Friday, 16 January 2009

Like fizzy water gone flat...

Was exactly how I felt earlier this week, when I began to get very uncomfortable with the new sense of warm, fuzzy calm that had engulfed me since the start of the year.

At first I enjoyed it. It was new and strange and nice. And I almost convinced myself that it was good, that I had turned some kind of corner and this was how life would be from now on. Perhaps I had matured. (Oh, no!) Or perhaps I had reached a stage of enlightenment.

By this Wednesday, however, I was decidedly bored with this plateau. I missed the old feeling of low-level panic, the stress -- the edge. Then, luckily, the exhaustion of working 7 days a week (counting writing on top of my usual job, which has been a bit slow this month, I admit) took hold. On top of that, I made a small series of faux pas.

The warm, fuzzy calm caused me to act on a few occasions without thinking enough, or properly. I made a few comments during conversations, and probably left a couple of comments on blogs, that I regretted and if possible would have liked to retract.

None of these mistakes were too big or too bad, but that does not erase them. I began to wonder: Does a lack of anxiety make us less considerate, and also less self-aware?

And, yes, I think there is danger in being too pleased with one’s lot.

Without the edge, without some anxiety, I also found my creativity and productivity suffered. Like most things, or so I’m told, it’s all about balance. To be too stressed is counter-productive to work and health, but to be too relaxed is not great either.

So I’m happy to feel under pressure again, to be a little bit anxious, and experiencing some self-doubt. :)


Natalie L. Sin said...

I get what you mean. When I'm mellow, especially if I've had sex, my creativity dries right up.

Whirlochre said...

I've never tried writing while having sex so I can't vouch for Natalie's observation, but I do know that (like a slug mincing machine) what you're capable of producing depends on the information you're processing, up to and including your assessment of 'how things are'.

The answer?


Oh — and nice smelling bubble bath.

(And if it helps, Mary, I was outrageously — and uncharacteristically — rude to some woman in the bank last week. Turned heads with my cries of 'but that's absurd!!! I'll check out Russel Grant. Bound to be something weird going on in the heavens...)

Catherine J Gardner said...

I live in a constant state of anxiety.

Carrie Harris said...

I think we may be sisters. Because I nodded and laughed through this entire entry.

Mary said...

Natalie - no more of that for you, then. ;)

Whirl - thank you. It’s probably all in the stars. And the soothing, olfactory delight of a fragrant soak is exactly what’s needed. I shall indulge.

Cate - and you are very productive. Perhaps the two go hand-in-hand.

Carrie - are you the sister who was adopted by gypsies at two weeks old? I’ve been looking for you for ages!

Caryn Caldwell said...

How funny. I've always heard that some stress is beneficial, but I wondered about that. What you said makes perfect sense, though. I suppose it keeps us in line, doesn't it?

Mary said...

Caryn - exactly. I was previously suspicious of the idea that some stress is beneficial. Now, I believe it.

Barrie said...

Mary, to test your theory, I'd like to try an entire month with no stress. Can you arrange this for me?

Mary said...

Barrie - one twitch of the nose and it's done. Your stress-free month starts at midnight, tonight. Have fun!