Sunday, February 21, 2021

A Reflection On My Life Through A Busy Season: When The Thick Gets Thin

I've learned a lot about myself over the past few weeks. It has been a very challenging time for me. I'd say that it's primarily work-related, but it's spilled over into my personal life. At this point in the pandemic, what hasn't, right? 

My cognitive abilities diminish at a certain point when stress / busyness / tiredness are paramount. 

I am easily agitated by people who don't care, don't respond, are slow to communicate, or have no consideration for the pressures I may be under. Granted, not everyone will know my situation, but those who do should have more empathy. 

I get into my feelings when I can't let my frustrations out. That's probably why I'm writing this blog post. I have no real outlet. I don't have a therapist. I don't want to inundate my wife with my issues. And I am not finding enough time to take walks or workout the stress. 

But why? Is it because I care too much about what I do? Maybe.

Part of my frustration is that I know I'm capable of doing things, understanding difficult concepts, breaking things down, creating examples for myself, and working through issues. But with little time to be spent, I'm finding that I don't feel intelligent. I feel like I'm slow or not comprehending. I even act like I don't know what to do, work-wise. That's not me under less stressful circumstances. But to others whom I interact with when I'm at this point, I will seem incapable, slow, and they may even question why I'm in the role I'm in. 

As I've gotten older, the impact has become more pronounced. I can feel it hit harder. When I was in my early 20s and working in public accounting, I could suck it up and plow right through whatever came my way. Whatever obstacle there was, however late I had to work, regardless of how much toll it was taking on my body - I just carried on and let it become normal. As young professionals, you're "paying your dues" but at what expense? Mind? Body? It's tough, but it's "normal" for this career path. 

I sometimes question if my actions and reactions are valid or acceptable. And other times, I don't care what anyone else thinks because it's healthy to get these thoughts and feelings out of our systems, right?

There are some who would say that it's just a job and that your health and mindfulness should be at the forefront. I agree with that... up until I get really busy. Then all bets are off. And that's not a good thing. I've had a hard time holding myself accountable for sticking to plans and enforcing my own hardlines. Guess they're not that hard, huh? 

I often second guess myself when I get to this point of stress and frustration. I am no longer confident in the things that I do. 

I become mechanical instead of dynamic and conscious. I do just to do rather think about what the impacts are. In some ways, there's nothing else you can do. Your learning and abilities to comprehend are stunted by inundation. In accounting and tax, this happens often, especially in client service roles. This is why people stop learning. It's why people give up. When you become overly concerned with timeline and due dates, functioning becomes a matter of just doing and not thinking. 

Everyone is different. I can tolerate a lot of stress, but even I reach a breaking point. Others may have less of a threshold and may collapse upon the pressures sooner. That doesn't mean they are not intelligent or have other star qualities. 

I have learned my limits once again at a different time in age. I am no longer capable of grinding it out because I feel all the adverse effects quicker. My mind and body fail me sooner. And my overall well-being is just significantly deteriorated. I am sad, tired, stressed, and need a break for the quiet, calm, and serenity - maybe in the mountains somewhere...

Paro Taktsang (aka Tiger's Nest) - Paro Valley, Paro District, Bhutan - circa April 2017