Category Archives: strong women

Are You a Stress Addict?

It’s Sunday night and I’m experiencing my typical anxiety for the busy week that I know lies ahead. It’s all I can do to not work past midnight – I know it’s not a good way to kick the week off but I always feel like it might make the beginning of the work week less crazy (it never does – there’s always more work). I’m starting to wonder, after having read “Can’t Slow Down” by Lynn Harris in this month’s Glamour, am I a stress addict?

I’ve always known I’m a Type A, can’t-sit-down-for-long, list-making person. I pile a lot on my plate, probably don’t say no often enough and am usually late for everything because I continue whatever I am doing until the last possible second. But hooked on my own anxiety? I had never even considered it. But now – after taking the mini “how addicted are you” test in the article (sit still and do just one thing for 30 minutes, like read a book) I believe I am what Harris calls a “stress junkie.”

In the article, Harris writes about why stress is so bad for women – extra weight, heart problems, memory/concentration/performance issues and accelerated aging (eek!). Interestingly, she also writes about some of the reasons women in particular feel the constant need to live at an accelerated pace – one of which is technology. She talks about our “bleeping, beeping gadgets,” our need to be successful at everything (work, family, friends and more) and women’s unique need to feel connected and belong. In that vein, she mentions how all the new social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace put added pressure on an already time-constrained life – making time for all those new “friends” can be exhausting.

Harris also talks about not being able to relax even when she was “relaxing.” I completely understand that feeling. Whether it’s baking cookies with the kids, reading on the beach, decorating for the holidays or running, my mind is constantly going, thinking about how I need to do such personal “relaxing” tasks perfectly, or what I need to do as soon as the event at-hand is complete. I’m an incredible multitasker – never concentrating on just the one thing I’m doing.

I try to remind myself to live in the moment and enjoy what just “is” now. After reading this article I will also try to recognize my need to slow down and not seek validation in everything I do. I can’t make any promises… maybe I’ll ask all my Facebook friends to take a “likeness” test to confirm I’m not alone…

Stand up for What You Believe In

I went to see “Gone Baby Gone” last night. It was a great movie, although incredibly hard to watch – gut-wrenching. Casey Affleck was amazing and his brother Ben did a damn good job of directing, in my opinion.

I won’t talk too much about the movie so I don’t give it away, but ultimately it boils down to knowing yourself, being strong and standing up for what you believe in – which at first glance may seem obvious, but when you take a deeper view, isn’t as easy as you may have anticipated.

Sometimes what you believe in is challenged with unexpected curve balls. This movie demonstrates that. While not as serious as the content of the film, my life this week called into question a bit of what I believe in. I had to decide if I should stand up and support an employee and my industry in the face of someone I disagreed with who is very influential. I could have taken one of several “easy” routes – I could have ignored the situation, I could have not responded at all, I could have responded anonymously. I chose ultimately to do none of those things.

I chose to stand up, clearly and loudly, for what I believe in. I spoke my opinion in a public forum when many others would not. Don’t get me wrong – it could come back to bite me in the ass. It could cost me more than I anticipated. But in the end – I choose to not cower, I choose to not stand down and stay quiet. Great leaders in history didn’t become that way by keeping their mouth shut.

This may seem cryptic to some, but those who know my business will know exactly what I’m talking about. I refuse to link to the situation or give Mr. A any additional attention. But I also refuse to stay quiet, be abused or go quietly.