Everyone always says to “take the time to stop and smell the roses.” What do you see when you look at this picture? At first glance, you see a flower that is in full bloom. Some may think that it is a shame that something so beautiful may be gone so soon.
What people may not mention to you is to look at the rose in a different way…
If you look at this same rose at a different angle, you realize that there are several blooms ready to take the place of the “old” rose.
Change can be scary. But sometimes it’s just about how you look at things.
Take some time to stop and smell the roses today. Then take a second look.
I always start out the week with the best intentions to keep my stress level manageable. But by Tuesday or Wednesday, I’m always a basket case, especially so near the end of the semester. I always make excuses not to go to bed at a reasonable hour or to not go work out, even though I know not doing those things compounds the problem. But one thing that I never make excuses to get out of is a commitment to volunteer. That’s why I love my 2 hours a week at Cedar Creek this semester.
I can show up in the worst mood possible, but when I put my car in park under the trees, I take one deep breath and leave it all in my car. Of course I always realize that all my worries will be readily waiting for me in the car but for two wonderful hours I will have peace of mind. And a smile.
I’m not a horse person. I’m not even really an outdoor person. I search each semester for a resume building activity that will help me stand out when applying for graduate school. I always end up falling in love, though. I have a soft spot for people who have the whole world against them and don’t seem to care. I mean we all have days or weeks where all we can do is wonder, “Will anything ever go right?” But when I hear stories from the program director about how participants come in non-ambulatory or nonverbal, and then I look at who she is talking about, its almost necessary to do a double take. That woman has MS, for real? She started her lessons there using a walker and moving slowly, and now she walks up to and mounts the horse like its no big deal. She even cuts up carrots to feed to all of the horses each week. Through the entire lesson today, she talked openly about having MS if something was brought up to her, but she focused on asking her volunteers questions and bragging about her family. She never once complained!
It’s a humbling experience. You almost go in with a big head because you are doing something for someone else; an inflated ego because someone else needs you. But it’s sooooooo much more than that. I need two hours a week to put things into perspective for myself. I need them, almost more than they need me.
I encourage you to do the same. Find someone who you think needs you, and spend some time with them. You’ll be surprised to find out how much you need them.
Have you ever heard “just cry it out” or “sometimes you just have to have a good cry”
While men may not be told this very often, many women keep it as their mantra. In fact, I have been told this several times lately (and I have cried it out). It’s also gotten me thinking.
Crying is just a release of emotion, right? It’s all that stuff that has been bottled up finally being let out. But why do we let ourselves get to that point? To that horrible point of feeling so overwhelmed that we collapse, in a way. I know that when I get to that point, all rational thought and logic is a long time gone, and until I get everything out, there is no chance of it coming back. Why is it that I hold everything in like that? I mean we are all human, we are going to hold things in, even if we try not to; but everything comes out eventually.
Everyone is always trying to do more, better. And women are no exception. Everyone knows of the cartoon character Superman, but have you heard about SuperWOMAN? Of course you have, and you probably know her! She’s the one who can juggle kids, and a full-time job, her house is always spotless, and her dinners are always home-made, extravagant ordeals. Not everyone can be like that…I’m not sure how anyone can be like that!
Sometimes you HAVE to take time for yourself. I enjoy long showers, painting my toenails, and exercise, to name a few. You have to find time, just a few minutes every day, to just focus on yourself. With that, hopefully the crying/collapsing will be spread out a while. So forget about this idea about Superwoman, and just strive to be the best that you can be … for YOURSELF.
I started out today trying to count how many times I can catch myself multitasking. I didn’t get up until 10, it’s not even 3, and I’ve already lost count. I constantly feel like I can be doing more, to be more efficient, to be more successful, but in all honesty I just become more clumsy. I found myself making a mental list while walking earlier, then I suddenly found myself on the ground. I had tripped over something that I clearly would have seen had I been paying attention. (Embarassingly enough, this isn’t the first time that it has happened, either.)
So, as I sat here in class I was wondering what I could, besides to just relax, to prevent myself from the humiliation of falling in the middle of campus once again. As crazy as it is to admit, I sit here in lecture multitasking once again. But it has to stop. I have to figure out a way that works for me so that I can focus on one thing at a time.
As I rack my brain for all of the options I have searched through in the past, I have decided to make a list to get my thoughts organized.
1. Exercise. I know that I feel better and focus more when I spend some time at the Rec Center.
2. Make hard copies of my lists. Organization is my thing. Hopefully writing things down will help me see in black and white what I actually have to get done. Plus, marking something off when it’s finished is the best thing ever.
3. Focus on walking. Silly and obvious, but it’s something simple to focus on, and I spend time doing it every day. Once I can focus my mind on one thing, focusing on other things will come easier.
4. Taking 3 minutes to breathe when I start feeling out of control. Even setting an alarm on my phone to remind me to just a few times daily.
5. Taking the time to talk things through. Friends and family members can be great listeners. Talk things out with them, and they may have some great ideas to help get through things.
Now that I have my thoughts organized, my focus is to not fall on my way to my next class. One small step for me, one (future) giant step for a more focused mind.