This is going to sound like I’m complaining. Maybe I am, a little. Maybe a lot.
The week was good. There weren’t any more frustrating moments than most other weeks. What I didn’t pay attention to was the stress creeping up. I drove home while on the phone with a new client. I arrived home after stopping to pickup a pizza to find my grandson with us. I love him. It wasn’t him I was frustrated with. It wasn’t his presence. I did what I needed to do and I sat with him as I ate a slice, watching Paw Patrol. I felt a small resentment creeping in. What I needed was a couple of slices, the TV remote and quiet. When those things weren’t immediately available I got quiet. I kept my resentment to myself and thought about why I hadn’t spent time during the week taking care of me. I thought I had. I thought I had done a good job.
My grandson went home. My wife fell asleep. Bandit and I went for a walk. I read, smoked a cigar and had a couple fingers of bourbon.
For me it’s almost always the cumulative stress. That stress that creeps up so slow you don’t recognize that it’s there. The stress of COVID, being an essential employee having taken no time off, endless hours of telemental health, my wife laid off for two-months, clients abusing the system, another client overdose, a friends’s son dying at the age of 18 of as yet still unknown causes, another friend’s grandson dying of an overdose, needing to micro-manage some staff, an employee resigned leaving only two weeks notice, my dad’s declining physical and mental health, my son’s diagnosis of MS. I’m sure there’s more…
I meditate at least once a day. I read everyday, I exercise everyday. I thought I was doing everything that I could. Maybe I was. Stress is insidious. It’s invisible, not tangible.
I walk my dog and see the trash that’s carelessly discarded and I find myself feeling sad. If I leave the sadness unchecked I can allow it to morph into anger. That’s never a good thing. Anger turned inward leads to depression. Not something I want or want more of.
I’m grateful to have many things in my life for which I’m grateful. Those things are many and my meditation practice is the one thing that helps make sure that I can walk to the edge of the abyss, peer over the edge and realize I just need to keep moving forward one step at a time.