Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Not Too Late to Notice

It feels like everything is stressful right now (am I right?). Recent events exacerbated already existing world and national problems, there are statewide problemslocal problems, and a large and never ending workload for these English teachers (hello tutoring until 10:30PM last night, only to wake up and teach class at 8:00am today). There are a lot of reasons to be anxious, worried, and unhappy. But everyday, I remind myself of a lot of reasons to choose not to be. Make no mistake, I'm still concerned, but I also realize that some problems I have no control over, so I can't let the worry control me.

The other week, as I left the house for yoga, this is what the sky looked like:

I pulled over, and I took this photograph. I was just in awe of the beauty of this world, and I stood there for a while just looking at the sky. 

Today in class, my students and I could not stop laughing. Perhaps the stress has finally made us all loony, but I think we were all choosing to have fun and find some joy in the task of writing great thesis statements. 

When work gets stressful, I remind myself that it is only stressful because I am needed. To be able to help other people is, honestly, more of a gift than an annoyance. I remind myself that if everyone's need for me suddenly disappeared, I would maybe be relieved for an hour, and then I would feel pretty sad. 

I also like to think about how I'm being supported by so many people. This is an opportunity for me to realize how many people I truly have trying to help (through kind words, favors, and expressions of love and friendship), and many of those people are facing a lot of stress themselves. 

In addition to being great foot warmers, Lola and Zoe are a constant reminder to not let life get you down. Check out how Zoe just is not worried (turn your volume way up):

I hope that the current problems of this world are temporary, and I hope they are not soon replaced with new problems (wishful thinking?). For my part, I'm having discussions with my classes, and I'm trying to get my students to become politically engaged (which seems to be the way we can effect change over some of the earlier mentioned issues). I'm donating to local charities to address hunger issues here in Midland. I'm getting up everyday, and I'm doing my best. It may not solve much, but it's what I can do. Then, in my free time (what little there is), I have to make like Zoe and chill out. 

My friend Corley wrote a beautiful post about how, when facing pressures to make the right choices or leave an amazing lasting impression on this world, we forget that our purpose is to simply live and enjoy our one life. Her writing really resonates with me. If anyone is feeling down lately, I suggest that you give yourself permission to see the good around you. It's not too late to notice. 

And for me, I have yoga tonight, we have two outings with the honor society that we co-advise coming up in the next six days, and Brendan's parents will soon be joining us in our home for Thanksgiving. All of these things are fun, and I'm going to give myself permission to enjoy them. 

Everyday, we make the choice: either keep going, despite all that isn't going right, or give up on joy. I don't want to give up on being happy. I want to notice all the reasons to keep going. Call me ridiculous, but maybe we all need to be reading news on every now and then. Maybe we all need to light a candle and drink some wine. 

I think I'm going to do just that...except replace wine with tea (wine is for after yoga) and add a hot bath! 

We hope you notice the things that are going right too,

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