4 Quick Steps to Reduce Stress in our Turbulent Political Climate

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Sensitive people are often caught up in current events a little too deeply. I know this because I’ve been accused of being too sensitive my entire life. Maybe you have too. Things get to us. It’s a condition that can leave us either isolated or spewing venom, sometimes simultaneously. This tends to confuse our loved ones. It keeps them on edge as they try to discern the penultimate symptom before they’ll be forced to call for emotional reinforcements. White jacket/hard drugs/cake/etc.

One could surmise that a new sheriff in town is the cause of all this angst, but that doesn’t solve the problem now, does it? It’s like going to a therapist for years to learn why you act a certain way when you’re triggered by some random similar event, but it does nothing to resolve the original issue. Secretly, this is my theory for how therapists stay in business, but I digress. The real question for us sensitive folks is how to best deal with the ongoing confusion and maintain some measure of sanity. As The Dude says in “The Big Lebowski,” “I’ve got information, man, new shit has come to light.”

The New Shit

1) It’s time to bury your head in the sand, Sensitive People. Not forever, just for now. There’s nothing to be gained by getting all worked up by the fact that our country is quickly running out of allies. This isn’t your shit to solve. I got a Fitbit for Christmas and noticed last night while watching mindless television, that my heart rate was 83. IN THE FAT BURNING ZONE. This, I think, might be a sign of stress.

2) Go about your business. Whatever that means to you. Don’t stop to check the news online. Whatever you do, Sensitive People, avoid any social media that has turned into a steaming pile of phony news, political rhetoric, and mean spirited people. What happened to all the cat videos? In the most recent political clusterfuck, I lost more Facebook friends than I ever had in real life, in my entire life. “Divided we stand” is the new black. Maybe we can figure out how to embrace it. But not now.

3) Love. Listen up fellow Deep Feelers. All we can do is show a little more love to others. Hold people a little closer, make an occasional phone call instead of texting, and remember that who you are in the world is the same person you’ve always been, and you are made of love. Sensitive people must remain wrapped in love or we wither. (Like everyone else). Say it. Share it. Wear it.

4) Puppies.

Now, what does any of this have to do with my blog about having 55 jobs? You tell me, maybe this is my job. I’m waiting to hear what you have to say, and I’m always listening. Love, People.

 

 

The Long Haul To Love Via Australia

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The first few minutes of the flight are exciting. It’s a struggle just to sit still in the seat. Nine months of waiting has finally landed with a big, fat thud on my cool new suitcase, that can split into two bags of exactly the same size so I can load it up with souvenirs, or, even better, a couple pair of extra shoes. This is how the “Trip of a lifetime” begins.

Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney, Australia, the second longest direct flight in the world. The Flight Tracker scares the shit out of me. Really? Halfway around the planet? Only 15 hours and 41 minutes left? All of it over the ocean? Xanax. Thank God for Xanax.

The trip turned out to be everything a good travel adventure should be: Fun, exciting, stressful, and full of wondering and personal discoveries. I could lay it all out here, but nobody would read it. A blog is too short a medium to share something as huge as a “Trip of a lifetime.” I’ll break some things down later, once I’ve digested a little more, and I’ll share it as I can. I used to do some travel writing, so there’s a chance I can string together a few sentences that summarize an event or two. In the mean time, here’s the rough cut.

Sydney-The Opera House-The Harbor Bridge-(Kick Ass Flat Whites)-The Blue Mountains-Uluru/Ayers Rock-(Reverence)-Cairns-The Great Barrier Reef-(Swimming with sharks)-Palm Cove-(Ahhh)-Rainforest-Melbourne-Cricket-Penguins-Koalas and Kangaroos-Sydney-Climbing the Harbor Bridge-(Wow)-Home.

Time Frame:                            Three weeks.

Air Travel:                              Six flights.

Tour Buses:                            Too many.

Miles Walked:                         50

Pair of shoes ditched:              2

Hotels:                                    Five, one of which was particularly scurvy.

New Friends:                          Dozens.

Questions about Trump:     Hundreds.

Magic:                                        Every. Single. Day.

Quick summary: Once you discover travel is simply a way of meeting yourself in other people in a different venue, (the simplified version) you get to experience the real deal. We are all the same. We are all love. Travel Safely in the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Java Jive

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Yesterday was National Coffee Day and I was more excited about it than I ever was as a kid at Christmas. Probably because I wasn’t working as a barista (job #51) and taking orders from people that left me shaking my head and simultaneously standing on it.

It’s so hard to maintain your poker face when a customer approaches the counter with a bit of side-eye, gauging whether you’re up to the challenge of their special brew. The order is delivered so slowly and articulated so clearly you wonder if the coffee snob in front of you is a former English teacher or just thinks you’re an idiot.

“I’d like an iced, half caf, grande ristretto two pump hazelnut, soy skinny latte, light ice please. Got that, Dear?” Likewise, the accompanying food order: “Bacon, egg and gouda breakfast sandwich, but no bacon and no egg, toasted lightly, last time it was burnt beyond recognition,” has the ability to leave one practically in shambles.

My short stint as an Assistant Manager/Barista broke my poker face for good. I knew it was time to leave when someone stood in front of me and started with, “I’ll take a 10-pump…” the rest of whatever he said is a blur. I remember only the words that came out of my mouth. “Are you kidding me?” It couldn’t be helped. It was an involuntary response. I gave my notice within hours.

So now I celebrate on National Coffee Day as if it were the biggest deal in the world, because for me it is. I drink coffee until just shy of the shakes and I savor every sip, made to perfection by me. Think I’d trust someone else to make my cup of perfection? Not a chance. By the way, in my world everyday is National Coffee Day. One day is simply not enough. Don’t you think so?

To All Who Labor

 

hats off

 

To those of you who drive in gridlock traffic, spend your days working to support yourself and your family, and still find the energy to do the things you love to do, you have my sincere respect and admiration. This thing that you do on a daily basis is a skill in which many of us fail, some of us, miserably. I fail at it miserably, and it confuses me because I have a killer work ethic.

Give me a list of tasks to do around the house, and I’ll hammer it out piece by piece. Ask me to run an unreasonable amount of errands: I’ll create a mental plan and unconsciously map a route to ensure its completion. Present me a writing assignment, and I will plant myself in front of a keyboard for as long as it takes to finish the job. But set me up in a traditional job with time clocks and dress codes and suddenly my skin doesn’t fit right.

When your skin doesn’t fit right anything can happen. Those of you, who’ve had this experience, know what I’m talking about. It’s a restless, anxiety-ridden place but one also filled with possibility. It motivated me to write an entire book about my massive failure at traditional jobs, and when I got brave enough to own my failure, I was able to make some incredible discoveries about myself. I’ve become an expert at failing and continuing to stand, thrive, and succeed anyway.

And so I come to write this blog, which is so much harder than just getting a job and sucking it up. So. Much. Harder. A blog should have a theme and the one I’ve chosen here, for the most part, is about work and vocation. This sounds like the worst possible thing for me to write about, but it feels right, for now, because I’m not trying to jump out of my skin. And when we talk about vocation, I think, not job but more about our life’s work. The thing our soul/internal wisdom/heart has decided is important for us to work on this time around. That, my Friends, is a big deal.

So, I hope we can continue the conversation wherever that happens to find us. In the mean time, to all of you who suck it up and show up for your jobs however that occurs for you, I bow before you, the hat is off. You rock.