distress, depress, duress, derail, digress …
The usual workplace performance or timeline based anxieties aside, the pressures of obligations and commitments, family and friends, expectations and aspirations can all lead to levels of pressure that release the cortisol hormone and subject us to differing levels of mental and physical debilitation that we define as suffering from stress.
Of all the factors, though, I think financial based pressure is the one that is felt most acutely. True alleviation is oft found via lengthy periods of time, whilst short term solutions are often delaying tactics that can (and usually do) cause greater duress at a later stage. So, when the first semblance of financial distress is seen on the horizon, the leap to action is immediate and the tactics required to avert the disaster are deployed.
Under the usual circumstances, that would be the end of it and life returns to some form of normalcy soon thereafter. However, sometimes life throws you far more lemons than a normal lemonade stand can cope with, and try as you might, all you end up with is gallons of lemonade which you are now bathing in and that is stinging you eyes.
The GFC didn’t really hit Australia … no need for the economic lesson, suffice to say that Australians were generally cushioned and for most of corporate Australia, it was a convenient excuse to perform some margin fattening a la cost cutting. However, as mentioned, sometimes the cushion collapses and the effects from the affectation are delayed … which is what has been occurring for the last ten months.
I mention this, for as I started juicing my own personally delivered batch of lifelemons(tm) the economic lemons started coming through and that meant a collapsing educational industry, a restructuring primary resource industry, a downsizing of the outsource and consulting aspects of the IT industry all as the corporation I work for discovers a black hole in the books and a billion dollar “challenge” to restructure and “save” the corporation. So the corporate lemons started flowing with reductions of benefits, changes in policies and, dare I even need to mention it, redundancies across the board.
So, what to do?
Whilst you consider the viability of looking for alternate work (and all the requirements of hunting, interviewing, securing and then re-proving your worth from scratch once again) the lemonade has no yet finished bubbling and at the same time you are trying not to react to the barbs from the wire canoe that is you’ve been body-hired out to a client, even though that very fact means you are spared the redundancy sniper scope … So mixing it into a concentrate and make a cake, because you now have to place your new house project on hold, your farm plans are restricted, the tree planting project is now jeopardised and cut to a third of the original plan, your tenants are behind in payments and a mob of Roos have just destroyed two months of work and three fence lines.
The frosting comes in the form of your sibling declaring world war three on the family, a years worth of diploma homework still needing to be completed (in under a month now!), the need to redraw business plans and budgets for the farm, help out ageing parents and outlaws, all whilst trying not to drown in the lemonade or let it all just crush your spirit and drag you down into the dark and acidic depths of depression that you are all too familiar with. All of this, my dear friends, is to say that I have had a huge amount on my plate, and I simply have not had the time, let alone the energy, to do much more than squeezing lemons … which is why I have been off the ether waves and unreachable by so many. Though the few that reached out, may I say, lit up my mood in indescribable ways, so even if I have not had the opportunity to reply yet, know that the act of reaching out does a world of good to the recipient.
So … My health is (mostly) stable, my weight is not, cortisol hormone levels reads like a seismic graph and arse scratching sessions are fewer and further between.
All said and done, I will be ok. I am ok.
And lest it was not obvious, I miss you all … desperately so.