Just Breathe

Today’s post comes from tim.

the need to breathe is well documented

i find myself breathing differently when under stress especially newly realized urgent response called for kind of stress is introduced

i remind myself to breathe, to try to stay in a thinking vs reaction mode (dual mode are the reality) to try to help by doing a meditative shoulder roll and uhmmmm kind of mantra and then to look for avenues to the desired end result in light of newly introduced whatever that input was

some times like when i switched the bald tires from the front to the back on my car only to get caught in icy conditions the next day and have the 65 mph rear end of my freshly rotated vehicle go around the curve on the freeway ahead of me like a snowboarder in the x games

i bet i did do a little body english and a quick look to the side ala dorthy in the tornado at the sights going by during my rotation but i must have had an instinctive response because upon completing one full rotation i regained my original trajectory and found a new appreciation for simply going forward.

last tuesday after assurances from my property manager that my landlord word discuss extending my lease beyondย  the 6 month offer made when she was confronted with the reality of her thoughts of selling the leaky lifeboat she had me occupying, i told her i’d fix it up and give her a fair price but only through my mediator. i tried to push for a conclusion before taking off for china and by golly thursday i got my wish

notice to be out by may 31. i get back from china may 3 and leave again may 8 for the week to return the 12th. my breath got short, my shoulders tensed the meeting with developers needing my direction for the final tweak of a program we are working on hiccuped severely and i decided how to break the news to my wife 48 hours before my departure.

i tried talking to the property manager and went invisible

i told my wife and sent her the rental property entities i am familiar with and she started her search

she found a new one who is custom made for people in my circumstance and i called the guy at 2 and was viewing houses by 245 with 2 more than acceptable options to take her to on friday morning and as i am getting ready to board my flight for the detroit to shanghai leg of my flight i am trying to decide on bigger quieter with a yard or exactly the right size with a busy street and no yard to speak of but parks across the street and bicycle paths lake access etc less than 3 minutes away.

i am breathing ok and hope my application goes through as expected.

i hate having to remember to breathe.


when have you felt relieved?



73 thoughts on “Just Breathe”

  1. I can appreciate the need to calm and breathe. I will be relieved when daughter is graduated, packed up, moved to Tacoma in her apartment, and starts her new job. This all takes place in the next four weeks. There is just too much going on right now .


    1. And yet, what you’re talking about, Renee, is a very normal transition. Sure, it’s a big change, and a lot of effort, that first big step toward independence, but we’ve all done it. I have every confidence that you’ll all come through this with flying colors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, you are correct about it being a normative transition. I guess the stress I experience with it is that I we are walking through it with her, not just observing her do it. I think if we weren’t driving out to Washington with her and bankrolling the transition I would be calmer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m wondering, Renee, if you’d be less anxious if daughter had chosen to do this all on her own? And even if you’re bankrolling this entire enterprise and it’s a huge flop, is it going to break the bank? I’m pretty confident that you’ll all come out of this experience wiser and, I’m hoping, unscathed. I’m rooting for a relatively calm passage. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        2. As you know, Renee, my family is undergoing a complicated set of changes. We are relocating three adults, a kid and a dog. Two adults stop their jobs and either start new ones or contemplate the next stage of life. Three cars and two households have to be moved 2,400 miles. My daughter needs to find a new home (the actual property, new neighborhood, new school system, all the services, etc). I could go on and on.

          In the whirl of all the big and little things that need to get done, it is easy to forget that we CHOSE to do this. We are moving away from a set of circumstances that were throttling much of the joy out of life, moving to a set of circumstances that could be very positive.

          In your case, this move for your daughter is extremely positive. It is exactly what a parent dreams will come true for a child. You want this to happen, even if it is complicated at times. Everything that goes well is a success and everything that doesn’t go well is a learning experience! I’m not saying anything you don’t know. This is a proud moment for all of you.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, I don’t even know where to begin, tim, but your tolerance (not to mention the tolerance of your wife) of uncertainty and upheaval astonish me.

    You must have realized (both of you?) when you moved that it might be short term? As I have stated here before, I admire how you think, your spirit, your ability to be in the here and now, and your seemingly endless stream of ideas, but I’m so glad I can do that from a distance.

