire thing came off the wall! The sink was supposed to be securely attached to the wall, but turns out the only thing holding that porcelain sink up was the drain pipe! At any point that sink could’ve dropped and it would have done a lot of damage. So those Popsicle sticks and bottle cap that ended up clogging the drain were actually a blessing in disguise! Now we have a new sink (it’s actually a laundry tub sink).

I definitely needed the time away to relax. I have been so stressed for the past year (since just before I graduated from college) and having anxiety attacks monthly. I have been making myself sick worrying about every little thing, even if I had no control over it. Did I choose the right college course? Will I find a practicum placement? Will I get the job of my dreams? Then, after I graduated and accomplished those things, I stressed about other things. Will I be able to pay back my debts? Will I actually be able to do this job? Can I justify my working here and make the company enough money that I don’t get fired? Will I mess up so bad at work that I lose the company everything and they go bankrupt and I never get another job ever again? It was a vicious cycle. I was tormenting myself. I was worrying so much that it was making it harder to concentrate on everything, making it more likely that I would mess up.

As I was doing some year-end bookkeeping between Christmas and New Year’s from home and becoming increasingly stressed because it wasn’t going as smoothly as I would have liked, I had an epiphany. I realized that the entire fate of the company does not rest on my shoulders. And if I can’t figure out something in the bookkeeping I could ask our Accountant to figure it out for me (that is what he gets the big bucks for after all). And that worrying about the “what-ifs” was not going to get me closer to my goals or stop the company from going bankrupt (just to clarify, we aren’t going bankrupt). The only things that I have any control over are my actions and my reactions. All I can do is my job to the best of my ability and let others handle the rest.

Once I realized that, I relaxed and was actually able to get some real work done. Instead of running around in circles, staring at all the disorganized paperwork and my long, long list of things yet to be accomplished and stressing out to the point that I didn’t even want to go into work (which is totally lame because I love my job), I took a chill pill (not really) and stopped putting so much pressure on myself. After all, I am only one person, and although I am really super awesome if I do say so myself, the entire fate of the universe does not rest on my shoulders.

My New Year’s resolution is to stop stressing myself out. Here’s to a stress-reduced 2012!

Violet

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