Walking Steel Beams

So, it’s been a while since the last post.  I attribute this primarily to a busy Summer and a  heavy work load.  I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that my “muse” comes and goes.  There are times when thoughts have to be expressed, words written, emotions purged.  There are times, however, when I don’t “feel it”, that is the need to unload my burdens in writing.  I haven’t “felt it” for several months now and I suppose that’s a good thing — at least to me — because that means life’s been good.

The photograph featured here is a favorite.  I’ve had it saved to my phone for years.  It appeals to me for a lot of reasons.  While this high beam worker is sitting and playing bagpipes, I realize that he had to walk to the location where he’s seated.  The thought of walking those thin steel beams all day at that height makes my palms sweat.

I suppose that most of us feel that way — like we’re walking a steel beam high above the ground — in our various jobs/professions.  It’s certainly true for me.  When people ask me what I do for a living I usually tell them that I’m paid to solve other people’s problems.   The business of trying lawsuits is a tough one.  Most days I feel as if one missed step will cause me to fall.  The pressure associated with the lawsuit business is — at times — overwhelming.  I’ve done my best to cope with the never-ending pressures, but you can never quite leave all your work at the office, no matter how hard you try.

To make matters worse, my area covers the entire states of Utah and Idaho, and much of Wyoming.  This puts me on the road all of the time.  This travel only ratchets the pressure higher because I’m not in the office . . . that space where I feel more in control of what I’m working on.  The anxiety connected to the work and the travel can be intense.  The medications I take help quite a bit, but I’m never able to escape all of it.

Yet, when I look at this picture I realize very quickly that I’m not alone to deal with work anxiety and stress.  I realize that every job has its own challenges and we have to learn to deal with that pressure in our own way.  It appears this gentleman plays the bagpipes in an effort to make him feel at ease while at work.  Whatever your coping mechanisms are, we should never downplay their importance.  For me, running, medication and family provide distance between me and those pressures, but it’s different for all of us. I’m constantly looking for other things to help ease the burden, things like a motorcycle, camping, vacationing.

I’ve had this conversation with my older children.  I try to explain that life only gets harder as we age, at least during our working years, and they need to find those things that will provide space.  I don’t know if medication is a long term solution for me, but I’m glad the doctor recognized the symptoms and prescribed it.  Thus, whether is medication, exercise, getting away, hobbies (or a combination of them all) we must find ways to deal with the stresses and pressures we face.  Otherwise, we may just miss a step and fall from the beam.




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