    Some of what you’ve written above takes my breath away. The universe you travel is not bound but the natural laws that govern my life. Best of luck, buddy, I hope you and your family land on your collective feet once again.

    I don’t mean this to be critical, I am truly amazed at your capacity for going with the flow. Perhaps my reaction to your circumstances is based on the fact that my unpredictable bowels cause enough chaos in my life, I couldn’t begin to contemplate joining your fray.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. the choice is not to go with the flow
      i’m over in china now and the financial people are questioning if my salary is a salary or a self employment issue where i would be in need taxes and profit loss statements from last two years


  3. I have had way too much on my plate these past few weeks. So much so that my brain has been operating like my 91 year old mom’s – and that’s NOT a good thing. I will be relieved when her move is finished, her excess belongings have either been donated, sold, or tossed, AND I am on the plane to Italy for a much needed and well deserved vacation.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    When I finally had a purchase agreement on my practice I was relieved. I did the deep breathing exercise repeatedly during that time, and sometimes it still was not enough! I don’t do that well with extreme uncertainty, especially when it involves an erratic, uncertain buyer who does not make decisions effectively, and she insists she is the only one who will be able to make it go, then sabotages the other prospective buyers.

    Glad that is over. We will see how she does with this. I am thinking the business may come back to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What? The new business owner has the option of returning the enterprise to you if she screws it up? I hope I’m missing something here.


  5. I discovered after a particularly toxic coworker quit that I had been breathing very shallowly, probably for years, and that it was causing lots of anxiety and lower back pain. In the weeks after the coworker departed, I started to breathe more deeply, and sighed almost explosively, releasing years of tension.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Our capacity to cope in difficult circumstances for years on end it truly amazing, isn’t it? It takes its toll, though. So glad you’re free to breathe deeply again.


    2. I had the same reaction when a long time room renter moved out. I didn’t realize until he was gone that I was also walking on eggshells and living under stress. Boy it felt great when he left!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. At my last place of employment, and this was over 20 years ago, I was being phased out and I knew it. The company had been sold and the new owners didn’t understand what anyone did or, for that matter, the business they had just bought. I had established myself as someone who could wear a lot of hats; I was nominally an art director but I also wrote most of their promotional copy and I built props for the photography department. Not having a precise title meant the new owners tended to discount me. They had brought in some of their own people and the generally positive culture of the place had been disrupted. I kept getting moved into progressively peripheral offices. I could have resigned at that juncture and that, I’m sure, was the aim of squeezing me, but I had 13 years of severance accrued and I was not about to walk away from that. I could wait them out.

      About that time I was having problems with lower back pain. Anytime I would sit for any duration it would take me a few minutes before I could fully straighten up again. Long car rides were a particular problem. I consulted a chiropractor and she was able to briefly alleviate the problem but the stiffness always returned. This lasted for about a year.

      One day at work a group of about 35 of us, all long time employees, were called into a meeting. We were told that we were being let go, effective immediately.

      That day my back pain vanished.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. And if only you had had a gorilla costume (high quality), the new management would have kept you on. But you may have become permanently crippled, so it’s just as well they let you go.


      2. its people like you that are vital to make companies work, people who work at job description defined by a paragraph in the workers handbook are what’s wrong with the world today.


  6. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt ‘in complete control’ of my life yet i chose that course knowing when i married my husband there would ‘never be a dull moment’ so-to-speak. Many moves…many adventures… I feared most a white picket fence and home in one place. I learned much later in life that it probably had to do with my being blessed with an anxiety disorder…I always called being a hermit…mixed with a combination of a somewhat mild bi polar and probable ADHD added in into my dyslexia. All making for perfect mind set of an artist writer but not so good with people other than ‘surface’.

    My greatest relief came after treatment for PTSD involving parents deaths and sibling upheavals. The deaths I was dealing with as I cared for them during ill health…the sibling upheavals during the care and subsequent deaths was a hard wack in the gut and sent me on a tail spin. However through it all I came out stronger and with more understanding of my self and actions. I was relieved with the help and self understanding. And could finally get ‘close’ to some people…able to say I had a friend…2 in particular with whom I could be myself completely and know acceptance. Previously I knew how to behave…to be gracious, personable and hold a caring conversation but even though it was sincere behavior I never let anyone near…nor made any close friendships.

