- Mary-Sue Cowell
When did early September get to be the middle of October? September comes every year...surprised? Of course not. It seemed to fly by! The end of summer and in my case the beginning of a new school year especially for those of us that teach is exciting. I vowed I would continue the healthy habits I started over the course of my cancer recovery heading back to work in my school. The workouts, the journal writing, the cooking, the prayer etc, etc, because cancer taught me that I need them to be my best. When I say be my best I mean that these things enable me to manage life in a more peaceful state when things go sideways. In other words, instead of the anxiety and panic creeping in and taking over when life gets hard I am able to feel the anxiety and panic but I'm also able to manage it so it does not take over. Well; truth bomb... I failed. I spent about a month in a pattern of stress. Then I recognized something about this failure.
I recognized I set myself up for it. Adding work to an already full day has been hard and so some of my self care habits went by the wayside. By not being true to the things I need to manage my life I let anxiety and panic take over on many days. I physically feel this when it happens and it exhausts me but I did it to myself. Too much expected by me of me in a time of transition. The difference for me this time is after that crazy month I stepped back and stopped beating myself up for it and I CHOSE to give myself some grace and time to settle.
Once I did that I was slowly able to bring back those things that I do for me that enable me to be at my best. This is not to say that I expect life to continue on perfectly from here because spoiler alert...life is not easy, and hardships will come. However, next time I enter a period of change I will remind myself to CHOOSE grace at the beginning of that phase. Life is hard, but let's not help the hard things knock us down. Do things that inspire us and contribute to us being the best we can be so that when the hard things come, as they inevitably do, we are better equipped to handle them.