Stress and grief have an unfair control of me. I understand the grief. It’s sensible. My stress is controllably uncontrollable. It’s paradoxical in nature. The worst-case scenario happened, perhaps validating these negative thoughts. After Jacob’s death, little bothered me. Tomorrow will be 17 months since Jacob’s life was stolen. I have done little in the past 17 months to improve my stress levels. Perhaps it’s unfair to those around me. So, why am I so stressed?
I have allowed myself to be consumed by stress and fear again. As much as I understand my grief, I don’t understand my stress. It’s a self-imposed sanction with end and seemingly no benefits. I worked for someone who loved conflict a few years ago. He loved pitting sales teams against one another. One day, I asked him why he did this. His reply was simple: “That’s how you create diamonds, from pressure.” It seems to be the American ideal. Work hard, hate your boss, shit on people below while gossiping about those in charge. Wash, rinse, repeat.
When we examine maladies, stress seems to be prevalent. Jacob was somewhat rare. Before cancer, he was somewhat care-free in nature. He controlled his angst with exercise, diet, love, passion, and interests. He was an honest bloke. Honesty has often been my enemy. I tell myself I am fine when I am not. I see the glass as being full when reality is far different. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t see Jacob dying. I can see it now, in pictures. I lied to myself and to him. I lied to the entire family to shelter them. Why? They saw it.
One of our favorite words in business is “sustainable.” I often think about farming. Farmers who continue to stress the same strip of land by planting the same crops, without rest, will find the soil toxic and unsustainable. Businesses that have more debt than receivables, suffer the same fate. It’s my recognition of this pattern causing my angst. Ignorance is bliss while inaction is fatal.
How do I lesson my stress? This is something I will examine the weeks to come. Simplification and prioritizing are key. I apologize this isn’t warm and fuzzy.