    Well a rather heavy answered but a truthful one as to feeling ‘relieved’.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I work in a project-based world. So my projects all ramp up and up and up and then suddenly they are done. And I always feel a bit of relief when they’re done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always feel relieved after returning from a solo BWCA trip because that is the time I put myself most at risk in my mundane life. Relying only on myself for survival (and not doing stupid stuff that adds more risk to my trip) generates a lot of stress on top of worrying about not capsizing the canoe, breaking an ankle on a portage, or getting into an argument with a moose (spoiler alert: the moose is always right).

    Nature is amplified in the wilderness, so wind seems to blow twice as hard, rainfall twice as much, and thunderstorms are doubly intense because you aren’t shielded from the noise by layers of wood, glass, and shingles. Even the quiet seems twice as quiet on those perfectly calm days, which makes me think I hear twice as many critters lurking just outside my campfire light, waiting for me to drop my guard so they can pounce. Believe it or not, I have what you might call an irrational fear of cougars up there (and to a lesser degree, wolves). They’re the only animals in that area that are interested in eating humans. So I always bring my hatchet into the tent at night so that I won’t go down without a fight.

    Chris in Owatonna
    (Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)

    Liked by 5 people

      1. My nephew took a solo BWCA trip. Bending over to retrieve something that blew out of his canoe, he fell in. Suddenly he was in the water wearing heavy clothing, trying to catch up to a canoe that was being blown away from him by heavy spring winds. The water temperature was about 40 degrees. And, just like that, my nephew realized he was fighting for his life with odds no better than 50-50.


        1. There’s diseases caused by ticks other than Lyme disease. Some can be deadly if not treated. Not to give you another set of fears to ruin your canoe trip or anything…

          Liked by 1 person

        2. its people like you that are vital to make companies work, people who work at job description defined by a paragraph in the workers handbook are what’s wrong with the world today.
          i guess the key is don’t forget the tick stuff
          it appears to work well if used and the dangers are real enough even a non worrier like me agrees it’s a good idea for his kids so i guess i should suck it up and wear it tooi even got a shingles shot this year.
          normally i feel the disease is just about as apt to be a problem as solution but i tend to bow down to ticks . do my dogs too after losing the wolf dog to ticks


    1. My son, Steve, who’s 45, has made 100 trips through the wilds of Quetico since his early 20s. For him, it’s magical sanctuary which replenishes his spirt. In the last several years, he’s begun taking a variety pack of people with him, many of whom have never had this experience. He’s their guide, their mentor, and their protector. This June, he, my other son, and two friends are going to Quetico with two 3-year olds, two 6-year olds, and an 8-year old. This will pose a far greater challenge than any trip to date, I’m sure! Steve’s passionate about introducing the BWCA to people who’ve never had such an experience. Without exception, every one of them can’t wait to return to this pristine wilderness. Most have said that it transformed their outlook on life.

      Last week, I said that I’d like to go sometime. To my amazement, he said he’d consider taking me on these conditions: NO COMPLAINING about : being cold, being wet, mosquitoes, being dirty and smelly, long uphill hiking, peeing or pooping in scrubs, eating camp food, sleeping on the ground, feeling exhausted, and carrying a 60# backpack. He had me at “being cold”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. i was ok on your behalf til the 60 lb pack popped up
        is there no slack for circumstance?
        i think a 30 lb pack would be right for you
        ill bet the 3, 6 and 8,year olds don’t carry more than 45 lbs.


        1. His cherished little boy, Leo, had his first Quetico experience when he was only 4. It didn’t go too well because he refused to eat fish. When he got home and was asked what camping had been like for him, his only response was, “I got to poop on Canada twice!!”

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Because of my life circumstances, I’ve spent far too much time watching dog expert Cesar Millan working miracles with misbehaving dogs on TV. Almost every case fits a pattern. A dog owner has a misbehaving dog (it barks, it fights, it eats the sofa, etc). The owner is at wit’s end. Can this dog be saved or must it be euthanized?

    In case after case, Cesar Millan explains that the dog is acting out because it is reflecting the stress and chaos it observes in the owner. The owner’s anxiety is causing the bad behavior (that then feeds more anxiety in an endless loop). The “cure” for the dog is for the owner to relax, pretend to be calm . . . and BREATHE!

