Decompression was my theme for the weekend. It started with the chiropractor letting me know I had an immense amount of stress concentrated in key trigger point areas. An adjustment and some manual therapy was just what my body needed to diffuse. I also called several friends from far away. Though we talked about nothing in particular, it was great to reconnect. The bulk of the weekend, however, was spent with my wife and boys in the yard. We cleaned out gardens, trimmed trees, and dug up thorn-ridden greenbelt vines that wandered into our yard from some mythological mid-Earth region. Though hard work, it was much needed therapy.

For me, decompression is part of an ebb-and-flow process. The craziness of daily life builds up in my system, and then, at some juncture, in some way, it is released. Being somewhat of a driven Type-A type, I usually have to schedule release time, as it doesn’t come naturally to me. Of course, this is easier to do during less stressful periods.

This makes me think of several students [and colleagues] who live in a perpetual state of crisis and trauma. With their brains being hyper-focused on survival, decompression is often manifested through unfortunate behaviors. When I keep this in mind, I am more tolerant of their outbursts. Only so much air can fit in a balloon. I feel fortunate that I am able to regulate and slowly release my air before putting more in. My heart goes out to all those who continually “pop” and start the process all over again.