Saturday, January 20, 2007

on stress and plastic spoons

this past week was really really stressful for me. at the end of the week, i quit my new job (the quitting itself was stressful as well). i noticed that when i am really stressed, i have less patience with my cat and sometimes with people. made me think about people fighting in/suffering from wars. i never understand the atrocities people are capable of during wars. but when i think about the level of stress people in war are under, i begin to see how their brains might change under those circumstances (NOT that stress is an excuse for atrocities/crimes against humanity AT ALL).

i felt how i was headed into depression because of the stress this past week. that tunnel vision was beginning, and i realized i had to get out fast. i was obsessing about things. couldn't let go of thoughts to rest. to sleep. the smallest tasks seemed so difficult. i felt terrible about myself. imagined i was getting all sorts of physical ailments and actually got some physical ailments. i am used to putting responsibility/commitment to a job/task first. but this time i had to put my health first. i am relieved now, though not quite out of the blue. that will take some more laughter with friends, some blogging and creating. homework. some attention to the world outside of my worries.

my all-day letterpress class today helped greatly. the teacher is this old italian san franciscan who seems to have lived an adventurous life. he must be near 80 years old, but he's still full of zest, humor and life. he's the perfect combination of surliness and affection. i'm sure he has his faults, but today all i could see of him made me beam inside. he made me happy. (at one point he reached inside the top of his blue apron/coat to get his glasses out, and they came out with a plastic spoon. he just put the spoon back, no comment, though i think he probably was a bit amused himself.) can a 33 year old lesbian have a crush on an 80 year old man? apparently.


cruststation said...

Oh Shash, I understand the stress of thinking about quitting, quitting a job itself. It's so difficult, the lack of sleep etc. I'm glad you got over that hurdle and surely things will look up from here. Your letterpress class sounds wonderful, I would love to join you.

amisha said...

*hugs to you* the quitting of a job is so intense... i remember the all-consuming stress of getting out of a situation that is affecting your health (hmmm, not so long ago actually... the job i had before this one). i was obsessing about it all the time, dreaming about it... awful. i hope you have some good time with friends and art to take your mind off of it... the letterpress class sounds wonderful and therapeutic.

lisa s said...

shash - how great that you finally put yourself first.

i love funny little tales like plastic spoons in aprons... perfect!

hope to see you soon

mati rose said...

congratulations on quitting your job and doing what's right for you!
i love your story of the letterpress crush:))))

jenifer74 said...

that's a tough space to be in. good that you recognized what needed to be done & took action. also, who wouldn't love a little 80 year old man teaching letterpress?!! lovely! are you taking that at the center for the book?

leonie said...

i want to honour you for recognising what was happening and getting yourself out of it. sometimes that is the hardest path.

FlipFlop said...

Shash - this is excellent! Congrats on quitting. Quitting has such a negative connotation which probably conjured up all these stressful feelings. But it shouldn't --in this case, celebrate!

Celebrate taking care of yourself and making space for something that doesn't feel like such a push. And celebrate yourself for doing something that was difficult. Yeah!

I like the tag "self-ish" and I love little old men who carry plastic spoons! Brilliant!

fog said...

hi--i'm just a lurker that thinks you are cool. i'm glad you quit. on a different note, i see on your side bar you've sampled chaim potok. can i highly recommend my name is asher lev? it's my favorite by that writer.

Mary said...

oh, believe me, i understand that kind of stress and that sense of depression coming on and having to actively fight against it. you are in my thoughts during this difficult time. I can only imagine that if you quit this job, it wasn't right for you, and you will soon find something that is.


risa said...

i think quiting a job is one of the MOST stressful things we humans have to go through from time to time. there is all sorts of stress and thinking around making the decision and then the actual action just looms...until it´s done. it´s always a brave act and i think makes us a little stronger...i hope you soon find a more rewarding and relaxing way to make some money!