And what is stress, anyway?

Nov 19 2010

Father and Daughter, Sunset at Centennial Park Sydney Australia by Alex E. Proimos on Flickr

Father and Daughter, Sunset at Centennial Park Sydney Australia by Alex E. Proimos on Flickr

I have the best job in the world.

Yesterday, I walked through a NASA building, looking at mockups and presentations about the Curiosity rover. I snapped pictures of the actual SAM module that will sit on Mars a year from now. I returned to my office just in time for a teleconference with a large consumer electronics firm about a Goddard technology that they want to license. Just another day at the office.

Ironically, at lunch I attended a brown-bag session held by my company about reducing workplace stress. Stress is a daily fact of life at my job. I work at a dynamic, fast-paced, public-facing place. I expect stress.

Fortunately, the workplace stress reduction presentation agreed with my approach: stress (a maddeningly vague term, by the way) simply exists, and we must develop approaches to handle it. The advice ranged from taking breaks to reading poetry aloud.

Stress is the price I pay for an interesting job. Won’t complain.

And my stress is actually decreasing. Now that I’m down to two classes per week–and this upcoming week is a holiday week, meaning no classes at all–I now have a reasonable amount of time for both personal projects and decompression at home. Last night, for the first time in several weeks, I was able to read for pleasure.

Today: maintenance projects at work, and role-playing in the evening (playing Deadlands). This weekend: a relatively quiet Saturday, followed by get-togethers on Sunday. Perfect.

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