Sunday, November 11, 2007

On the edge...

I haven't really been feeling like myself over the last few months. It's been a crazy and hectic life...the good mixed in with the bad. But the end result has been me feeling a lot like the picture above. This week at work we had our annual health fair and I picked up some information from our EAP. What I found on the stress checklist confirmed that I really am overly stressed right now. Let's see how you measure up:

  • Do minor problems and disappointments upset you excessively?
  • Do the small pleasures of life fail to satisfy you?
  • Are you unable to stop worrying?
  • Do you feel inadequate or suffer from self-doubt?
  • Are you constantly tired?
  • Do you experience flashes of anger over minor problems?
  • Have you noticed a change in sleeping or eating patterns?
  • Do you suffer from chronic pain, headaches or backaches?
Unfortunately I answered yes to most if not all of these questions. Now the purpose of this post isn't to say "oh poor me" or whatever. It's just kind of a reality check as to where I am at right now. And I guess for anyone who reads this and may feel similarly to let you know you are not alone. Society tells us we must be perfect or we do not have worth. However, perfection is a journey, not a destination so maybe sometimes we have to be a little flexible in our expectations of ourselves and others.

I've been introspecting (can you say that?) quite a bit lately trying to figure myself and my life out. I consider myself to be a fairly strong, resourceful person with good coping habits but I just don't seem to be measuring of up as of late. Not that the tasks and trials are insurmountable...more that I just don't feel up to the task. My capacity to cope hasn't been up to par. I hope this all makes sense.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago in our Relief Society lesson, we read a section from the manual, "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church--Spencer W. Kimball" that helped me identify one of the keys of my current struggles:

"There are in our lives reservoirs of many kinds. Some reservoirs are to store water. Some are to store food, as we do in our family welfare program and as Joseph did in the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty. There should also be reservoirs of knowledge to meet the future needs; reservoirs of courage to overcome the floods of fear that put uncertainty in lives; reservoirs of physical strength to help us meet the frequent burdens of work and illness; reservoirs of goodness; reservoirs of stamina; reservoirs of faith. Yes, especially reservoirs of faith so that when the world presses in upon us, we stand firm and strong; when the temptations of a decaying world about us draw on our energies, sap our spiritual vitality, and seek to pull us down, we need a storage of faith that can carry youth and later adults over the dull, the difficult, the terrifying moments, disappointments, disillusionments, and years of adversity, want, confusion, and frustration. …"

As I read this, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head! I think one of my main problems is that I do not have a reservoir to draw on right now. You may have heard what I like to call the analogy of the bucket. Basically it's a very similar idea to the reservoir. We are each a bucket...which can be filled or dipped from. Sometimes life fills our buckets and sometimes it dips, sometimes we fill each others' buckets and sometimes we dip from them. But crucial to our reservoir is also our own effort to fill our buckets so that when the time comes we have sufficient reserve to dip from if necessary.

So I guess that's one place I can try to focus some of my energy. I need to work more on doing the things that will fill my bucket so that I can get out of my current situation and hopefully prevent it from happening again. But I have to find a way to do that while still maintaining all of my other responsibilities and commitments. Anyway, hopefully this continued introspection will benefit from some time away from my normal daily pressures as I soon will be leaving on a Thanksgiving vacation. Sorry that this post is kind of a downer!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Long live the 80's!!

So for Halloween this year, some of my coworkers invited me to join them in reliving the 1987 prom of Sweet Valley High School. I told them that it would be a cold day in you-know-where before I donned a puffy-sleeved prom dress but that I would try to come up with something that would fit in with the theme. Little did I know that my costume would turn out to be such a big hit with everyone.

Which brings up the it a problem if people seem to like you better the way you look in your costume than your normal day-to-day look? Is it time for a complete style overhaul? Or does it mean people just like to see a different side of you? Or in this case that you brought back a vintage piece of a beloved decade? I guess it partially depends on who is giving the opinion. But I guess I'll let you guys be the judge as well. Here I am in all my glory as an 80's punk rocker:

I have to admit, I really dug the whole punk thing myself. I felt like I had full license to pull an
attitude and give someone that "Are you asking me to kick your butt?" look whenever I wanted. Maybe it felt fun to look the part of the bad girl without living the lifestyle. I guess the whole idea of Halloween is getting to be someone else for a day. Stepping outside of your normal life and getting creative. Maybe I missed my calling in life. I think I would have made a totally awesome punk chic!

One of the benefits of working at a children's hospital is getting to celebrate the holidays,
especially Halloween, in a big way. We have an annual kids' costume parade followed by the employee costume contest. I am proud to announce that my friends from Sweet Valley High and I took 1st place in the group category. We must have looked quite hot strutting our stuff to vintage Cyndi Lauper--"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Here are 3 of my friends as prom queens as well as myself and another punk friend (our lone male representative was the emcee for the contest and therefore not in the picture but looked great in his checkered suit coat, thin tie, converse and mullet wig complete with braid!)

Halloween is always a good time. I sometimes dread coming up with a costume, but more
often than not when all is said and done it's worth the effort. I'm glad that Halloween is for "grown up kids" too... We all need the freedom to cut loose and get a little goofy now and then. Guess I'd better get thinking about next year's costume. In the meanwhile, I am sad to retire the punk costume which turned out to be much funner than I ever imagined. Of course, I can't promise that the fabulous wig won't show up somewhere before next Halloween!