Sunday, May 10, 2009

Riding the Wave.. 5 tips to Being Your Own Life-saver

My husband and I often talk about life's challenges and the differences in the way we deal with them. I lament the fact that I seem to wear my heart so openly on my sleeve where others can easily see it, throw it to the ground and stomp on it. Fortunately, this doesn't happen all that often, though a particular parent has a grand time trying her best with her bullying behavior.
One day, while talking about our different strengths and how they play out in difficult situations, my husband used an analogy that "stuck" for me. He referred to the way that I handle highly charged emotional situations as, "riding the wave." While others crash and burn, he said, "you graciously ride the wave" and "somehow you manage to just safely come into the shore." Sometimes, like right now, I feel overwhelmed by the weight of all that I have to do. I do not feel like I am riding anything! The end of the school year is rapidly approaching and I feel like I am drowning.
I came to the conclusion, today, that I must be my own "life-saver." Although I have a wonderfully supportive husband, amazing friends, family, and teammates, I cannot expect anyone to rescue me! So how can I ensure that I continue to ride the wave without crashing?

These 5 ideas will help( if I do them consistently, of course!)

1) I must exercise at least 3-4 times per week to ease stress and anxiety, not to mention get me ready for summer!
2) I need to have my lunch and clothes ready the night before a school day so that I don't have to run around frantically before I leave the house in the morning.
3) I will remind myself that other peoples' crises, often resulting from their own procrastination, does not mean that I have a crisis. I will help when I can, but I will not take on others' responsibilities.
4) I will eat well and nurture myself. It's so much easier to eat "junk" when stressed or short of time! I need to be carrying healthy snacks and eat something before the starvation hits!
5) I need to be sure I am getting enough sleep! Sleep is incredibly powerful in affecting our outlook on life.
And with that thought.. I am off to bed right now!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Am I the only one with Tweeter's Remorse?

I blog on Blogger, tweet on Twitter and frolic with family and friends on Facebook. My life is quite busy, with teaching and tutoring, so my online social time is somewhat limited; perhaps that is a good thing! You see, I am quite a reflective person, who sometimes gets stuck in her head pondering endless possibilities. Although I have a high need to communicate my ideas and thoughts, I am also highly sensitive, leading me occasionally down a path littered with land mines: intense moments of self-doubt and criticism. One of those moments today inspired me to stop and wonder: Does anyone else worry about what they put out there for the world to see? Has anyone posted something and, just as they would after making a very important purchase, suddenly shut down the computer, or put away the iphone only to have tweeter's remorse over something they had shared? The little voice inside my head does a thoroughly good job of raking me over the coals after I share a link to a blog entry or post an idea or original quote. I wonder if anyone else suffers the following thoughts:
Did that post make me look/sound: not smart enough, silly, self-indulgent, pathetic, condescending? and the list of fears goes on. I have even giggled to myself: Does that post make my butt look big?
In order to avoid that gut-wrenching feeling of dread, here are a few questions I ask myself before I send off my messages to the world through the realm of social media.

1) Would I have said that to a real-life person? I imagine myself at work or with my family and wonder if I would have had the courage to say those words.
2) Does my message match my values and beliefs? Conversely, am I putting something forth to shock others or persuade them to follow a path I don't necessarily believe in?
3) Will my future life be affected by any mindless statements I once made? As a teacher, certain aspects of my life, like it or not, are judged by my audience. Yes, I have private, free time, but there is no guarantee that something I post will not be linked to me in a public way. Am I proud of how I represent myself?
4) Am I reinforcing helpful or healthy ideation?
5) Does my message enhance relationships with new friends by offering support, advice, or humor to help someone get through a rough patch?

I suppose I do think too much.. but maybe reflection isn't such a bad thing. I suddenly feel the urge to share this post, and for once, I don't think I will analyze it.

In the words of Michelangelo:

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.