I arrived at work this morning just before 9am. I start at 10am, so I thought I give the Metro (quick) crossword a go, and just ease myself into the day. It wasn’t going too well – I haven’t done one since last Friday – when all of a sudden (it seemed) I began to feel very overwhelmed. By the noise. The voices. The laughter. The subject matter of the discussions.

It’s an open-plan office, but I have my own desk. At the back, on the end. Still, I was almost beginning to panic, at all my senses being overwhelmed. I wanted to hide, and that is not something that can generally be done in an open-plan office. So . . .

So, I put on my headphones, turned on the bluetooth on my phone and put on some music. The Sentinel by Mike Oldfield. Private Investigations by Dire Straits. The Sad Café by The Eagles.

I closed my eyes, right there at my desk, in the office and tried to let the music cover me. I tried to be enveloped by the melodies, the lyrics. The thoughts of the singer. The picture being created by the tunes.

I escaped the office. I tuned out the noise around me; the harshness of reality faded away, and I was somewhere else. By myself. Not stressed. Not tense. Not overwhelmed.

Music is not only the food of love. Music also “has charms to soothe the savage breast”. And calm the fears and terrors of life. Music – it flowed over me. It gently eroded the building jagged edges of stress that were growing rapidly. The rough was smoothed. The silent fears were slowly diluted until they were gone.

I could have run away. I could have hidden. I chose to do something about it. I chose to listen. I chose to become part of the music. I didn’t feel self-conscious sitting here in the open-plan office with my eyes closed. Nodding my head. Tapping my foot, and fingers. Raising my eyebrows. Smiling. Being soothed, and calmed.

Play on . . .

One thought on “Overwhelmed.

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