Handling Work And Job Stress With Friends

Hey you,

How have you been since the last time we met? Though I meet you more often on my blog these days, this weekly rendezvous is always special, isn’t it? As usual, things have been hectic and I have loads to share with you. Let’s dig in then…

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  Life At Work

Life at work can be a battle field and you need to be equipped not just with skills, but also a spinal cord made of steel. There’s a lot of stress out there and in these times of recession, you have to be twice as good to keep your head afloat. Someone who has been taking this stress really well all these years is Steve. But lately he’s been showing signs of cracking up because it’s not just work that he’s concerned about. There’s also his wobbly equation with his special friend that’s stressing him out.

Natalie, as you all know, is a single mom. Steve told me that she told him indirectly that she was not sure about getting another man in her life and making things complicated. She wanted to give all her time to her kids and bring them up in the best way she can. Now Steve, though very introverted and silent about such things, definitely wants her to be more than just a friend. But he can’t bring himself to say that. As a consequence, he’s distracted at work and more often than not, you’ll find him huddled on a computer split wide open.

This continued for a few weeks. Then he decided to take stock of the situation. He decided to focus his energies and then things took a dramatic turn. He was no more distracted or brooding. He told me that he decided to concentrate on what he has, rather than on what is not there. This change of outlook helped him a lot in turning the tide. With a concentrated effort each day, he has now been able to strike a perfect balance between his work woes and personal problems. How do you handle work-related stress? Join me on my blog for a discussion.

A Mother Who’s More A Friend

Donna is probably the most dedicated person in the office. She has two teenage children to take care of and she manages the time really well. I have never seen her fail to balance her life outside office and her life as a career woman. She has always taken an initiative and done things with great enthusiasm and vibe. She has also managed to attend every PTA meeting at Ethan and Emily’s school. Ethan and Emily have a friend in her, probably the best friend that they can have. They can go up to her and talk about their dreams and fears with equal ease. And that is why they have a certain sense of security in them.

They are very well brought up too. They may not be as studious as Rachael, but they do really well in their exams. Their behavior is flawless and I have to give all the credit to Donna. I never saw her shout or yell at them. When Ethan and Emily come into my cubicle and she knows I’m busy, she never orders them to leave me alone. She always tries to make them understand why they should be doing something and not what they should be doing. I find that extremely fascinating and an innovative approach to let them think about things themselves.

I’m sure many of you out there know such women who make a difference in their own little ways. Some are our friends, some belong to our family, while some we know and regard. Would you like to share these stories about women who do extraordinary acts despite being very ordinary women on the surface? I want to collect the best of the stories and publish them on my blog as I did with the Military stories. Did you read them? Check them out here!

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  Save The Polar Bear [Feb 27]

Rachael is one of the smartest sixth graders around! She’s been selected by her teacher to make a research project on the condition of polar bears. She wants to read it out to her class on Polar Bear Day. I didn’t have that knowledge when I visited her the other day. I say that because when she’s doing her research, she wants everyone to participate and learn from her research. And she’s a hard task master. No half baked data for her. She never settles for second best. That is great but not when you go to meet her for a little getaway from work stress!

She was at her computer, covered by papers. As soon as she saw a helping hand (that’s what you are to her when she’s busy) she set me some tasks to do. I had to read up some tons of paper and give her an overview. She’ll decide if it’s worth mentioning. If it is, your efforts paid off, if it doesn’t, another pile is shifted under your nose. This time around the subject was interesting so I was more than happy to oblige, not that I had much of a choice!

Did you know polar bears are at a great risk of extinction? The global warming is harming their habitats and they are facing an uphill task to find food and shelter. The dwindling sea-ice distribution is not helping matters either. They use the sea-ice to move around in search of seals, which is primary prey of polar bears. But their movements are getting restricted with the global warming looming large on our heads. It’s time we sat up and took notice, because unless we do something about it, “our children” (that’s Rachael!) won’t be able to see any alive polar bears. What do you know about this issue? Are you aware of it? Share your knowledge with me. It may earn you kudos from Rachael!

“I Want You To Be Happy” [Mar 3]

There may be times when you go ahead or your partner falls back and you can no longer walk together anymore. Then there may also be feelings of hurt and resentment boiling up inside you. But you rise above those negative feelings and hope that all be well with the person you love but who can no longer be with you. Something similar happened with Kate and Jeffrey. They were a lovely couple and if you saw them together you’d know that they are in love. But then things are not always destined to remain the same. They broke up out of compulsion but the love remained.

They keep in touch over the phone and I remember Jeffrey telling me that all he wanted was Kate to be happy. Kate, though not so expressive, seems to believe in that too. They still support each other in times of need. It’s not just them. Berka has a similar attitude towards me. When I met her at the Starbucks the other day, I told her about Martina. She was happy to know that I was interested in someone. I told her about the double date and the views she had expressed that bordered on cynicism. Berka told me that it was her own opinion and I should be glad that she had one of her own, and did not flow with the tide like everyone else.

I got some support from that. Berka was wise and I’m sure she knows what she is talking. I also believe that she always wants the best for me and wants me to be happy. These are really critical times. Though you can always take heart from the fact that there is support for the bruised souls, there is also the nagging question whether these bruises should have been there in the first place. If you ask my friends, these are extraordinary people who have been able to dust off their selfish needs and look beyond to understand the needs of people they care about. Have you been in such a situation? Can you tell me how to go about it?

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  My Cute Friends

I think Kong has heard me talk about February being the International Friendship Month! When Rachael came to visit me to discuss the Polar Bear Project, she got her pup Max along. Now Max adores Kong and so does Kong. So when the two of them started playing, Rachael suggested that we do the doggie park with them. I was not so sure about going to the doggie park, but Rachael prides on her ability to bring out a ‘yes’ from even the most obstinate naysayers. At long length, I decided to go. I didn’t regret.

The weather was just right for an afternoon in the park. Kong and Max were deliriously happy. They played and chased each other around. they rolled on the ground and had mock fights. It was hilarious to see tiny Max match paws with the mammoth Kong. It was obvious from Kong’s body language that he was being as gentle as he could on the little pup. He sure knows how to baby-sit a kid! I tossed a ball at them and wanted them to play with it. But they wouldn’t have any of it and avoided the ball like plague.

Rachael was happy as well. She had been cooped up in her room for some days now, poring over printouts and other data that she collected for her Polar Bear project. This outing was just what the doctor ordered to recharge her for more research. She has some energy really! The doggie park also reminded me of Adrian and Cathy. What started as a pretense soon turned to love and now they are so much with each other. And the agent is right there, rolling on the ground and letting Max climb on him and bite his ears. Well done Kong! Do you have pet stories that you would like to share with me? Join the Facebook Group or the Fan Page and leave your post. I may publish that on my blog or in the newsletter!

Let’s sound the ending note with this quote by Albert Schweitzer: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” The quote is special because it has the words ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ in the same breath, something that seems contradictory in the modern sense of the terms.

So long then,

Editor, 123Greetings

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