Looking back over the last few posts, I’ve noticed a common theme: stress. In November I was assigned a new program. On top of being infinitely more complex and high profile, I’m new and that inevitably means that there’ll be a learning curve.
Long hours, migraines, a rumbling stomach from all the missed breakfasts and lunches, the general sensation that there aren’t enough hours in the day and while you know you should care, you don’t.
Now, I’ll tell you a little secret. I’m the type of person who can stand a lot, but I tend to bottle up my emotions. It’s been a habit of mine my entire life. For the most part, it’s worked out well, but when you have
days weeks like I’ve had lately, this strategy tends to backfire.
Working out can only relieve so much stress. At a certain point, you can’t bottle up anything else. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. In the end, it’s always something so small, stupid and insignificant that makes me just breakdown entirely.
Case in point: I got a call yesterday that a flower arrangement had been left at the front office of my apartment complex. Yay! I was so excited. But then everything came up at once – phone calls, people stopping by, deadlines – and I didn’t end up leaving work (regardless of the mountain of work and emails that still hadn’t been finished) until 5:40.
Away I sped in my Mazda 3, but of course, people in Georgia don’t understand the concept of speed limits. If the sign says 40, then it’s completely acceptable to drive at 35 in both lanes, effectively blocking all speeders like myself. I needed to stop by the Post Office on my way home to mail some Christmas packages, but with the clock ticking down, down, down, I opted to forego the stop because more than anything I knew I needed to see those flowers.
I promise I’m almost finished.
After pulling into the office parking lot, a sneaky suspicion crept over me. The lights were all out. Oh no…And yes, the door was locked. I checked. The clock said 5:54; the office closes, or I should say is supposed to close, at 6. The staff had left a whole SIX minutes early and my flowers were in there, being held ransom.
I don’t know why, but as I trudged back to my car and drove to my apartment, an overwhelming sense washed over me. For the first time in a long time, I couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m not normally a crier, but I really just wanted those flowers. I needed them. It’s difficult to put into words why exactly I needed them, but I did.
I thought about them all day today. In my mind, I figured it was just a box of flowers in the office. When I stopped by to pick them up this afternoon, they far exceeded my expectations. My wonderful husband sent me these. My wonderful husband who’s deployed, who’s half a world away, knew just what I needed.
They’re gorgeous, festive and Christmasy – maybe that was all I needed: a holiday surprise to lift my spirits.