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Old 09-27-2007, 07:45 PM   #21
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That is exactly the with with me also. (29 months)
Ah! Misery loves company. Only 26 months here.

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The ways I try and keep the stress down at work are the usual ones such as
- leaving the office at lunchtime (I used to walk at lunch until 3 years back when I moved to 3 miles away so now I go home).
I used to do that, until Katrina. Traffic became so bad that I started just eating at my desk. It's better, now, and I could start going home for lunch again.

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- fixed time to exercise after work. Used to join DW at 5:30 every evening for exercising together at home, Now go to gymn/exercise class at YMCA straight from work
That's probably part of the source of my stress. I have been feeling tired/sick and haven't been to the gym this week.


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- get up and walk around the floor, building fairly regularly during the day.
- and something I've just done again this week and have done every vacation for the last 5 years ----> before going on vacation for a week or longer, set out of office reply to tell people you are on vacation and will not read old mail on return - so if it is really important to re-send it after you return - then on return delete all mail while you have been away. (I used to keep some large files that I would put in my fail file to put it over the size limit so that incoming mail would be returned by the company changed the mail policy)
That's a GREAT idea! Actually, I haven't taken much vacation time at all in months, but if I don't take some pretty soon I am going to have to take "use or lose" at the end of the year.
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:49 PM   #22
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Caroline, do you have to work so hard?
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:12 PM   #23
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As for lower stress in retirement leading to better health, I don't expect to see any as I am very healthy now. However I very occaisionally see my old boss who retired about 18 months back. He too didn't have any obvious health problems but says he feels much better. Last time I saw him I asked what he was using to dye his hair (he isn't the vain type who bothers about this sort of thing). He said that it is amazing but his gray hair is disappearing (he is 59). I've not heard that before. Gray hair is not my problem as I don't have any. I wonder if lower stress in retirement will help me grow some back
My gray hair has decreased quite a bit; I assume it will eventually come back (I'm 57).
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:15 PM   #24
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My gray hair has decreased quite a bit; I assume it will eventually come back (I'm 57).
It seems to have worked for Osama Bid Laden (last video)
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:35 PM   #25
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What amazes me about the health improvements is that they are ongoing/cumulative. I am in better condition than I was three years ago, two years ago, one year ago.

The checkout person, at the grocery store I've been frequenting for almost 30 years, did a double take. She only recognized me from the name on the affinity card.

People ask: "What did you do?"

'I retired.'

While working, all the negative things reinforced each other into a downward spiral: obesity, high BP, arthritis pain, bad sleep, stress eating, too worn out to exercise...

Now the reinforcements are positive and the spiral is up.

I have noticed attitude improvements: less impatient, bitter, depressed... That was also part of the downward spiral.

Am I happy?
Sometimes.

I am definitely content, mellow, relaxed and have come to terms with myself.

It's not all pretty, but it's me; and I can live with what was and work on what is and could be.

Almost three years of introspection has been interesting.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:46 PM   #26
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What amazes me about the health improvements is that they are ongoing/cumulative. I am in better condition than I was three years ago, two years ago, one year ago.

The checkout person, at the grocery store I've been frequenting for almost 30 years, did a double take. She only recognized me from the name on the affinity card.

People ask: "What did you do?"

'I retired.'

While working, all the negative things reinforced each other into a downward spiral: obesity, high BP, arthritis pain, bad sleep, stress eating, too worn out to exercise...

Now the reinforcements are positive and the spiral is up.

I have noticed attitude improvements: less impatient, bitter, depressed... That was also part of the downward spiral.

Am I happy?
Sometimes.

I am definitely content, mellow, relaxed and have come to terms with myself.

It's not all pretty, but it's me; and I can live with what was and work on what is and could be.

Almost three years of introspection has been interesting.
Thanks, Khan.

