IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR, FOLKS. We're all stressed out and that's all we can talk about. It’s the time of year when I realize I have never known stress until now, no matter how much I’ve complained about it before. It’s the time of year when I have to put my foot in my mouth because of all the times I’ve written about how I love stress and it keeps me productive and WHY am I like this. My body is currently shutting down at a time when I need to be running on 110%.
I’ve found that a defining characteristic of adulthood is swimming when the current is too strong, and trying to smile while doing it. BEING AN ADULT IS HARD, But also way better than being a student. I loved college, but it was just a constant struggle of homework and tests and assignments that barely related to my major. It felt like most of what I did was for someone else, not myself.
BUT NOW, look at all the cool things I get to do for ME, and for other people (but, like, in a way that’s cool for them, not just meeting a deadline for them).
Most of the stress I face is stress that I willingly take on, knowing I'm going to spazz out like two days later. And every time I say yes to something I have to come to terms with the fact that it’s going to stress me out. It’s going to add more to my plate, and I’m going to have to be okay with it.
It’s just one of those seasons where I have to remind myself that it’s all worth it. Everything I do is worth it, even if I cry periodically on my drives home (LEAVE ME ALONE, IT’S HEALTHY). I just don’t have the time, or the mental stability, to do extra stuff if it’s going to add stress I don’t need, or can’t appreciate.
Life is too long (yes, too long) to do things that stress us out with absolutely no benefit. Like, sorry, but no I don’t want to hang out with you on a weeknight because that stresses me out. Social time really isn’t in my weekday routine, and breaking my routine adds stress. Sure, I’ll spend all weekend grading and lesson planning, which stresses me out too, but it’s worth it because it makes my job better for me, and my students. I do the things I do because I enjoy them, and I know they’re purposeful.
I don’t expect, or want, my life to be stress free. I don’t know anyone who is free of that. Even the most boring people I know find things to be stressed about. If I’m going to be stressed, I’d rather it be over fitting a photoshoot into my busy schedule, or organizing a fundraiser for the Trevor Project, or building a set for a musical that’s taking the stage in less than two weeks (all of that is currently stressing me out!). I already know I’m going to stress about money and time and work, and I’ve written about that. But if you’re going to stress, at least throw something in there that’s going to make it worth it.
Okay, now I'm going to go grade because the thought of it is STRESSING ME OUT.