The Definition of Stress

One of the best quips about stress I’ve heard holds that it is the result of the mind overriding the body’s desire to choke the daylights out of some idiot who desperately needs it.  The story of my life, as it were, at least in the last few weeks.  It’s rather amazing how others can create so much turmoil through negativity, refusals to work together honestly and cooperatively, or just because of idiotic notions of who has control over a project.  Having studied the tenets of buddhism in the past to find a way to control and divert my own reactions to some of the folks I have to work with, I find that it’s easier in theory to acknowledge that my stress isn’t caused by others, but by my reaction to others, than it is to actually go from reacting to actively shedding the emotions and regain balance.  Some days, physical exercise to exhaust the body works.  I walked 12 kilometres yesterday, but when it came time to get a good night’s sleep, it didn’t work.  I woke up at 2am, and spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, which makes a change from sleeping until 4am and then having my geriatric dog waking me up.  This morning, when I finally hauled my tired behind out of bed at six, the old mutt was sleeping soundly for the first time in a week or more.  I just can’t seem to win on that front.

The IT world is full of the same jealousies and sabotage as any other workplace, and you’d think I would be used to it by now, but I’m not, and that is my problem more than it is that of the people who delight in knocking down any good work my team does.  Giving back as good as I get simply increases the stress and takes me off the high road where, I hope, virtue will eventually be its own reward.  Sure that sounds naive, but at my age, balancing out naivety and cynicism is a major task.   I just have to keep working on my ability to shake it off and carry on, as tempting as it may sometimes be to hoist the black flag, draw my sword and cut through the bovine droppings.

I’ll be spending the upcoming weekend working on The Path of Duty by incorporating my editor’s comments.  Sadly this week, I’ve been too tired fighting off turkeys at work do author stuff after work.

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