Sunday, November 29, 2015

I Am (Not) Flexible

I am not flexible. I try. I really do. But it’s just not in my DNA. Yesterday morning I found myself sitting at the dining room table with my head laying on that same table with my arms as an uncomfortable pillow moaning, “I’m not flexible. I just can’t do this. I try, but I’m not flexible.” My husband comforted me with the sweetest words. “I know honey, but you are so much more flexible than when we were first married.”

I need a schedule. I need to know what time I should be doing what activity. I make lists. I am a creature of habit and thrive in my routine. For his sake I try to “go with the flow” on weekends. We eat breakfast and lunch when we are hungry, but dinner is always (around) 7 p.m. I know my husband appreciates that I try.
This morning I look at my house and am overwhelmed by the mess. There are dishes left behind from last night’s flexibility in not cleaning up after dinner. The laundry basket if full of clean clothes to fold and put away. My “to do” list doesn’t seem to have as many things crossed off from yesterday. I was sure the list was three-quarters of the way complete. Why are only half the items crossed off?
These are the things that bring me anxiety. And I don’t even know where to begin. It’s like my brain shuts down and multitasking is out of the question. So what do I do? I screw up my courage and tell myself to take one thing at a time. Okay. I can do that.
Step 1: take a shower and get dressed. (Ignore the laundry basket sitting on the chair in the bedroom).
Step 2: eat breakfast. (The dirty dishes can be put in the dishwasher with the cereal bowl).
Step 3: pick a room, any room, and start there. Do not attempt to multitask. Do not leave that room until it is picked up; finished.
Oh, and play Christmas music. That is sure to put a smile on my face.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Broken and Fallen World

Our world is filled with ugly. All you have to do is read the headline news to know this. But you cannot know the depth of pain and suffering until you look into the face of a hurting soul.
At work I recently became more involved with Student Life. Last year I was asked to help out and I gladly said “yes.” It was an opportunity to support the department and to learn something new. My role was similar to that of a Principal. Students were sent to me for such infractions as smoking in the girls’ room or swearing in class. This semester is different.
This semester I am deep into student issues. Issues that require a team to investigate complaints. Issues that need support systems put into place to help a student get through the day, not just the semester. These are the issues that break my heart and drain my soul. And it turns out I’m pretty good at it.
But at the end of the day I am weary. Every morning I find myself asking God to help me get out of bed and face the day. Not because I cannot physically get out of bed. Rather, I ask Him to help me face the challenges of the day; that I will know what to do and say.

Daily I am faced with broken souls. Not just students who have been “bad” and need discipline, but students whose lives have been shattered. They don’t know what to do or where to go. The hurt they feel is so deep they lash out at others or turn inward and hurt themselves. I often don’t know what to say, but somehow I get through a student meeting saying and doing the right thing. It often feels like instinct.
Ours is a broken and fallen world. But if at the end of the day I paid attention, if I listened well, and if I did what was best for the student while doing what was right for my college I know it was a good day.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.