Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Moment of Clarity

While the stress of internship searching is over, it's now back to the stress of regular life. Whatever regular is supposed to mean. I've managed to book my weekends solid for this entire semester, taking away the little free time that helps me maintain my sanity.

Yesterday during one of my classes we began talking about taking  heroic measures and what we feel we are ethically obligated to do. In a classroom filled with student affairs grad students this pretty much became a venting session of how much we feel we have on our plates, and the fact that we work around the clock in positions that are supposed to be twenty hours a week. Some because there's just that much work to be done, some because we just can't help but put it in extra time to not just satisfy duties but excel past expectations.

Afterwards I headed to counseling class. Listening to the soothing voice of my instructor from 7:30-10:15pm on Tuesdays is typically pretty calming, so much so that it can be hard to stay awake. At the end of each class period we tape ourselves counseling each other to practice the techniques we're learning in class. While each week we've had some example role play situations to go off of, this week some of us decided to just vent our own issues out. I must admit it was nice to just put it all out there on the table, and honestly be challenged to think about things in a different light.

I went home last night and had a serious "come to Jesus" with myself. Anna, what are you doing? Get your life together and stop constantly burning yourself out! I realized I'm barely getting any sleep, I consume far more caffeine than water these days and I can't remember the last time I made it to the gym due to my schedule. Then it went a little like this... ah-ha!

As much as I start every semester with intentions of not doing too much and trying to stay sane, I only ever think about it. After spending the weekend at a leadership conference talking about putting plans into action I realized I'm the biggest violator of that

By the grace of God the only free block in my schedule was today, and it was actually free. I typically have to use this precious time to schedule meetings and run errands that I can't fit in anywhere else. I've taken the past few hours to clean up my apartment some (as it wasn't recognizable anymore), write in my journal, take the time to leisurely read (rather than frantically skim) for class, do some shopping and naturally, go to Starbucks. 

As soon as I took the time to breathe things began to fall into place. I forgot to go to the bank, then there happened to be one right next to Target I hadn't noticed before. The barista at Starbucks forgot about my order. After five minutes I spoke up calmly about my coffee and got a free drink coupon in addition to my tall skinny vanilla latte. 

I know things are crazy for many people right now, and as hard as it might be just say no to something and take a few minutes for yourself, you'll be surprised how a leisurely afternoon (or even 10 minutes of peace with some coffee) can turn things around.

In other good news, my sister finally made a decision about college. In greater news...it's South Carolina!

1 comment:

asj said...

good for you! a great lesson to learn early in your "career" - it's not going to get any easier and it's definitely a MUST to take time for you. You can't make other great if you're not great yourself!