    You have to see this to believe it. Within seconds a dog that seems possessed by devils is smiling, wagging and trotting beside its owner. Cesar will be walking nearby begging the owner to “BREATHE! Just BREATHE!”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. tim, I get that.
    My life doesn’t resemble yours in any way shape or form… and yet I can relate.
    Not the moving part; still can’t comprehend that.
    And just don’t do bald tires tim; it’s never going to end well. Just get new tires.
    (In my 20’s there was a place on the outskirts of Rochester that sold ‘no name’ retread tires. You parked out front, jacked up the car yourself and got the impact wrench and took the tires off yourself. He’d mount them (balancing was extra and since I was driving a ’67 Valiant and was on a budget I skipped the balancing) and then you put them back on yourself. Seems like they were about $25 / tire. Course now that area is Walmart North.)

    I was surprised to notice I was getting little red spots on my thighs the other day.
    It’s a form of psoriasis and I get them when I’m stressed. Huh. I didn’t realize I was stressed.
    Course I do have a few things going on and a few things that need to be taken care of.

    The red spots are my reminder to ‘breathe’ and let some things go.
    3 more weeks of math then I can let that go. Two more chapter tests and the final. Yeah, getting rid of that will help A LOT!


    1. math should be an ongoing process
      you don’t pass them it’s done

      you don’t need or gain anything from passing. relax and continue your math online for enjoyment

      math is like those suduku puzzles
      really i’m doing this to relax?

      good for you and getting it done
      a huge challenge
      look to edx for ongoing stuff it’s great

      or take a fun one as a reward for working so hard


    2. My psoriasis used to be a gauge of my stress level, never really bad. Now it is always at the upper level. So am I always stressed?
      Last night sandy misplaced her wedding ring. We searched all over my daughter’s house. Lots of shallow breathing. Then mr tuxedo found it in the cupboard holding drink glasses. No logical reason for it to put it there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i think the way you have had to reposition yourself in the world, giving up many things you love because of health and financial concerns you sons job and family woes your daughters christian shuffle and sandy being on the continual brink while you lost bike riding wood carving pastel drawing and pain free living status on the planet is another way of saying stress has been a part of your life there last couple of years
        your ability to persist and thank goodness to get sandy to her improved state is reason for self congratulations, you do carry on in the face of whatever obstacles present themselves.
        cudos and i hope they find some relief for your conditions in your journey toward improved life
        i didn’t get psoriasis until i got some damn rash thing that is annoying
        the doctor gave me cream but i don’t want to fix the symptom i want to fix the cause
        homeopathy is my next deep dive in this
        i don’t know what else to do and its not even painful just annoying and uncomfortable. i feel quilty complaining with all the problems out there in others challenge basket


  11. Wow, such thoughtful comments here, baboons. I have a lot of reading to do when I get home.

    I will be relieved when we are on the train again headed east. We just said goodbye to Mario (step-son) and his girls… Travel back to Berkeley today and step onto Amtrak in the morning. Then I will be relieved again when we actually get home Friday evening, and I can get to my computer again on a regular basis.


  12. they want me to submit self employment paperwork

    i sucking air again from the other side of the world on 6 hrs sleep since saturday morning

    who says life slows down after 60?

    wish me luck

    midnight in china from the 45th floor

    Liked by 3 people

  13. My irrational fears (especially at 4:00 am)

    1. Daughter needs a valid drivers license for her new job. This is a fact.

    2. What if daughter goes out tonight (it is her birthday) and gets arrested for DUI. (She never drinks and drives and, in fact, drinks very little when she does drink).
    3. What if she loses her drivers license and, thus, her job?

    4. How will we get her out of the lease she signed in Tacoma?

    I drive myself crazy in the middle of the night with these stupid worries. Being on prednisone doesn’t help.


