For those who exercise, the importance of stretching is pretty common knowledge. Stretching helps blood flow, can help prevent injuries, and usually feels pretty good.
Muscle memory is also important. When we practice tasks over and over again, they become second nature. Practiced movements become instincts. This was especially true for me when I worked on the ferries in San Francisco. After spending enough time on rough water, my body just knew how to move when the boat pitched and rocked.
Stretching and muscle memory go beyond physicality. The two are also relevant with mental toils as well. I recently took on a leadership role, and these were muscles I hadn’t stretched in a while. I forgot what it’s like to hear my name called about 25 times every hour.
But like so many things, I’ve done before, the instincts clicked back on and I remember that I know how to do this. I know how to make decisions, how to plan ahead, and how to treat people the same way I want to be treated. And, I do my best to keep my temper in check.
Being in charge is not hard for me, but it does wear me down. I get home, and sometimes I’m spent. Sometimes, I’m frustrated, and every now and then, I’m even a little stressed. But I remember the reasons I do what I do. I rely on the focus my job requires to keep me out of the dark places in my head.