Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's only a failure if you let it be

Finals have ended and grades are in.  The semester is over and there is nothing left to stress over, right?

I wish.  

I am disappointed I did not receive the grades I wanted, especially with all the work I put in, but my husband has a great way of always putting things into perspective for me.

"You passed. Concentrate on what's coming next."

He's a man of few words.  So I'm taking his advice (for once) and looking at all the things I was able to accomplish this last semester.

I learned that five classes is too big a load for me to carry, and four is my limit.  Four is how many classes I signed up for next semester, and one is a de-stressing class.  Power yoga anyone? Yeah, that's going to kick my butt!

I rocked my speech class, which I never expected.  I enjoyed and understood astronomy and economics more than I thought I would.  I kept trying to understand my math class, though my professors comments sometimes made me want to quit, and I am ready to try again with someone new.  I have a support system in place to help me pass with a transferable grade this time.

I grew as a journalist.  I joined the paper as a way to challenge myself to write in a different style. And what a challenge!  I was sucked in immediately and somehow became the Editor-in-Chief.  And though some deadlines were not reached and had to be pushed back, I am proud of what we were able to produce and now have a plan of action to not be so last minute.  Even though I will admit, that last minute stress is a major high.

I became more involved in campus life, which was not in my plans when I returned to college. All of a sudden I have a better understanding of what the Student Government does (sometimes), how the college makes decisions, and how Student Life activities come about.  

Most importantly, I learned that when you're the boss, you have to stay late to get stuff done, and sometimes that is killer.  Midnight is a cake-walk when other deadlines have become overnights.

So even though I got a D in my math class, it's not a failure, it's a learning experience.  While I let that class stress me out ALL semester, I am moving on to understanding what I was unable to grasp the first time around.  

And that stress? I would make a New Year's resolution to combat it, but then I wouldn't, so let's just say that I have a plan to take care of it.  To the best of my ability anyway.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let's Talk

There’s not much I can say that others have not already said.  What happened in Newtown, Connecticut is becoming way too common.  And I don’t have an answer to offer as to how to put a stop to such senseless death.

The only things I can do are comfort and reassure my own children.  

My daughter, the fearless leader, has a plan on what to do for her survival: hide.  She is small enough to fit many places and can keep quiet, she said.  

My son, on the other hand, did not want to go back to school.  While parents around the country were holding their children close in gratitude, I did not have to – my son was hanging on me and would not let go.  

It should not take a tragedy to bring families together.  We all have busy lives that include work, school, and extracurricular activities.  

Something as little as having dinner together with conversation brings people together.  My family makes a point to eat around the table when we are home together. 

We also have mandatory family fun scheduled known as FFT: Forced Family Time.  It is not as bad as it sounds; it is named so that there is no wiggle room for a way out.  We watch a movie, play a board game, or go for a walk.  Most importantly, we talk.

Instead of running around stressed, take the time to rest and relax.  Get things out in the open instead of holding them in.  I don’t punish my children for saying what they feel, I just encourage healthier and acceptable ways of releasing their anger.

I don’t pretend to know what was going through the shooter’s mind, but I can tell you those kids were scared.  I hope the survivors are afforded the ability to grieve and work thorough their emotions in private.  I hope reporters remember that.

Those kids have already been through enough, don’t you think?