    1. If it helps at all, there probably will be some unexpected complications before everything is settled. It’s almost guaranteed that they won’t be the ones you worry about.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Courtesy Baz Luhrmann

        Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2007, wear sunscreen
        If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
        The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
        Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
        Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

        Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
        You will never understand the power
        And the beauty of your youth until they’ve faded
        But trust me, in twenty years
        You will look back at photos of yourself

        And recall in a way you can’t grasp now
        How much possibility lay before you
        And how fabulous you really looked
        You are not as fat as you imagine

        Don’t worry about the future or worry that know that worrying
        Is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation
        By chewing bubble gum
        The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
        That never crossed your worried mind
        The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday

        Do one thing every day that scares you, sing
        Don’t be reckless with other peoples’ hearts
        Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours, floss
        Don’t waste your time on jealousy
        Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
        The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself

        Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults
        If you succeed in doing this, tell me how
        Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements, stretch
        Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what to do with your life

        The most interesting people
        I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
        Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
        Get plenty of calcium
        Be kind to knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone

        Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
        Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
        Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the “Funky Chicken”
        On your 75th wedding anniversary
        Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
        Or berate yourself either
        Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

        Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
        Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
        It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own, dance
        Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
        Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
        Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

        Brother and sister together will make it through
        Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
        I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
        And I’ll be there just helping you out, whenever I can

        Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
        Be nice to your siblings, they are your best link to your past
        And the people most likely to stick with you in the future
        Understand that friends come and go
        But a precious few, who should hold on

        Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
        For as the older you get, the more you need the people
        You knew when you were young
        Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard
        Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft

        Travel, accept certain inalienable truths
        Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old
        And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
        Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
        And children respected their elders

        Respect your elders, don’t expect anyone else to support you
        Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
        But you’ll never know when either one will run out
        Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re forty
        It will look eighty-five
        Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it

        Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
        Wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
        Painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it’s worth
        But trust me on the sunscreen

        Brother and sister together will make it through, oh yeah
        Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
        I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there for you
        And I’ll be there just helping you out, whenever I can

        Everybody’s free, oh yeah, everybody’s free, oh yeah, oh, to feel good


        Published by
        Lyrics ยฉ Peermusic Publishing

        Song Discussions is protected by U.S. Patent 9401941. Other patents pending.

        The part I always think about bears repeating:
        “…The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
        That never crossed your worried mind
        The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday…”

        Liked by 4 people

        1. thank you ben
          that’s a great one in this offering
          there are others

          i hope i remember to foile print and display it

          it a good thingvtovrefer to


    2. Old age is a terrible thing, but maybe it gives us some sense of acceptance for things we cannot control. Years ago I never even thought about what I could control and what I could not. Now it never leaves my mind, although realizing how little control we have is a big step toward letting go of fears about what could happen.

      When I faced selling my home and moving to Oregon while being crippled and mostly alone, I realized the task was hopeless. There was no way (in spite of generous help from friends) that I could do what needed to be done. But there were deadlines. That meant I had to accept doing the move badly, because it just wasn’t going to work any other way.

      That meant that instead of trying to do the move well–which was just not possible–my challenge was to live with the move whatever it turned out to be. If I couldn’t control the move, I could try to work with my feelings. I doubt this helps you, and yet it did help me.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. those are stupid fears you should not even acknowledge to your self
      yellowstone has a gigantic volcanic eruption every 500,000 years historically and it is due. i suggest you enjoy the park instead of worrying it’s going to explode
      does washington allow recreational marijuana or will she have to go to oregon

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I feel relieved when the twins go to sleep for the night – whew, a bit of peace and quiet. I also feel relieved when the one twin who always looks at his supper and declares he hates it and sometime throws a fit (because he’s tired and hungry) decides to try it and then likes it and eats it and miraculously his mood is improved. If you live with rambunctious 3-year old twins, there aren’t many sighs of relief other than those.


  15. I’m always a bit relieved when the tax deadline passes. At my volunteer shift we have usually have pizza and crack open a couple of bottles of wine on the last night. I’m just a volunteer there, and I’m sure the sense of relief is much greater for the paid employees, but it’s nice to think I’ll have my Tuesday and Wednesday evenings free for the next eight or nine months or so.

    It will be a bigger relief when Mother’s Day is over. At the flower shop I’m a paid employee.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In my effort to accept getting older, I’m paying attention to a few perks; Medicare, free tax return preparation, and free membership to any fitness club of my choosing.


  16. Lately I feel like I’m developing an anxiety regarding bridges. It came up last summer in Charleston SC and going over the Arthur Ravenel Jr bridge. I drove it, I just didn’t really like it.
    Then Saturday going over the new-ish Lafayette St bridge in St Paul I felt all weird again. Weird.
    and Parking. I stress out over parking at big events.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.