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Midweek Fix: Fucking Stress

 

Sometimes; I’m stuck in a rut.

 

I have so many things to do and have no idea where to start. Deadlines. Promises to keep. Appointments. Dates. Hang-outs. The lists go on.

 

 

Sometimes I feel as though I have a 24-hour day and I’m awake through it. It’s almost as though I get home, manage to remove my shoes and slump in bed; and twenty minutes later (on a good night) I’m up again, repeating the cycle.

 

A man has to eat, right?

 

But is that my motivation for doing what I do? Strain myself almost to breaking point just because I want to stuff my gut with some proteins and mineral and nutrients?

 

There has to be more to life. But a man must eat.

 

There’s this bumper sticker I remember seeing in my youth; it goes something like ‘I owe, I owe, so off to work I go’.

 

Bad enough that I don’t sleep as much as I need to, I also damage and impair my health with the amazing dosage of caffeine-infused stuff I drink, all in the name of working. I’m a high-strung hyperactive always-busy individual – running around trying to make something of himself.

 

Boy. I do sound like an entrepreneur, don’t I?

 

I go for days on end without speaking more than three sentences to another human being; and that’s when I go to the store to refill my caffeine-drink stash or when I go to the filling station to arrange fuel for the generator. I eat a lot of to-go food simply because I cannot take the time necessary to cook. Sometimes when I close my eyes for a nap, I wonder which one of us is hotter; my laptop or me.

 

I know this isn’t healthy; I know for a fact that I can do better than that.

 

But my song goes; ‘I owe, I owe, so off to work I go’.

 

It’s almost as though hard work is more valued than actual results. I mean; I’m working hard – very hard, and as far as I’m concerned that’s enough. Do I have goals? Are there things I’m trying to achieve with all the stuff I put my rapidly-aging body through?

 

Apart from eating a hearty meal? Not much.

 

But here I am; working myself to an early grave and thinking, ‘that’s the way to go; that’s the only way to be a man where I come from’.

 

Seriously.

 

There was a time when it was popular to answer the ‘when are you getting married’ question with ‘I’m married to my work’, right? Well, I am actually married to my work and I’m cheating on her with a mistress named ‘stress’.

 

You read that right.

 

I am busy being unfaithful; and my wife is just checking the clock for when it’ll be over; when the fat lady will sing.

 

No o, I am not trying to be funny. Reality is this is the life that confronts almost every young and employed person in this country. Rush, work and work and work, it does not really matter if you’re achieving anything; it doesn’t even matter if you’re happy where you are. Just work and keep working. Leave your house in the morning wearing a suit, come back late at night with the jacket over your shoulders and the shirt stained with sweat.

 

“How was work today?” you’re asked. “Thank God,” you must answer; even though you spend every moment wondering what exactly it is you’re working for; why you must work so hard and earn so little – you think about your university days and how you couldn’t wait to get out and experience life.

 

“Is this what it all comes down to?” you ask yourself.

 

I was raised on the saying ‘you can’t eat your cake and have it’. And for most of my younger years I believed it. But since I knew the difference between cake and buns I have been contemplating the implication of that sentence. Why can I not eat my cake and have it; not literally of course? Why can I not be happy doing what I do for a living? Why must I; like most everyone else be unhappy at my job?

 

Now the first thing that occurs to people reading an article like this is; I’m asking them to quit their day jobs. No. Definitely not; because if you quit your day job I won’t be the one to feed you.

 

You’re on your own.

 

What I am saying however is; you can be happy at your day job; whatever that is. In fact you should be happy at your day job; whatever it is. If you’re not, then something is the matter. Time should be devoted to understanding the source of the unhappiness and seeking solutions. For example, as crazy as Lagos traffic is there are ways around it. You do not have to stay stuck in it; swearing at bus drivers and okada riders and sweating like Christmas chicken.

 

Though sometimes being stuck is inevitable, you can avoid the worst of it. All it requires is a lot of planning, awareness and discipline.

 

Why are you unhappy at your job; and what can be done to fix it?

 

Bottom line is; be less of a ‘such is life’ person and be more of a ‘life is what you make it’ person. Live intentionally.

 

As I write this, I am signing divorce papers. And I have handed my mistress her walking permit too. I’m going to marry life – and the only way to do that is to live it.

 

Fucking stress. I’m done.

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6 responses

  1. Mindfulness is a good way to combat stress.

    December 16, 2015 at 10:00 am

  2. Fucking stress indeed!
    Nice article sir

    December 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm

  3. I’ll like more details on how to effectively get around Lagos traffic, if that’s even possible.
    Compliments of the Season! Wish u a stress free 2016

    December 30, 2015 at 12:12 am

    • It depends.

      Sometimes it’s unavoidable. But if you’re in control of your time and movements you can avoid the worst of it.

      Understanding traffic patterns help too. Study your routes and plan accordingly.

      Thank you – and have a great year too.

      December 30, 2015 at 12:20 am

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