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  • Writer's picturejen saraceno

Deep Cool Breath In...Long Exhale

It’s 7:30am on a Saturday morning. I’m overcome by a strong desire to sit outside in fresh crisp air after a week of being trapped indoors by my job.

I look at the temperature. 34 degrees, feels like 29 degrees. Awww, what the hell. I have zero desire to wait until the sun warms things up so I pull on my wool socks, a warm sweater, a big ass scarf, grab my piping hot coffee, wrap a blanket around me and settled into my patio chair.

Deep cool breath in…long exhale.

I could do this all day…be outside. Unusual for this woman who, as a kid, did not much like the outdoors unless it involved roller skates or a swimming pool.

Another deep, cool breath in…and…exhale.

I love my alone time. Now more than ever in my life. Or maybe I only recently recognized just how much I need my alone time in order to recover, rejuvenate, to rekindle my own spark…the spark that gets dulled when I spend more time taking care of others than I do taking care of my own needs and desires. Maybe THAT’s why I enjoy my alone time.

Another deep, cool breath in…long exhale.

I spend my days at work surrounded by people…other people’s attitudes, people’s needs, people’s energy—positive and negative—people who like me, people that I like, people that I will miss terribly when this job is over, people who don’t like me—people who probably pretend to like me, people who frustrate me, people I frustrate, people whose egos prevent them from seeing what is good for the enterprise, people who see me as an obstacle versus a person who can help them—some days I feel like I’m in a Jerry Maguire scene…please, “Help me, Help YOU…Help me, Help You.” Other days all I want to do is breath fire on them like a dragon. But I don’t. I bite my fire breathing tongue. I spend my time bouncing from one issue to the next, one challenge to another, trying to help keep the Boss on schedule, on task, on his priorities, trying to keep everyone who wants a chunk of his time, his wisdom, his guidance...happy. And the crazy thing is, I love this shit. But, if I don’t watch it, it wears on me.

Another deep cool breath in…close my eyes…exhale.

There is all this crazy energy that bombards me from every angle every day…and sometimes I am not real good at protecting myself from it. My best armor? My mind. But my mind has to be at its best to defend from the daily grind. What helps me keep it at its best?

--Crushing it at the gym


--My coach

--My therapist


--Alone time

Another deep cool breath in…exhale…here we go…

My alone time is the most rejuvenating for me. It took me a really LONG time to learn this. Like, a lifetime and a pandemic. I always thought being busy doing something or being with people doing stuff was how life is supposed to be…cause if you are not busy, you are wrong. Right? But how wrong that is, for me, I learned.

For me, “right” is quiet time, alone time. The quiet gives me the space to sort out what’s bothering me. The quiet helps me determine the direction in which I am going to go next. The quiet allows me to recall the goodness that occurs in the midst of real or perceived chaos.

And this is what happened this morning. I finally dumped the negative stuff and spent time breathing in the cool air while thinking about the things that occurred this week for which I am especially grateful:

--Feeling like things are moving in the right direction at work and with the team…fits and starts…but goodness…

--Getting the Boss out of the office early on a Friday for the first time in I can’t even recall…allowing him to spend time with his family, allowing the rest of the team to get home to family and our own rejuvenation time…

--My health...

--Friends that send me the greatest promotion gifts from Hawaii—the Kinzers Minion--“Bananas!!” (which has been sitting on my coffee table since January 1st) and the Garcia’s goody box! Love all of you! Thank you!

--The ability to crush it at the gym with the military members of the command element team…team encouragement and time alone in my head challenging and getting comfortable with my own strengths and weaknesses…

--Fatty Friday’s with the team…this week—Ted’s Bulletin. Instead of the freshman 15, we have the “Command Element 15”…cancelled out by “Crushing It With #22” workouts at the gym!!

--A patio…fresh air…quiet time.

And I’m back out here this evening. This time with noise canceling headphones and music from the Yellowstone soundtrack to cancel out the loud-mouths on the patio below me who definitely don’t appreciate quiet time.

That’s what I’m grateful for today.

Breathe in…close eyes…deep exhale.

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1 Comment

Mar 20, 2021

I like your zen.

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