Under Pressure

You know I’m a total 80’s girl, right? Love Queen… love Bowie… bring the two together and you have a little ditty that totally sticks in your head for days…

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de

Then Vanilla Ice had to go and rip it off..


Whoo… apparently digression hits early this time of year! LOL!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the amazing effect that pressure has on people in general. Ya ever notice that, when the sh… er… stuff hits the fan, you have this ability to buckle down, focus and get the job done with an efficiency you never thought possible?

Lets say you have a hugemongous project that’s been looming for weeks… and it’s due in 3 days… oh yeah, and you could possibly get a promotion out of the deal… and tada it’s done and you’ve do your best work!

Or you can’t be bothered to pick up the house for months, but company is coming in a week and suddenly even the baseboards are gleaming.

Then there’s the time that payday is still 8 days away, the credit cards are maxed out and there’s a serious echo in your Gringotts vault… somehow that last $15 in your wallet manages to last you 7.

Oooh, then there’s the closet full of clothes that all seems to have shrunk overnight… but with a bit of dilligence a month later seems to fit just fine.

Oof! And that illness that totally lays you out flat and doesn’t give you any choice but to rest and recover.

Not that *any* of the above applies to me or is in any way reflective of the events that have gotten me to where I am in my life.

Yeah, can’t type that with a straight face. 😛

What’s more surprising about the above scenarios is how /effortless/ it seems to be when you’re going through it. Yeah, it’s uncomfortable, but you have a darn good reason for that effort and there’s no question in your mind that you need to do what you need to do. The path in front of you is narrow, but all the doubt, the indecision, the what ifs and buts are gone. Just get from Point A to Point B.

Maybe, just maybe, at some point along the way, there was a stray thought of, “Hmm… I don’t know why I took so long to do this… it wasn’t that bad, and it shouldn’t be that hard to keep up.”

Yeah. I know. Its silly, but if it does happen to you, just lie down, the feeling will pass. 🙂

Then you start to get a little breathing room. The pressure lets up – you have a little extra money left over, you start feeling better, the company leaves, the clothes start to fit a little loose – and you know what happens next?

You start to let up, too.

What is up with that?! Why do we ease up on taking care of what needs to be done /anyway/ as soon as the pressure is off a little?!

I mean, how many times have I (er, I mean you, cuz we’re totally not talking about you!) been so deathly sick that I can’t even roll out of bed and crawl to the bathroom… and then as soon as I (YOU! totally not me!) start to feel better, I’m (Ok fine… we’re talking about me… but if you notice /any/ similarities, I invite you to roll with it) up hauling the laundry basket down stairs and planning a dinner party for friends in a couple of days… or when I have a few extra bucks in the account and suddenly the cats /need/ new sparkly collars that match their eyes… or stepping on the scale to see it drop significantly and celebrate with a trip to Claim Jumper and get Le Bombe* all. for. my. self.

You know the drill: You feel the pressure, you buckle down till it passes and then go back to doing what you were doing before… and starting the cycle all over again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So why have I been dwelling on this?

Because I feel the pressure being released in several areas of my life. I mentioned my overtraining/burnout fiasco that I’ve been dealing with… well, I’m starting to feel better, things are stabilizing, my latest self assessment** came back about 10 points lower than when I took it a month ago. And the credit cards are getting paid down, there’s still money left at the end of the month, and while I’m getting frustrated with the squshiness (hello, no exercise/strength training for 6+ weeks at this point), weight is stable and nutrition is doing fine… not great, but not bad either.

This is when the real work starts.

You (ok, *I*) /think/ that the work is what’s done when the _external_ pressure kicks in, cuz that’s when the scrambling and action takes place.

No, that’s just me doing what /should/ have been doing all along, and I finally ran out of options to avoid it.

NOW is when the real work begins because *I* have to decide to either stick with it by keeping myself well, keep being diligent/responsible with money, food, my body, stuff, etc and see it through to the end… you know, being a good steward of what’s been loaned to me and all that jazz…

Or I can choose to say fer-git-it, and do my own thing through like I’m owed something… And start the cycle all. over. again.

Just in case you’re sitting on the edge of your seat wondering, I’m picking Door #1 – Pressing on and pressing through. Doing what I need to do to stay the course, to get it done, regardless if the pressure is external or internal.

You know the saying, well, there’s lots of them, but I liked this one: “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” Peter Marshall (Again… child of the 80’s and total TV culture. 🙂

So when you find yourself with a bit of breathing room, what do YOU do?

You still have that Queen song stuck in your head, don’t you?

*Total obscure Simpson’s reference, but I was really thinking of the I Declair which I’ve never tried but would like to one of these days… so if you and 20 of your closest friends want to join me one day (or 10, since I see they have a mini version available).**It’s not scientific, but I like this quick assessment tool. Yeah, it’s a site for women and women’s health issues, but men can benefit from the assessment as well.

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