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Baboons Need PTO

I watched a program about stress last night. It was one of those things you watch where you see yourself being described and it makes you pay attention. The funny part was it was a story created about a hippie professor and his life long study of stress in baboons. There is a joke there somewhere… but I swear I did watch the movie. It is a National Geographic special.

The timing is good. My spouse is away for a few weeks in Oregon and other points north west and I decided to take a long July 4th weekend and the week after (this week) as a staycation. That’s a new hip word for a stay home vacation.

I decided to cut all connection with the tensions at work and posted my auto reply email at work with my phone number saying “for emergency use only.” Ha! I’ll see how that works.

July 3rd I came home after work just finished the usual stress-a-thon drive home in Dallas traffic. The bad thing for me is that I have become so accustom to corporate induced stress I never realize the pressure. It becomes “normal” life.

I don’t go crazy and scream and shout. I just unknowingly and sometimes knowingly keep a lid on it. A clear sign though is I get very privately upset with “stupid” people and “stupid” corporate activities that are so complex I can’t fix them by my “stupid” self. Wow!, is that evidence of stress or what? I am conscious of what it is as I have had years of “management training” on how to cope and behave. It’s the corporate life way. They give you a box of “stupid” lids. Ha!

Anyway, as soon as I came through the door at home and sat in my comfortable chair, all alone, a quite house… I had a wonderful experience as I felt the stress leaving my body. I have eleven days of total blank slate ahead and it felt good!

The baboon study proved to the hippie scientist professor that baboons and people who are high on the social order have less stress and stress related disease than everyone under them. That is because they have control and freedom to make changes however they want. The hippie does blood tests and all sorts of scientific physical examinations on the baboons to establish his conclusions.

This nothing to do with right or wrong or good or bad. Mean, bad baboons who domineered their social troupe showed no medical signs of stress. Those baboons under their control suffered serious stress related illness and disease and even early death.

There are a lot more lessons learned by the hippie professor and the movie, but what it did was help explain why I like being my own boss. It is where I function the best. I have enjoyed total control over the corporate multi-million dollar field projects I ran. I felt little to no stress knowing my decisions were the law and backed by those above me. It made the work highly enjoyable. Of course I am good at what I do.

My work roles have change and corporate office induced stress has risen. I am going to enjoy the next few days being in total control again. It is what PTO (Paid Time Off) is all about.

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