Taking a Break

Jul 13, 2022 Opinion

When was the last time you actually decompressed? Literally – took a moment with absolutely no distraction. No sound, light or any other environmental noise to interfere with your breathing and thought pattern. Just a dedicated focus on your mind, body and soul, concentrating on each breath as you inhale and exhale.

I write this blog on a day when most of Canada has been impacted by a massive IT issue, which has affected a large majority of internet and cell phone users across the country. It is also the same morning where I reached into my purse when I got to work and took out the smallest storage container, which holds the 1/8 of a peanut butter sandwich that my 4-year-old grandson proudly provided for my lunch today. It warms my heart to visualize his little face, so sincere in his kindness and generosity in providing me with that offering. This has also resulted in some thought-provoking realizations, as I had the thought of ‘ohhh – to be 4 years old again’, and I had the wish that my big responsibility of the day would be what toy or activity am I going to get, or do, to occupy my time on a beautiful summer day in Ontario.

Taking time to decompress is ‘a thing’. With mental health becoming a common topic of conversation we no longer need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about this topic. I believe that for many, our state of personal awareness is changing. The evolution of self-assessment and personal preservation has made it acceptable for us to take a minute and recharge. People have found various means of relaxation that work for them, whether it be yoga, meditation or a coffee in our car sitting in a parking lot. We, as a society, are gradually becoming more aware  of the fact that taking a minute for ourselves, can have a great impact on ourselves and those who surround us.

I have spent most of my life being a person who wants peace love and happiness in the world. I have the uncontrollable urge to make things that are wrong, or right, turn a frown into a smile, and encourage seeing the positivity in all that surrounds us. I am quite aware that there is a time and a place for all feelings, but I am also aware that many people let too many things affect our mood, our day and our life when they have no business there.

Consider the last time you interacted with someone who was in an absolutely foul mood. Perhaps you approached them with a smile on your face and a jovial greeting until you made eye contact and they spoke – providing you with the realization that they were angry, frustrated and in general,  just simply negative at that moment. Did you walk away in your same cheery mood, or did you let a piece of their anger and frustration take the smile from your face and dim your mood? Did their actions at that moment define who THEY are as a person in your eyes, or did you recognize that it is just a moment in their life that should not define who they are?

It is common behaviour to allow others to affect our state of mind, but why do we permit other people’s negativity to dim our light? I am all about the power of positive thinking, focusing on positive reinforcement and lifting others up – but it doesn’t mean I don’t have moments or days where I myself am grumpy and want to spend the day lying in bed, eating junk and watching some of the best movies from the ’80s (Ferris Bueller all day!!).  But, I don’t do that – instead, I allow myself a few minutes to just breathe. I am entitled to that moment and it will greatly affect my mood for the balance of the day. Then, I get up, shake it off and get on with my day because I have responsibilities and others who depend on me to perform certain tasks in a day.

Sometimes we need to try to focus on the positivity of the common things, such as working an eight-hour day is why we do have a roof over our head, a car to drive and food in the fridge. Sometimes we need to ground ourselves and get down to the basics of why we are on this hamster wheel called life. Might I also add that on a personal note, if I did not leave the house to go to work each day, I would not get to experience the absolute highlight of my day, which is coming home to my grandchildren (the 4-year-old lunch maker and his 2-year-old twin brother and sister) who are ecstatic when they see me pull in the driveway. They absolutely bounce until they are told it is safe to come and greet me and I accept their heartfelt, sincere exuberance that may be combined with Popsicle stickiness and the best hugs you could imagine.

But I digress – I try to focus on the fact that my efforts may be a positive contribution to the company I work for, and due to the nature of our business, my actions could have a life-changing impact on another person.

Positivity surrounds us if we stop to see it.

Many people tend to focus on what we want to have, could have had but lost, what we would have, should have or could have done – but why?? Why are we so focused on anything other than where we are right now? Why is it such common practice to be on a mission of self-imposed disappointment and regret, when some of the greatest moments of our lives are literally right now, at THIS moment?

We should let our past failures change our future. We should recognize teachable moments and hold on to the lesson. We should accept that our past does not define our future. And, we should pause to acknowledge the thought and sincerity that goes into a 4-year-old little boy, handing his grandmother and 8th of a peanut butter sandwich with care and compassion because it is his way of expressing love at that moment.

We SHOULD stop to take a deep breath, be aware of our body and give ourselves a moment to just BE.

Kris Ramey, Account Manager



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