Sunday, December 11, 2011

air in, air out

Do you ever notice whether or not you hold your breath, and when?

I hold my breath - or, breathe really shallowly - when I'm browsing the Internet. Considering how much time I spend online, that's a lot of shallow breathing, which apparently isn't good for you.

I read somewhere once that this phenemenon of "breath apnea" is because of how the Internet works - we click on things, then wait for them to open up. Our human brains, which haven't had time to adapt to this speedy technology, go "ooh! must hold breath because this next thing I'm about to click on is important! Tension, suspense!" Especially as the time between click and open has gotten much shorter, and so we click a lot more and feel the need to keep close tabs on the action that's taking place on the screen, people have developed the habit of dealing with this stressful activity (even if you're on Facebook or browsing pleasurable sites) by breathing very shallow.

I also noticed yesterday that when I'm driving I tend to breathe shallowly, too. I don't relax and enjoy the drive, but instead I frequently check the clock, checking to make sure I'm on time or if I'm late, by how much. Annoyed with myself for not being on time, and let's be honest, that's most of the time these days. (Oi, and I haven't even got kids to blame it on.)

So I'm trying to breathe deeper. Focus on the fact that my lungs are taking in oxygen and letting out carbon dioxide. (Or is it carbon monoxide? Oi, can't remember. And, too lazy to Google. That's pretty bad, isn't it? To be too lazy to Google? Then again, maybe it's a self-protective measure. Guarding my fragile wee brain from the onslaught of information out there.)

"Rest in the breath." My good friend, my intuition, stuck that in my head last week. As in, use the breath as a place to rest. Rest my mind from all the jibber-jabber that's out there. Breathe in, breathe out. Ahhhh...


In other news... I put on the old black dress pants, the old white shirt, the old tie, and hoisted trays tonight as a server at a local conference center. I haven't worked as a server in a month or so, which was super nice, I'll be honest. To have that break. To just work one job. But, one shift wouldn't kill me, so I thought, and I was right.

Serving makes me nervous, though. Up until I walk in the door and start it, and then I'm too busy to care. And also I realize (over and over again, yup, apparently that's how I'm wired) that I'm actually good at it. That I don't have to be nervous because I'm not going to mess up.

I'm glad I'm doing it, though. Glad I took on the part-time job this fall, and tested myself. Proved to myself that I'm good at it. So many young folks work minimum-wage service jobs, especially here on Cape Breton. I think it's an important part of the puzzle, when looking at why young people leave here. Or what it's like to be here, and try to make ends meet with several jobs. What it's like to work your butt off, smiling the whole time, being nice to people who can really treat you like crap, day in, day out, for minimum wage, doing split shifts.

(Mind you, I only did it evenings for 3 nights a week in the off season. And, you can have some really awesome tables, and customers, and that's what makes it fun.)

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