I don’t often write or think about things that happen at my work, because life is short. Thinking about my place of business outside of work just seems to make time out of work that much shorter. I spend much of my time maintaining a mostly dead from the inside to the outside shell of a person. Some might think they see a spark in my eye from time to time, but no, it really is just a random light reflecting on a perfectly numbed spirit.
This on first read might sound depressing, but this is a blissful state of functioning. I like it. It makes me less of a whiner and I never need to “process my emotions” or to use the word “process” when talking about my feelings. Or say things like, “give me a minute to “unpack” that when talking about a situation that may have been overwhelming. It just doesn’t happen to me. I am not that deep. As a kid and as an adult, I truly believe the childish saying, “I am rubber and you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” The emotional part of my brain might have a healthy coating of Teflon.
Lately things have gotten a bit out of control at work and so busy that keeping up has become extremely difficult. I haven’t done the math because I am a social worker, but trust me the number of work assignments have gone up a bunch. I realize that people deal with stress in very different ways. I put in more hours, run a few more miles, and maybe get a bit quieter. I am not sure if the added work makes me disgruntled or if I like being extra distracted by the additional load, maybe both.
It was thought that perhaps a mindfulness exercise would help our team manage the stress. I do understand the concept behind a mindfulness practice. It is suppose to improve stress tolerance, improve focus, and a good practice could help with communication, leadership and work place morale. These all seem like great things. However, sitting in a room with my co-workers with my eyes closed while engaging in a mindfulness medication exercise is the LAST thing I would EVER want to do.
I am perfectly okay with mediating, I am dreadful at it, but I am altogether fine with trying to incorporate this as a practice if it would be helpful. What I am not okay with is making it a group activity, especially with co-workers. It reminds me of when I used to go to step class and I ended up behind a familiar looking posterior. The behind turned out to be my male boss. I picked another class after that day because I am certain it was just as awkward for my boss to have his employee behind him in step class with a clear view of his spandex. Some things just shouldn’t be done with your co-workers.
No. I don’t ever want to close my eyes, breathe deeply, and practice relaxation techniques with my co-workers. Actually, I didn’t participate. I sat in the room with my eyes wide open and watched my co-workers with their eyes closed doing the breathing exercise, while I drank my coffee. I was baffled that everyone did the meditation without question. Maybe, I am the unreasonable one, but I draw the line at being mindful with my co-workers.
I work extremely hard to be mindless at work. Dropping the less and adding the full just seems like overkill. If the group mindfulness exercise continues I will work hard to remain numb, dead on the inside, and unenlightened. Unfazed with wide eyes and coffee in hand I will continue to watch my workers participate, a bit guiltily I might add, but not remorseful enough to acquiesce. Not yet, not ever.