Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Spring Break that wasn't. ..

Well...The spring break that wasn't is almost over. I find it is hitting me harder this year than it normally does. I don't like to whine on such a public forum, but I feel the need to rant a bit. I have worked every spring break since my undergrad, but for some reason this one, like this past Christmas break, feels particularly unsatisfying.  I am not rested, I am not ahead of my tasks, and I feel like I haven't done anything constructive neither creatively nor academically. My to-read list still remains,  my chore list still remains,  my unwritten letters,  meditation, self-discovery,  and knitting projects ALL still remain!!

Even when I worked nights, I still felt like my last spring break meant something. Being the introspective creature that I am, I started thinking about why this could be.  Part of it could be due to the fact that I am ending one aspect of my life and acknowledging that might be causing me subconscious panic,  since I feel up in the air future-wise. Another part of me could cite ineffective prioritizing and time management (ironic considering I have done research on that very subject and it is going to be a future topic).  I let too many things become urgent-important or urgent-not important and let the important-not urgent stuff end up in the  back burner. (For the urgency matrix, look up Stephen R. Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People")

Regardless, I feel more harried than ever. None of my weekends seem to be free until after graduation, so I can't rely on them for the break I desperately need. Even my body feels the effects, tired, worn down, and sick. I haven't had a manicure, a hair trim, and barely have time to gather my thoughts. I also feel listless, undesiring to work, unable to concentrate, and impatient.

I need a break from Spring Break...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Cleaning (but not the way you think)

When people think about Spring, they usually think about birds twittering, buds on branches, and cleaning out the winter blahs from their homes (usually in the form of dust, dirt, dried mud, and replacing drapes with gauzy curtains). Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the tidiest person in the world. Let's be real, I'm not tidy, period, and with my crazy schedule I barely have time to cook let alone clean.

But, like everyone else in the western world, I'm doing some spring cleaning this month... Just not the type of spring cleaning people usually expect. I'm spring cleaning my emotions, thoughts, and life. Oh, yes, I'm doing emotional and psychological spring cleaning, and that is a whole other kind of beast.

Pycho-emotional spring cleaning is one of those things that should be done on a regular basis. It is a re-assessment of where I am in life, and whether the people and thoughts, emotions, and baggage of the past year(s) still fit. Those who know me know this isn't necessarily a new theme for me, and it is, in fact, something I've been building and working toward over the past few months. It starts with a re-evaluation of where I am and where I want to be in the next year, the next 3 years (short term) the next 5 years (mid-term) and the next 10 years (long term). Being that I am in a crossroads of life, on the verge of finishing my master's degree and trying to find work, potentially moving to a different state, and radically changing my existing paradigms this psycho-emtional assessment and re-structuring is crucial to my short-,mid-, and long-term objectives. I am on the cusp of adulthood as considered by social norms (moving out, financial independence, etc), and I need to start leaving my "childish things" behind. These childish things include attitudes, behaviors, and habits. They also include emotive attachments, and identifying healthy needs for affection. I need to modify -- "spring clean"--  my perspectives. I need to, essentially, grow up.

That's where the actual "cleaning" comes in. Some of these things need to go the draconian way and literally be purged from my life. Others need to be forced into transition with planned steps to the "weeding out" process.  That might mean limiting to stopping contact with toxic people in my life. It might also mean changing my habits including how I view and spend money, how I view my clothing and style of dress, what kind of relationships and interactions (romantic or otherwise) I will accept, and even how and what I eat and drink.

Granted, I know many people who will read this and say I'm a great person already and don't need to change much, but the changes that I need to make are internal and behind-the-scenes. Some of these changes include getting professional psychological help in order to address some of my concerns. Other changes might require some very helpful, very patient friends to guide me with their skills sets or to support me when I feel like the process isn't going the way it should.

Either way, 'tis the season for Spring Cleaning, and it will start with me!