I wasn’t going to write this post as it will make me look a bit pathetic. But then, when I was on a course a while back the psychologist-tutor said that social media has been proved to contribute to stress. Not in a ‘I can’t cope without Facebook’ kind of way, but in the sense that everyone seems to be having such a great time all the time that people start wondering if their own life measures up. So in the interests of public service….and to get to the good bit at the end….I will now demonstrate that my life at least, is not always full of smiles :o/
Work recently gave me an ‘opportunity to expand my skills’. As many people will realise straight way, this translates as ‘more work in the same time’. I’m my case, in an area I know nothing about. I won’t bore you with the details but it’s been pretty full on and rife with complications nobody expected. I could probably deal with that normally, with just a minor panic here and there. Add to that though, the fact that in three weeks I’ll be on my way to Heathrow to go to the Philippines to do my volunteering, and I’ve moved to pretty much constant low level panic over the last few days. It’s nothing specific – Jackie has been getting me SO organised that we’ve even started lessons in Waray, the local language. It’s more a case of will I use the donations in the right way? How will I handle seeing the way people are living? (selfishly), what if everyone hates me? And about 100 other things I can’t plan for.
People who know me will know that I can panic in an impressive way and when one little extra thing went wrong yesterday afternoon, I hit full blown panic. In this instance I sat at my desk and couldn’t stop crying. Not the noisy crying that kids to – I did the sort where you just can’t stop those big fat tears rolling down your face (along with your mascara) and plopping all over your keyboard.
And here is the first good bit. I am really lucky in that I have colleagues at work, and I also have friends. And my friends were each, in their own very unique way, blimin’ amazing. One, I assume having noticed the small paddling pool developing on my desk, came over, asked what work I was struggling with, took it back to her desk and worked on it for me. (She later came back and drew me pictures to explain what I couldn’t understand. She knows me well). Another came over to ask how my holiday was while my face was to the wall and on seeing the tears streaming down my face he continued (in a very lovely, possibly male way) the conversation as though I was beaming from ear to ear. When I finally stopped my eyes from leaking I went to the toilet and another friend stopped to ask if I was ok, at which point I burst into tears again (how annoying is that?!) and she promptly turned me to face the wall so nobody could see and said all the lovely things a good friend would. When I really had stopped crying I asked a smoking friend to come for a cigarette and talk some sense into me and she did just that. I couldn’t have asked for more loveliness. It didn’t stop the panic, but at least it stopped me dehydrating myself!
And the second good bit? That lovely friend who helped me with my work had treated me to a ticket for The Book of Mormon at the theatre. It turned out to be exactly what I needed. First we went for pizza and wine, then we went to see the funniest show I’ve ever seen. I cried again. But this time, from laughter :o) (If you’re reading this, thank you, for the help, and the laughing – you made my day so very much better).
I guess everyone has rubbish days. Most aren’t pathetic enough to cry in the office, but you have it in black and white: I did. And actually, I’m kind of glad I did as if I’d cried in the toilets and not told anyone, I wouldn’t have known quite how lovely my friends in the office are :o)
It’s what makes our company so special … it’s full of FANTASTIC people … and of course you’re one of them … wonderful attracts wonderful :-) If it helps, a little piece of advice to limit the rising panic: try to focus on a point in time (let’s say late August) when one of your major stressors – ie your Philippines adventure – will be behind you. It’s only a few weeks away and whatever your experience, you will be richer for it and life will have returned to ‘normal,’ with just the usual stress levels :-).
As an aside, you’re the second friend in three days to wax eloquent about Book of Mormon: I feel the need to go see it! xx
That’s so true Paula – whatever faults there are, the people make up for it. Thank you for the advice – I don’t want to wish time away, but in real panic moments it sounds like a good trick :o)
Book of Mormon is great. It’s a bit shocking in places too – I spent a fair bit of time with my hands over my mouth wondering is they really just said / did that (and then bursting into laughter that yes, they did). But it’s definitely worth going to, in my opinion! xxx