Looking Better

How easy is it to hide stress? Not as easy as I thought. Evidently, I’ve been hiding it from myself; and evidently, I’m getting much better. Thank you to my neighbor for being so observant. That’s one of the powers of supportive community: people who notice and care. Maybe more of that is a step towards what we really need.

Observations from friends:

  • You (Tom Trimbath) have not taken a day off since Labor Day.
  • Hey, Tom, your shoulders look more relaxed.
  • Nice to see that you don’t look nearly as tense anymore.

    biopic Aug13 tiny

    Stressed? Enthused? Both?

My initial response in each case: oblivious. My second response: Hey, I guess they’re right.

The oblivious part comes from being so busy and so focused on taking life day by day that I haven’t noticed the bigger changes, or even what happened last week. Finally, I found and was given the opportunity to make enough to pay the mortgage. Yea! Years, yes years, of trying to make up for a temporarily imploded portfolio nurtured a habit of working hard, especially on anything that reinforced that work with compensation. Now, I have more than enough work to do for two of my clients, and am dutifully tending to my other business ventures.

December's Arms

Got cards?

That sum is more than enough for a regular workweek. October is an intense overlap. November will be better, right? Okay, how about December?

As each check comes in I mentally assign it to some unpaid bill or deferred repair. It is obvious that years of deferred maintenance won’t be countered within a month. The internal urgency to book billable hours is partly to pay for the basics and to catch repairs before they become replacements, but also to show appreciation for the opportunity to be paid to work on things that I think need doing. I have more than enough incentive to work hard.

The intensity and the internal urgency make me aware of physical symptoms of stress to the point that I thought my stress level hadn’t changed from when I had less money than bills. And yet my stress must be diminishing. My friends tell me so.

Many people I know are in marathons. They can’t remember two days off in a row except for emergencies or family events. Especially for the growing population of people becoming entrepreneurs by necessity, every day off is a day without pay. The concept of paid vacations sounds abstract and laughable. So many people are covering from financial reversals that crowds are working at every welcome opportunity they find and barely taking time to breath. Some are aware enough to make sure they take walks and look at something besides computer screens.

The pessimist in me wonders if the intensity is because wealth and income inequities will continue, and that this is the new normal, at best.

The optimist in me hopes that the work is creating personal progress that is harder to see from inside than it is from outside; and that will eventually allow a greater ease.

The realist in me realizes that this post is being written at 9pm. I got a lot done today. I am particularly pleased with some of my work. And I am also aware that the dishes aren’t done. The laundry is tumbling in the dryer. The bed isn’t made (ha! futon couch because I sold the “real” couch months ago). But, the lawn was mowed (a necessity for a house that’s for sale) – thanks to a dear friend who loaned me a mower. Home For Sale The front was half-done as the sun was split by the horizon. The back was done after the street lights came on. How did I ever have time to watch that old technology called television?

Our finances, our environment, our philanthropic work, and for some folks our political climate are in such need of our efforts that all of our free time can be assigned and accounted for. But step back and ask around. Maybe we’ve made progress and don’t realize it. Maybe we should give ourselves a bit of a break. Maybe we should take a breather in the midst of this marathon called work and remember that we’re here to live a life. With a break or two we may be able to reflect and commend ourselves for our accomplishments, and may even look better when we start running again. We may look better. The world may look better.

About Tom Trimbath

consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: https://trimbathcreative.wordpress.com/about/ and at my amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0035XVXAA
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Looking Better

  1. steve@benariltd.com says:

    Mortgage payment!

    Looking forward to seeing the less stressed you.
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  2. Susan Averett says:

    It must feel so good knowing that the tides have turned and things are now flowing your way….🙂 I’d like to offer you a complimentary reiki tune-up in the Inspired Arts dreamscape. You going to be passing through Freeland anytime soon? Let me know when you can come in …. would love to treat you to 30 minutes of R&R&R….. I can relate …. have been working so much since the idea of the gallery popped into my head. This weekend (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, actually) Erick and I are taking a 3 day getaway, and I am so excited – you’d think we were going to Hawaii or something! Hope you can schedule yourself for a night or two away – it really does help to get a complete break from the phone, computer, routine…… See you soon, Sue

    Sue Averett Inspired Arts Gallery & Gifts http://www.inspiredartswhidbey.com/ (360) 331-2244 http://www.the-enchanted-studio.com/ http://www.wihha.com/ (Whidbey Island Holistic Health Association)

  3. Dad says:

    Tom,,
    Your last paragraph said itall. Sit backand smell the Roses once in a while.

    Dad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s