Back when I was attending community college out in California I took this communications class where our first assignment was to give a 10 minute speech on anything we wanted. I did mine on memory, how it worked and how best to remember things – it was good (obviously) because I still remember – I got an A+. I got a lot of A+s at community college. I would say that it’s because community college is pretty easy but I also got a lot of A+s in graduate school… which would make you think maybe I’m just really smart, but mostly I think it’s all about the bullshit – and I can bullshit really well.
Anyway, I digress. The reason I bring up this communication class is because right after I gave my very memorable memory speech the next woman to take the podium had just returned from her first trip to Hawaii. She spoke for 10 minutes on what she referred to as the ‘Aloha spirit.’ She talked about how in Hawaii everyone was so laid back and peaceful and she came away from there more relaxed and carefree than she ever had and wanted to cherish the ‘Aloha spirit’ and try to keep it as long as possible. I have never been to Hawaii but I imagine that you can capture this feeling anywhere, especially if you are on vacation and removed the normal stress and worry of your day to day life.
I feel like when I was in Maine I captured the essence of this. 99.9% of my stress comes from work, because I have a truly wonderful and patient husband and the best baby ever. When I first got my job here a friend who had just become my coworker said to me “Working here doesn’t involve diffusing bombs or operating on babies but it’s going to feel like that every day…” and he was right.
Being removed from work was like heaven. Away from the hostility and angst I was able to appreciate the fact that the little college I work for is not in fact the central pivotal access point on which the entire world rotates. I know many of my coworkers would disagree but I’m pretty sure I am right on this.
Since I have been back I have tried to hold on to this aloha spirit and not get sucked into other people’s aggression, so far so good. Yesterday I deleted several emails that were nothing but rants against the system that normally I would feed into. I even let some truly horrible and aggressive drivers in their giant gas guzzling SUVs cut in front of my on the way to work – even though they are ruining the earth and making me late – I decided that was their karmic dilemma not mine and since I’m not really sure what time I’m supposed to actually be at work – does it really matter if I’m a few minutes later?
I feel better – I’ve been sleeping better and even yesterday afternoon when Lucy dumped the dogs bowl full of food upside down for the third time I decided to just laugh instead of yelling at her.
I hope that I can continue to remember that what’s really important is not my bosses’ mood or the crises of the moment that our Dean has invented inside his head but my family and their health and happiness and safety (although she really shouldn’t be eating dog food).