I've been having a stressful week. I was in the office today dealing with potential disgruntled postal workers (figure of speech, but you know...) when my secretary came in and dropped this on my desk. The first part is sort of pop-psych. The others are pretty funny, mostly familiar, a couple I hadn't heard. All of it is edited to my taste.
A lecturere explaining stress management raised a glass of water and asked "how heavy is this glass of water?"
After getting a few dumb answers, he told the audience that it doesn't matter. What matters is how long you hold it.
If you hold it for a minute, no problema.
For an hour, it makes your arm ache.
A day and you'll call an ambulance.
A lifetime...oh, wait, he didn't say that.
In each case, the weight is the same, but the longer you hold it, the heavier it becomes.
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it up again. When you're refreshed, you can carry on with the burden."
He added that before going home from work, you should put the burden of work down; don't carry it home. You can pick it back up tomorrow.
Meanwhile, you can kick the jerk out for a few hours. Oh, wait, that's not what he said.
I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing. Usually when I go home, I blog or cook or watch a bit of TV or a movie, or read, and forget about the day. I have colleagues who can't let it go, and every day, I look at them and wonder how they get themselves so stressed, if they're going to have an early heart attack or stroke.
I try not to add to their stress. Really. But you don't even have to try. They seem to interpret everything as a stressor.
So here are a few platitudes that sound deep, even if they're not.
-Accept that somedays you are the pigeon/windshield, some days the statue/bug.
-Always keep your words soft and sweet, in case you have to eat them. (What if you love sauerbraten and red cabbage?)
-Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
-Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker. (That's deep.)
-If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
-If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
-It may be your sole purpose in life to be kind to others. (I hope not. I'm not Ghandi.)
-Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because you won't have a leg to stand on.
-Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. (I'm working on it.)
-Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late. (I don't have that option, darn it.)
-The second mouse gets the cheese.
-When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
-Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
And my personal favorite
-Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
[Image from www.commons.wikimedia.org . Photo by Derek Jensen.]