“Ooh, my turn; my turn.” I quickly raise my hand for the free massage my co-worker is giving away in the break room. And she’s really good. I suggest she get certified and knead necks and shoulders for a living; she says she’s been thinking about it.
Anyway, there’s one problem. She keeps telling me to relax. I shrug and say in what I’ve been told is one of the most soft-spoken voices ever, “But I am relaxed; this is as calm as it gets.”
She shakes her head. “You’re extremely tense, all in your arms.” Then she looks at me and asks, “You sure you’re relaxed, because I see a bulging vein on the side of your head. You grind your teeth, too, don’t you?”
How does she know! The dentist has chiseled me FOUR times already. And I don’t even realize I clench and grind.
I sit there, speechless. I mean, three nurses and a doctor said the same thing prior to a surgery. I went in, as calm as I knew how on a level 9 of pain, and the first thing dude suggested was Valium.
Two Valium later, I was still awake, still crying (softly mind you, not boo-hooing), and still asking questions. By the time they wheeled me into OR, a tech said, “We’ve got a nervous one here.”
Excuse me but I was NOT nervous.
I simply laid on the gurney, crying softly. Who wouldn’t upon their first major surgery. (My past c-section doesn’t count because I blacked out and wouldn’t have known heaven from earth if asked.)
Anyway, I’m reminded to chill all the time, even when I’m not verbally saying anything, even when I’m oblivious to the cues and clues that I’m not…chilling.
What does that word mean–relax? Maybe I should look it up, or take a class. I mean, I never raise my voice; I never outwardly panic; I rarely get angry…I’m calm, right? Isn’t calm the same as relaxed?
* WHAT IS YOUR OPINION. HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE TWO?