Stress is infectious. When I am under stress I often don’t realize that I am creating anxiety for people around me. Last Tuesday we had a large group and I was helping with the cooking as well as trying to connect with people in the drop-in centre. Of course, things happen, like putting the wrong movie into the DVD player (who wants to see part two of a trilogy before seeing part one?). Plus there were more people than usual for the meal and some tables weren’t getting all of their food. A community member, who is both perceptive and laid back, said “relax, calm down, you are under stress”. He was right and I took a deep breath.
The next day at the Food Bank we had unusually high numbers again. And it began badly with some community members upset at us for receiving a high number for being processed for the food bank. The same community member as the previous evening leaned in to me and said “relax, calm down, you are under stress”. Busted. Here I was again acting like Martha, “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made”. Will I never learn?