Another month goes by and I come closer to 40! It's coming, looming around the corner, when in my mind I still think I am a few years younger. Yes, I do feel like I am closer to 30, not 40, except for the much needed extra dose of anti-wrinkle cream and lower back pain. It's OK, if all else fails, I will spend a lovely evening happy hour with my besties from UD, AND a few days later, spend a glorious week at home with my loves.
If all else fails... Hmmm, "all" better not fail, as I quickly shush the negative thought in my mind and replace it with "IT ALL will work out for the BEST!"
The last few months have been trying, I will not sugarcoat it. A jump on an opportunity to challenge and educate me has turned into daily soul-sucking, stress induced chaos, with no leadership, vision. The misleading red flags so obvious since the beginning, now flow in my face, mocking my idealistic and Pollyanna-ish "it's just me, it'll be all be fine" optimism. With time, I told myself every morning, after a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for all I have, "it's just me, it'll all be fine."
Well, fast forward to yesterday, as I have to make an abrupt turn into Urgent Care before being sent to the ER for chest pains. The pressure was unbearable, and unfortunately, becoming a reoccurring incident, culminating in making a decision: fix it, do something about it, now, instead of hearing my voice, again, whisper "it's just me, it'll all be fine." Really, when? When the panic attack actually becomes the real deal? I don't think so... Life, MY life, is mine and mine only to treasure, guard with all my power and protect against the crazies that try to create unwanted drama and chaos around me.
Admittedly, I could have done a better job at wearing my bullet proof vest more often. I should have spoken up earlier--that's a tiny, little pattern I am working on-- and put a stop at the ludicrous behavior around me that can only be credited with providing sleepless nights and mood swings. Booo, I don't like myself like that. YUCK, I sound like other people I know. NO, I refuse to be like that or to turn into that person.
Health update: it's not cardiac, it's all, ALL, 100% stress related, which caused the anxiety/panic attack. Remedy: decompress... Easier said than done, right? How many of you have been told the same thing by your family doctor, or therapist, spouse, best friend. I wish I could just take a month off... do people even do that? ;)
Well, I am starting with baby steps... and a good talking to by friends and family that remind me (especially when I feel like I am facing the world alone) that I am loved and appreciated. Prayer and meditation have been true blessings. Time heals everything, so I decided to also be patient (ha, that's a joke for those who know me!) and take one day at a time.
None of this I learned overnight as I put into practice my newly prescribed recipe for de-stressing. I have been blessed with resources, mostly in person, along with some books and tools to help with stress...
Without going on and on with this entry, I will highlight perhaps a book that has defined a turning point in my "self-care" discovery. "Eat, Pray, Love" has been described as a woman's life's story from a very selfish and self-centered point of view. Well, newsflash, call me selfish and self-centered.
In a way, the hard way, the painful way, I have had to learn how to take care of me, myself, my soul, my heart, so I can be the smart, loving, professional, spiritual and faith-filled woman I have become. It does not come naturally, and it's not easy at times. My point is that in the novel, Liz gives everything up to go on a journey of self-discovery in order to self-care and heal. Throughout it, she learned to forgive and by forgiving others, she forgave herself for being too hard on her own self. Aren't we sometimes too hard on ourselves? Don't we criticize our looks, our skills (or lack thereof) our reactions to circumstances?? We must STOP. We need to love ourselves, and like ourselves, and laugh at ourselves, and appreciate all that makes us ourselves, US. :) When we master that art of self-love the revelation: we are all special and unique in our ways and being at peace, living in peace and in Divine Order, chaos and drama will slide off ourselves and not penetrate the shell of love that surrounds us. I am working on it.. can't wait. :)
It's late and I have homework to do (no, really, I do!)... but the best part is that it has everything to do with my passion, love and commitment to working with students in their journey to becoming professionals. That makes me happy...I "eat, pray, and love" - hehehe- working with students.
I have gone on quite a journey as I come closer to reaching the 40 milestone... and I look forward to the next 40 by finally realizing that self-care is not selfish or self-centered, it's nourishing of heart, body and soul AND, it's survival . Go out and eat, pray and love... be happy! :)
PS. Nothing is more important that your own inner peace and happiness. ;)