It was a stressful week. Like really stressful. Beyond belief. But until recently, I didn’t realize that what causes me stress has little to do with the amount of work and time that I have, but more to do with my anxiety of what is to come. How things will actually turn out. And how people will react. One day, I walked into Calculus after having waited all day to ask my teacher when I should make up the quiz I missed, and for some reason I expected a frustrated sigh and some reluctant answer. But instead, she was open and patient. She listened to me, and said I could take it whenever. This calmed me down. It took pretty much all of my stress away, and nothing that I had to do had gone away. I still had the same amount of time, and still had to take my test. Nothing had changed, except for the lingering fear in my mind that my teacher would not be very happy with me for missing the test. This brings me to my point. Kindness and patience are two qualities that, when we find them in others, can seemingly dissolve all the frustration and haste and worry we find in ourselves. If you aren’t stressed beyond belief at any given moment, be that kind and patient person for others who might need it. Believe me, you will make someone’s day.
About a month back, I was looking to fill the second semester of my year with activities to keep my mind busy, and hopefully make me feel good about myself as well. Well, I had a lot of activities to choose from, and I wanted to do them all. But I was already committed to my youth group, and my service, which already took up three days of my week. I still wanted to do something with the rest of my evenings, and a couple enticing opportunities were brought to my attention. I decided to go out for field commander for my school’s marching band, and am currently taking lessons along with trying to find time to practice. But for some reason, I also joined my school’s indoor drumline. As if a full Monday and Tuesday and a full weekend wasn’t enough, I felt the need to fill my Wednesdays and Fridays, too. Something along the lines of, “hey, I bet it would be fun to see how far I can push myself this year until I get so stressed and behind in life that I can’t motivate myself to do anything anymore” must have run through my mind. So here I am. And I am stressed beyond belief. I have no time to myself. No time to practice all the new things I am learning, no time to get better at anything. Life is racing past me faster than I can catch up. And I am behind. So why did I sign myself up for this lifestyle? What is this teaching me? Was it because I wanted to explore the other side of the band, having always heard the grass was greener on the drumline side? Or was it because I want to be field commander, and felt the need to get to know the whole group? Or was it because two of my best friends were involved in it, and I didn’t want to lose them? Or was it simply because I wanted to push myself, give myself something to be proud of at the end of the year, to surprise myself in doing something I never even imagined I could do?
Well, as usual, it turns out it was a combination of all of these thoughts, and maybe a few more. But I’m still trying to figure out how I am going to tackle the predicament I have gotten myself into. The last thing I want is to be labeled a “quitter” by one of the most respectable leaders I know, and some of the greatest kids I know, and even by myself. That is really the last thing I want. But I can’t do it all. I just don’t have time. I am anticipating disaster, and its an unhealthy anticipation. It only adds to my stress. Maybe I’ll get better. Maybe its just rough right now, because its all new to me. Maybe I should just take it moment by moment, day by day, and see how it goes. I’ll use every bit of free time I have to be productive in any way I can, and when I don’t have the energy to be productive, I will take a break, and then start back up again. Right now, I clearly need a break. I clearly need to relax and reboot. I need to clear my mind, so I can start running again.