An upward spiral would be welcome.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:47 PM   #27
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It seems to have worked for Osama Bid Laden (last video)
Sorry, Grecian Formula and cheap shoe polish while running from cave to cave don't count! It's too much like work.
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:45 PM   #28
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Sorry, Grecian Formula and cheap shoe polish while running from cave to cave don't count! It's too much like work.
sounds like the plant I worked at in England. In the winter months you went to work in the dark, came home in the dark and the offices had no windows.
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:52 PM   #29
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sounds like the plant I worked at in England. In the winter months you went to work in the dark, came home in the dark and the offices had no windows.
I recall reading that lack of windows (I spent most of my career in the basement) increased blood pressure.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:05 PM   #30
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I recall reading that lack of windows (I spent most of my career in the basement) increased blood pressure.
That reminds me of another stress reliever I had back in those days. Some vendor sent me a credit card sized card with his company logo that had a heat sensitive square on it and a color scale. When you are stressed your skin cools down as surface blood vessels contract while the body pumps more blood to the muscles ready for fight or flight.

This was very effective. I would "measure" my surface temperature occaisionally throughout the day and whenever the pad went blue I would sit back, close my eyes, breathe long and slow and think of my favourite beach. After 5 minutes I would test again and it was back in the red. Very simple and a great excuse for doing nothing several times a day (control feedback loops are important to engineers )
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:10 PM   #31
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Caroline, do you have to work so hard?
Well... if I keep THIS job, I do. It's not that it's "hard" in terms of incredible hours, it's just stressful by nature. Too much to do, too little time to do it, accountants (aka the "marketing prevention team") jumping up at the last minute and snatching away the budget that was promised...

(My Q4 budget was approved literally two weeks ago, and TODAY they tell me they want some of it back.

There's just no LOGIC here -- whether I get the job done or not is a matter of pure luck. And when it DOES get done it's second-guessed. "Why did we attend that big event?" Uh... because you TOLD us to four months ago and I have your email right here (because I save every single e-mail for exactly these types of butt-covering purposes.)

I've tried to say "screw it, I'm going to put in 8 hours a day and not worry about the rest" but then I leave my "trench buddies" in the lurch.

That's why I posted that list of ironies -- I've got to find the nerve to break the golden handcuffs and take the leap o' faith! :-O
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:20 PM   #32
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I've tried to say "screw it, I'm going to put in 8 hours a day and not worry about the rest" but then I leave my "trench buddies" in the lurch.
Perhaps if you lead my example then enough of your trench buddies will cut back also and the company will hire more staff or change its work practices. If you are all working long hours all the time then it must be extremely wearing on everyone.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:31 AM   #33
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Perhaps if you lead my example then enough of your trench buddies will cut back also and the company will hire more staff or change its work practices. If you are all working long hours all the time then it must be extremely wearing on everyone.
Frank had been working 10 hours/day, 13/14 days every two weeks for quite a few months as had most of the other engineers in his section. When they announced it would be 12 hour days for the infinite future, he was pretty upset! Poor guy. So, last week he went to his cardiologist and got a letter saying he should not work more than 40 hours/week, for his health. We shall see how this plays out. Today will be his first day off since he got the letter. He just needs two more years before he can ER.

Caroline, I can SO relate to what you are saying about what goes on at your work. I have been dealing with a similarly aggavating situation this week as well, which led to my stressed out day that I wrote about the other day. I would tell you about it (it was unbelievable, just crazy) except there's no point. I ended up having to cast veiled insinuations about possible age/sex discrimination to get people to back off and I never do that. Doing that at least bought me some time but it will probably come back on me.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:27 AM   #34
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I have found since I retired that I can handle the other life stressors much better .I have been traveling back and forth to Pa. to take care of my mother and in the past the time constraints would have stressed me out now I just roll with the punches .
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:05 PM   #35
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Last November stress put me in the hospital. After a full battery of tests, and I mean you name I had it, they decided it was stress induced angina. I was given Citalopram (which I suspect is an anti-depressant). Now that my DD and WSIL moved out (July 4th of all days) I am feeling much better. And my moood has been increasing weekly at work as well. Officers say they can tell I'm getting short by the change in my mood.

Found out last week that WSIL lost his job end of July. Have had three episodes since then. Fear of them moving back in I suppose, only this time bringing a newborn with them. It's pretty bad when you look forward to going to a prison so you can relax.
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