Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Keep the Stress Monster at Bay

            The further I go along in life, the more I believe that it’s the simple pleasures that keep stress levels at bay. Simple pleasures coupled with a game plan. I’ve mentioned this before that when I look back on my college career, I wasn’t as stressed out as some I know. Yes, that bit me in the ass at least once, but overall, I was a happier person and I had experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world. That’s not to say I wasn’t stressed at all. Part of post-college life is realizing how much you had weighing down on you that’s suddenly gone once that degree is in your hands. The sudden shifting of weight makes you lose your balance a little bit.
            One thing that really sticks out in my mind about graduation is right after I walked out of my dorm for the last time. It was after dark and after helping me to get what was left in my room out and packed into one vehicle or another, my people had gone on ahead of me. I was sitting in my car, changed out of my dress and into jeans and my sweatshirt. For a minute, I just sat there. I couldn’t believe it. All I could think was “I did it. I did it. I did it!” I was overwhelmed and near to tears. For a long time, I had wanted to go to college. I had wanted to get a degree. And I did it. No amount of polite “No, we’re not offering you a job” letters can take that moment away from me. No amount of rejection can take away the simple pleasures I have in my life and the game plan I have to get published, because I do have a game plan. After six months of writing and wondering what next, I have a game plan. And I have the little things.
            Since I’ve been out of college, I’ve picked up a caffeine habit. Backwards, I know, but there you go. It’s not so much about the caffeine itself, it’s the creature comfort of that warm beverage in the mornings. It’s the creature comfort of having Bear around to envelope me in a hug that makes the rest of the world go away. Seeing my nephew smile and get excited over a dinosaur documentary. Even smaller than that, the little shinies that us ladies put on to make us feel pretty and special. The little things in life. They’re what keep us sane and keep us happy. There are many people in my life that I wish could appreciate the little things more. They might be surprised at how it can change your perspective and suddenly, it’s a good day just because the sun is shining.

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