Aug 3 2007


Jamie Barrows

Rope Knot
I have a tendency to get stressed out a lot. I hide it well, and put on a good front that makes me seem relaxed. It’s such a good front, that most people think I’m pretty laid back. But the truth is that I’m not all that laid back.

I get frustrated and worry about things that just aren’t that big a deal. I guess it has something to do with my need to feel that events and situations around me are under control. And I really need that feeling. I don’t need to be the one doing the controlling, but I do need to feel that someone is in control. Just letting things happen bothers me.

Sometimes a real or perceived lack of control and organization will cause me to take a leadership role where I shouldn’t. I try to control a situation where I don’t have the authority to do so. Or where organization is not really needed. That usually just causes me more stress. Other times, I’ll be unable to do anything about the disorganization for one reason or another. Then the stress will build until I grow irritable to those around me, or I remove myself from the situation.

The truth is that most of the time it makes no real difference to the final outcome. A lot of times that situation doesn’t need to be controlled and organized. Simply letting things happen is good enough. I’m stressing myself out over nothing or over things that can’t be organized. Trying to do something about it doesn’t relieve my stress, it just increases it for myself and everyone around me.

Just the other day I was complaining to a coworker. I told him that the lack of organization and control in a particular project was stressing me out. He made a statement that sounds flippant, but is actually true. He said, “Control is just an illusion.” And he was right. Even when I feel that things around me are organized and controlled, I’m just fooling myself. So why stress?

If I can just remember that I don’t need to have things around me controlled and organized, then I won’t get so stressed.

Jun 9 2007

Taking a lazy day

Jamie Barrows

Coffee mugSometimes you just have to take a lazy day to get clear of stress and frustrations. Saturday was one of those days for me. I slept in, got up around 10:00 AM. Took a long relaxing shower and wandered down to the kitchen for some coffee. Got my coffee and just relaxed on the couch with a book.
I had planned to get a lot of work done Saturday. I was going to get up early and try to get some yard work done before it got too hot. I needed to mow my yard and do some trimming of the bushes and trees on my property. But the night before, I realized just how tired I actually was. I had been running and doing “things” all week. So I just decided that I was just going to relax and take it easy. Hence the sleeping in until 10:00. Which just goes to show how tired I actually was. I usually can’t sleep past 8:00 even when I’m trying.
After waking up I ended up spending the remaining portion of the day just relaxing on my couch reading a good book. Stress and frustration just melted away.