anxiety and gratitude

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you seriously wonder how you survived and came out the other side with a smile on your face?  Last week was definitely one of those weeks for me.  Personnel issues at work (preparing to be down from 5 RDs to 3 and some RA concerns), planning to put on a drive-in workshop collaboration between SJTI and CSJE (details soon, I promise!), hitting a running plateau (read: I had no desire to run. At all.), being on duty (late night phone calls, anyone?), and feeling really anxious about where my husband and I will be next year all kept me from getting even one solid night of sleep all week.  I am most definitely an idealist who looks for the positive in every situation.  When faced with a challenge, I am almost always the first to exclaim that “we can do this!”  Last week kicked my butt, though, and my generally under control anxiety really kicked into overdrive.  My fears and worries began to overtake my ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I can’t imagine that I’m alone in this feeling — you’ve been there too, right?  What keeps you awake at night?

With the stresses I felt last week, I can also reflect on several things I am grateful for in my life.

  • It was really wonderful to connect with more women in the #wlsalt community and continue to feel supported, affirmed, lifted, and transformed.  I was honestly humbled and so honored to see my blog post retweeted and commented on.  It drives me to continue reaching out to these women and do my best to hear their stories and do my own work.
  • I say it out loud all the time, but in case you haven’t seen it in writing, I have an amazing husband and partner.  He is the absolute perfect match for me.  I need to verbally process (can you tell?) and he is the world’s best listener.  He actually told me that several times before we started dating.  I thought he was just kidding around.  Turns out, he was right.  I should get him a button.  At the very least, he deserves an award for being patient, kind, and encouraging.
  • I got to teach some initial social justice concepts to a great group of young leaders on our campus — in 5 weeks, I’ll revisit them for the last session in their series and I can’t wait to follow up on their growth.
  • Mother nature granted my area some amazingly beautiful weather in the last week.  I took Zoe on an 8 mile walk on Saturday and it was gorgeous.  Sunshine feeds me happiness, I swear.
  • Starting Rule #1 in Tara Mohr’s “10 Rules for Brilliant Women” refocused me in some wonderful ways.  I was reminded that while I need help from others to be strong, I also need to take care of myself.  I have started down the path of self care through building a relationship with myself and I am excited to take on Rule #2.
  • I am SUPER-excited about heading to Louisville for ACPA.  Since my first conference in Nashville, I tend to spend much of the year looking forward to the next convention for several reasons.  First and foremost, I get to re-connect with some of my best friends from my graduate school days at The University of Iowa.  I couldn’t have asked for a better cohort and I would argue we were and are pretty amazing.  I would travel to ACPA for no reason other to see them.  As I commented on the ACPA Unconference Blog, I really look forward to engaging with other people this year, too — more than ever before.  I really think I have twitter to thank for that!
  • Despite being in a HUGE running funk, I busted out my longest run ever – 9.5 miles yesterday.  I have heard how important it is to be mentally tough and persist even when you’re tired.  I never had to do that until yesterday.  Walking 8 miles the day before your 9.5 mile run is not recommended; I hurt.  But I did it and I am SO proud of myself.
  • I worked on my “personal brand” and got some really great feedback on this site.  It’s the little things.
Overall, I’m still feeling really anxious about next year as my husband and I job search.  Since there aren’t really any job possibilities here for him, we’re trying to get back to the Midwest.  Dual-career searches are notoriously tough, though, and I’m worried that one of us is going to end up in a job outside of our “profession.”  My husband is already in that place and handling it extremely well; I’m not so sure I will manage that transition with such grace.  How do you handle the stresses and anxiety in your life?

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “anxiety and gratitude

  1. Great job with the running. I hate to run. I’d Zumba all day before I run around the room. Sorry you had a tough week – must be that time of year!

    • Thanks so much for the kudos! I never in my life thought I would be a runner. I was always someone who “hated running.” It became something my husband and I could do together, though, and he was so excited that I ran with him that it fueled my own excitement. We haven’t run together in ages, mostly because he runs about a 7:30 minutes mile and I’m closer to 12 : ) Nonetheless, it’s something we connect over and it has been a nice new hobby. I’ve never Zumba’ed (done Zumba? not sure how to conjugate that one). Do you do a class?

  2. Ankit

    Dearest Erica and AT:

    As humans we are scared of the future and changes; and I know it is our Human nature to look for stability in almost everything. However change is the one single thing that leads to a better future or gives you more opportunity. From what I am reading you are doing an awesome job dealing with everything that is going on, and not breaking down, why should you break down? You are so much stronger than you think you are.

    All I am going to say is explore other areas and be positive, what if you both find something both of you love doing in the mid-west? I know two things for sure, first the economy is definitely looking better than a year ago, second the chances of finding something both of you love to do is higher with more positivity. 🙂 and I know both of you have tons and tons of it.. Remember that you always have people looking up to you and amazing friends when you need help, don’t forget to ask for help. 🙂 my best wishes are always with you.

    I had to write because I know you needed reaching out and people believing in you, and trust me there are a lot of people who would give their time and effort for the two of you without asking anything in return.

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