17: Stress relief - Thai style

Hectic, wild, and chaotic; the last couple of weeks have been testing to say the least. I have been juggling with end of month class reports, designing and preparing end of year tests for each level and attempting to organise a basketball competition fundraiser for the tsunami appeal. I am fine dealing with one thing at a time or maybe even a couple, but at the moment it seems there is just too much to do!

I have been accepting job after job without quarrel nor qualm for a while now and finally, as with everything, it has caught up with me. The days aren’t long enough to do it all! It is my lessons which will suffer, I am not the world’s most organised man and although teaching forces a degree of organisation upon you, it cannot work miracles. I have rarely found more than a quick ten minutes here or there to plan lessons this week, and frankly this is not really good enough preparation. It seems to me that it is better to take time over something and make sure it is done right rather than trying to do too many things at once and breezing over them without paying due consideration and thought.

It is not in my nature to get stressed out, but when a hint of strain did appear to have breached my usually cool exterior, I decided to take the plunge, and go for a Thai massage. That is, you understand, an authentically traditional Thai massage and not the seedier squalid version which has found infamy in the West. The massage was both invigorating and painful. Everything in the room was there to create a relaxing atmosphere, from the burning incense to the soothing sounds of the whales soundtrack, the tough rigidity in the masseuses grasp however did not follow suit at all. I finished my hour feeling like I’d fought twelve rounds with George Foreman (pre grill era) only sporting more bruises; I also felt completely relaxed.

In moments of worry, stress or hair yanking frustration it is important to remember that while this experience is fantastic, it is a steep learning curve both for me and those around me. There is bound to be times when the workload seems too much, or when the teaching (and everything which comes with it) appears to be becoming unbearable. It is times like this I feel it’s best to take a step back and take on each task one-by-one in order of importance. To methodically approach the workload in a relaxed manner is not only the best course of action, it is also the only way of gaining stress-free success.

With this in mind it is decided, I am going to relax and work through each task at my own pace, everything else can wait a while. If this doesn't work, then I'll be back for a Thai massage a few more times before my contract is up!


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