I have just completed a wonderful vacation, yet I find myself so stressed that I cannot think straight and an unclear mind does not lend well to eliminating the causes of the stress. Stress in this regard is a self-perpetuating disorder. Once upon a time, a hunter in the field was met unexpected by a herd of lion too numerous for the hunter to engage. Fight or flight stimulus, aka stress, kicked in and the hunter fled to safety where his adrenaline returned to normal levels and the hunter calmed. In today’s society, our stress response rarely eases and our body and mind suffer. I have been under constant stress for twenty years. I am ready to escape to safety. I want to know calm.
Stress is ridiculously high. Stomach in knots. Not having dizzy spells but if I wasn’t on blood pressure medicine I bet the room would be spinning. Going to ignore email and phone calls today and focus on only one thing at a time. No mind-drifting to "things I should be doing" or "what will come next" or "how the devil am I going to make that work." Today’s goal: Stay in the moment (and don’t stroke out).
I dreamed vividly of cyberpunk last night with public access terminals on the street being vied for by the elite few with Linux ultra mobile PCs and the hacking knowledge to access anonymously. I had setup my station when I realized my usb drive was left in the car in the adjacent parking garage. A naive onlooker had joined me on my portable bench and I was offering him access in exchange for protecting my gear when an obviously knowledgeable person tried to con his way in to plant a process that would have had my legitimate account quickly suspended. I couldn’t walk away and I couldn’t work without that usb drive. I woke fighting dizzy spells.
Stress has me broken out in a cold sweat. All I can do is watch the clock tick down like a timer on a bomb. With each tick of the second hand, my stomach knots a little tighter. All I can do is watch that clock. I can’t program right now. Think I’ll sit on the porch and listen to nature and perhaps chant the Diamoku or throw up.
Despite the power blinking out and the Internet being down for the bulk of the day, I worked hard today, hit a programmer’s high, held the buzz, and came to a good place on my current project. Some of the stress has actually rolled off my shoulders and I feel good about the project. Now I can reabsorb the stress regarding the absurdities in my life right now. Tomorrow will be back to bureaucracy! I will have to spend a bunch of time on the phone and am thinking I may need to dust off the business cards of some old lawyer friends of mine. The next couple of weeks promise to age me by several years.
Oversleeping takes on whole definition when the person you are working with is 5 hours (or 14) ahead of you!
Stress seems to make it worse wearing the body down. I have written before that the stress reaction used to make sense. You are on the savanna, a lion pops out of the tall grass and begins chasing you, stress kicks in causing an adrenaline rush, and you bolt into the forest to escape becoming a picnic dinner. The stress is short lived. But ongoing stress (days, weeks, years) beats the dickens out of you! Then add to it that I have been staying up past midnight and waking up with or before the roosters and the body feels run over. I suppose those conditions beg for a collapse. Why couldn’t it have come in two days instead of this morning?!