Thursday, August 29, 2013

Adjusting to New Chapters, Seeking Delight

Ah, change. We love it and we hate it and ironically, it's one thing we know for sure happens in our lives. We resist it and we pursue it, and positive or negative, it's challenging.

Back to School Picture 2013



 I have two high school girls this year: one in her first year and one in her last.

My younger is, for the first time, as tall as her big sister and though she'd rather not, she may begin edging her out any day now. This one has really begun developing her own sense of identity. She is surprised as anyone to find that she's grown from a shy, little thing into a girl with an extroverted personality who gets complimented on her communication skills and her serving heart. She has a passion for plants and at this point has designs on studying horticulture after she graduates in four years.



No one would ever accuse my older of being shy. Bubbly and energetic from day one, she is juggling her final high school classes with college classes and a brand new job and doing it all with that great smile and enthusiasm!



You can see here where Eve gets her height; the girl is all leg thanks to her dad!

Along with all the new changes that come with our homeschooling year, I am getting used to being a student again myself. While I haven't been too stressed about it yet, I did have a couple of days of being overwhelmed after looking at the course syllabus and the amount of work required of me. I started to wonder if I really could balance it all... and what was my life going to be like for the next two years... and could I handle it?

Thankfully, I've learned a few things about myself over the years. One, is my initial reaction to new challenges that require me to perform at a particular level. I almost always need a few days to wrap my brain around them and remind myself that I don't have to accomplish everything all in one day.

I remember when I transferred to the University of MN years ago and went to meet with a financial aid adviser. I listened and nodded throughout the meeting in which I was informed of all the information I was required to gather and submit and essentially all the hoops I was going to need to jump through in order to begin taking classes. I nodded and listened, listened and nodded and when the meeting was over I walked outside and began to cry.

One of Target's newest Starbucks "team members"!
Thankfully, I don't respond that way so much anymore. My body still likes to remind me that I'm stressed out about something though by causing my feet and lower legs to tingle; they feel like little gnats are flying around them. It's not quite the same sensation as when your feet fall asleep and the blood is rushing back, but very similar... and annoying. But, whatever. I just try to ignore it and breeeeeaaathe deeply! :)

Then, last night, after I'd gotten nearly all my assignments done ahead of time for the week, I realized I can do this. I'm planning on taking two courses next semester and that will be another adjustment again. I had been concerned that the potential existed for me to be miserably run ragged for the next two years and I decided then and there that I was just not going to be. I intend to enjoy this time whether I am taking classes or not, just as I determine to enjoy my life every day right now. How foolish it would be for me to only focus on the end goal of graduating and decide that I'll finally be happier then when my schedule isn't so packed. Well, yes, it will be true that my schedule will not be packed, but that may be because I'm done or close to being done homeschooling. It may be that I don't have to drive my girl to work anymore because she's got her own transportation or even her own residence. I have no idea. But I'll tell you this much. I am not in a hurry. I never want to be in a hurry to live my life.

So, even if I only have 30 minutes of time in the day to do my yoga, I am going to enjoy doing my yoga. And if I have one day a week that is completely spoken for by various activities that need attending to, then I will pay attention to each of those activities, doing them one. at. a. time. and not wishing them away, because that is simply wishing my life away and I have no desire to do that.

What I'm saying is, we all have seasons in our lives that are going to be busier than others and more difficult than others. And we can pout about the challenging changes or we can live as fully in them as we live in the more delightful periods of our lives. And I do believe that just because we have a challenging chapter, it doesn't mean that delight isn't lying hidden somewhere within it as well. But we'll never find it if we're not on the lookout for it. I know I am. So though I may be driving and teaching and planning and cooking and shopping  and mothering and serving and studying, I'm also going to be seeking. God has promised me life in abundance. I am trusting that I will find. :)
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