April 25, 2006

Serenity Now - A Secretary's Mantra

Today at work we were treated to our Annual Adminstrative Professionals Day Luncheon. It's a really nice affair and I look forward to it every year. This year the theme was balance and serenity. The huge conference room in our office is decorated, the lunch is catered and the executives of the company (my boss included) dress in server attire and serve us (the adminstrative assistants) lunch. It's definitely fun to boss them around for an hour or two.

Anyway, the speaker this year is somone who incorporates her yoga practice into motivational speaking. Motivational speakers usually make me want to puke, but I tried to have an open mind. It was a fantastic presentation. Especially because I've been jonesing to get back into yoga lately. Guess what I learned?

I have been forgetting to breathe. I know! It's such an obvious thing to do.

I've been extraordinarily stressed and unhappy lately. My thyroid is all messed up, so that's a valid excuse, but what is actually happening is that it is causing me to have trouble focusing. My thoughts are so disorganized. I can't concentrate on anything or remember things I am supposed to do. I can't even balance my checkbook properly this week (disregard anything I said to the contrary yesterday!).

That all leads to me screwing up a lot. I forget things or I do them half-ass or I just don't have the motivation to do them at all. I need a Xanax all the time and wouldn't you know it, I don't have any (never have actually).

After I screw up or slack on something, I get really pissed off at myself. Then I'm in a really bad mood. Which causes me to lack focus, forget stuff and get pissed off all over again.

I know I have control issues. I am a tad bit on the freaky side. And I am not proud of that in the least. I want to be totally easy-going, laid back, mellow. What I am is uptight, serious, and tense. Then the OCD kicks in and all I do is count to myself in an attempt to self-soothe. Talk about annoying!! Grrrr!

Which brings me back to breathing. I used to do yoga and Tai Chi. I knew how to breathe. You know, that deep, cleansing breath that goes all the way down to your belly. The kind of breath that delivers 02 in large quanitities to your brain and the tips of your fingers and toes. When I took a few 'real' breaths today, I felt very quiet and calm at first. Then I got lightheaded. The rush of oxygen to my brain was too much. My poor nicotine and carbon monoxide addled brain! How dare I flood it with oxygen!

It felt good. I mean, it felt bad but in a good way. I feel better than I did and now I am trying to let go of things that are out of my control. That's a start.

The moral of this story: Breathe! It's simple - everyone knows how to do it. And it's free which is ideal for people who don't know how to balance their checkbooks!



At 14:31, Blogger Jesse said...

I actually feel immensly calmer when I stop breathing momentarilly. It makes my heart slow down a lot. I am able to clear my mind breifly. It's like a mini-vacation for those 10-30 seconds I stop.

And then I let the insanity back in, and go about my business (ala, freaking out about something or other).

I am also a counter. Not quite obsessive about it, but I tend to count steps as I walk. Especially stairs. I have to tell myself to shut up when I start because it annoys the crap out of me.

At 19:20, Blogger luckybuzz said...

I'm a counter too, though my OCD usually takes other forms. And I *always* forget to breathe; if I'm stressed at all (eg, always) I hyperventilate constantly, because I can't remember to take normal breaths.

AND I just want to say that I totally empathize on the thyroid brain fog. I have thyroid problems (hypo-) and the brain fog is the *worst*. I just got my thyroid meds upped, so hopefully I"ll start getting more manic. :)

At 06:55, Blogger Beth said...

Happy A.P. Day!!!

At 07:33, Blogger Richard said...

Autonomic respiratory functions usually resume after you pass out.

Sorry to hear about your thyroid problem - it seems to be pretty common: my mother had Hashimoto’s syndrome, I have friends with various thyroid problems (one guy I know has his weight all over the place – never know how he will look the next time I see him), finally a friend’s sister (24 with 2 kids) was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer. More women seem to have thyroid problem’s than men (personal observation – my sample pool may be limited)

I know more people with thyroid problems than I do with diabetes.


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