Wednesday, May 2, 2007

When Crying Is Cleansing

I've been cleansed a great deal recently. For those of you who have discovered my blog...yay! I'm glad that you have. For those of you who have requested an update, here you go. Settle in because this episode in the series of my life could get a bit lengthy. Over the past week or so, there has been so much that I've had on my mind to write. I played the subject line of my "next blog post" in my mind over and over as these thoughts have taken shape. Along the way, I came up with several: "When Thinking Leads to Thanking", "HP = Huge Procrastinator" (i've been such a procrastinator that i haven't written, geez!), and just tonight I've been going back and forth between "Bruised But Not Broken" or "Ouch...That Stings!" But when my dad called (yes, he called which is kind of a big deal since he's only been able to talk since Sunday after 4 weeks of no talking) just a few minutes ago, everything that has been going on for the past month or so just built up and opened up the flood gates and made way for the tears to flow down. Hence the subject line I decided to go with. Crying is cleansing. It always has been for me anyway. Everyone handles things differently, but when I sit down and have a "good cry" I just feel so much better. I'm not saying everyone should spontaneously erupt into tears like I have been known to do for seemingly no apparent reason (that's the downside to having a good cry...the silliest things can trigger them), but I do think that everyone should figure out what makes him or her feel better when the stressors of everyday life build up. We can only walk around with this stuff for so long. Of course, the biggest stress relief is turning it all over to God because we can never make it own our own no matter how hard we try, but I believe that He also provides these coping mechanisms to us whether it be crying, running, laughing, cleaning (I would be a much more productive person had I been given that one) or listening to music. What is your's? The next time you feel a "meltdown" coming on, let it all out. You'll be amazed at just how cleansing it is.

Ok, so now for the "picked over" subject lines. I still have thoughts pertaining to them so I'm going to share some of those as well. Where to begin?...

"When Thinking Leads to Thanking"
I have so much to be thankful for and over the past month, I have become very well aware of this fact. But while I have been counting my blessings, in the past week, I also began to think about all of those families and individuals who have suffered from so much sorrow and loss. How do they handle it? What makes them able to go on in spite of it? Obviously for those who have a relationship with God, He is their source of strength, but I don't know how people who don't manage in those times. What about those poor families of the Virginia Tech students who were going about their normal daily routine but it suddenly turned into them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where is the fairness in that?, I wonder. How have I been so fortunate to escape tragedy when I'm no better than anyone else? Those who experience it did nothing to "deserve" it. As I mulled over all these questions that were in my mind, a few things became quite clear: No one is exempt from suffering. At some point in life, we will all experience it. We cannot live life anticipating when it will come because where is the quality in that life? This last thought is what opened my eyes the widest probably. If we knew what was just around the corner, many of us would choose to turn around and head back in the other direction. But that isn't what we are called to do. I can only hope and pray that when I encounter one of those times, I lean on God for strength and remember that He never gives us more than we can handle. Until recently, I always kind of wondered if that is really the case. I now believe it to be very true. So all of my thinking led me to be thankful for that which I have been given. Instead of worrying about something that could possibly come along and disrupt my little world, I am going to be thankful that I have been given the opportunity to live in it and experience all that it has to offer and hopefully show my appreciation and care for all the people who mean so much to me instead of taking all of these things for granted.

"HP = Huge Procrastinator"
I'm a procrastinator by nature. I file my taxes on April 15, I renew my car tag on March 8. I never go past the deadline, but I will wait until the last minute. I'm not sure why I do this, but I always have. Maybe I inherited it. Yes, let's blame it on the parents...that's always the easy way out. I did this in school too. I started my Research Methods research paper the night before it was due. (Never start a 25 page paper the night before it's due) I do it at work. Right now, I've got at least 10 admissions files for prospective international students on my desk. They are just taking up space because I haven't gotten around to doing them yet. What is my problem? This is definitely one of my flaws which I have got to work on improving. It's one thing to wait until the last minute to pay my taxes, because at the end of the day, if I don't do it, I'm the only one who suffers the consequence of paying a penalty. However it's another to keep these poor students waiting when I could have had this done at least two weeks ago in some of their cases. Will I get them done in time for them to get their visas? Yes, I will. Could I do so in a more timely fashion? Yes, I could. My most recent procrastination was studying for the GRE. About 8 weeks ago, I scheduled the test for April 16. Plenty of time to review and study. I did ok the first week, got distracted and began the whole "I'll do it later" bit. Then Dad got sick, and studying went out the window. About a week before the test, I rescheduled it for May 1 because I needed more time to prepare. I should've known better. Of course I wasn't going to study anymore. This is what I do. When I'm unsure about how well I will do something, it's just easier to not prepare so I have that crutch of saying "well, I would've done better if I had...." I like to have reasons behind my anticipated failures. And yes, that psychology degree really paid off because I learned that this is something used often by perfectionists, which I am also one of those as well. Yesterday was May 1. April 29 is the first time I opened the study guide since late March. Who was I kidding? There was no way I could memorize all of those formulas for the math section, and if by some miracle I did...would I remember how to use them? I drove to Athens yesterday morning with a knot in my stomach. I was so ill-prepared and I knew better. If I was serious about starting grad school in the fall (by the way, I'm planning to start grad school in the fall), then why didn't I take preparing for this test more seriously. Because deep down, I knew that I would be fine. Would it be my best? No. But would I do well enough to get into the program I want to? Hopefully. Did I? Yes, I did. (I love learning my score instantly) Have I learned my lesson about procrastination? Unfortunately not. But I recognize that it's something that I need to work on. That's at least a start isn't it?

"Bruised, But Not Broken" / "Ouch...That Stings"
This will have to come another day. I'm sleepy so all of my ramblings are running together!

Good night!


db said...

how exciting!! grad school!! yea for you!! :)

Joni said...

Great to see you last night. thanks for the visit :) yes, i agree with you about a good cry!

Jenny said...

Ok, so it took me a while to find your comment on my blog. So sorry! You have a blog! Yeah! You are the coolest girl I know.

Tiffany McConahay said...

Heather, so exciting to find you have a blog! It was so good to read, and man I'm right there w/ you over the good cry...and since grad school started I seem to have more than I used to! Good luck w/ grad school for you!

Anonymous said...

i found your blog today! it took me a while, huh? i'm not using my laptop quite as much as i used to these days. please forgive me!! we miss you. it was good to read your thoughts. i cried everyday during the first month of cylia's life. :) some days i still cry. "why in the world did i have a baby in a foreign country??" haha! but things are getting better. we gotta hang in there. our God is sovereign.
love you,

Joni said...

So I guess you update your blog once a month?