A Woman Walks Into a Counselor’s Office

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

So. A woman walks into a counselor’s office, and she talks about not getting to check things off her list, and how frustrated it makes her when she can’t get things done at work.

And the counselor says, “Well, change the focus of your list from what you don’t get done, to what you do get done.”

Hmmm. That works. “But,” says the woman, “what if you find all the lists competing. You know, like you plan to write, but you’ve worked hard, and you don’t get to, and that makes you feel quite poor about your lack of accomplishment.”

And the counselor says, “Well, try this. My vision of today was that I would revise chapter 12, but what I really need or want to do with my day is eat this cheese sandwich and take a nap.”

Hmmm. That doesn’t work so well for the woman, and she says so.

And the counselor asks why.

The woman suggests that while she appreciates that other people like her for just being her, in her own mind, she’s still weighing her worth against her accomplishments. And that makes her cry a little bit.

And the counselor suggests that it’s okay to slow down. He tells her to think about a mindfulness practice, like meditative walking or yoga or tai chi.

“Well,” said the woman, “I already do tai chi. I’ve mastered three forms.”

“I think I would stop that,” said the counselor. “Did you hear yourself say you’d mastered three forms? I was hoping you’d say that I have a tai chi practice.”

“You know,” said the woman, “meditating in ways only the type A can.”


I am to return in three weeks, and I’m to give some time and thought to these things:

1. Enjoying myself and relaxing.
2. Being in the here and now.
3. Resting when I need to.
4. Stop worrying about what I’m not doing.

I’ve had to route myself several times this weekend, but I will say that it feels a lot better listening to yourself and your needs rather than bashing yourself on the head with stress.

At any rate. Expect less.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

2 thoughts on “A Woman Walks Into a Counselor’s Office”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.