behave like a five year old

Wow, it’s really been a while! In all honesty, I don’t know what I was thinking in being able to upload a post every single week, but it was a good thought with good intentions. There’s nothing quite like the over-ambition that September brings, followed by the smack of reality in October. Granted, it is now February and a whole new year, so I guess you could say the smack of reality of the whole semester.

In the past few months, a lot has fallen in my lap. Between reading for grad school really picking up, work going through all kinds of rollercoasters and trying to keep my personal sanity in check, it really has been crazy. I have experienced stress unlike any kind of stress I’ve ever felt before, I’ve gone many nights without adequate sleep and I’ve learned how to make a protein bar stretch a few more hours before I can get home. Dramatic, but not a total stretch.

I ended last semester feeling so incredibly burnt out. I just wanted to sleep all day and I so looked forward to getting home and just sitting in bed and not moving. I started taking more and more days off of working out, or showing up at the gym or track and going home after 10 minutes because I had zero energy. I was at the point where I needed about four cups of coffee and a Celsius energy drink to get through all my daily obligations. My mood was terrible and I was snapping out at the people closest to me. Every little thing bothered me and I was negative about everything.

One of my jobs is working at an elementary school with students during and after school. I was mesmerized with the lifestyle habits of children – they’re so intuitive. If they don’t like someone, they just don’t play with them. If they’re hungry, they ask for more food and if they’re full, they stop eating, even if half their lunch is left. If they don’t want to be part of an activity, they remove themselves from the situation (not always ideal, but the meaning behind it makes sense). And even crazier? They cry and yell and whine, quite a bit sometimes, but they let it go so quickly. They fall and cry and I say “Oh no,” under my breath, but after about five minutes of coddling they move on and forget what even happened. The next day? Forget about it, yesterdays incidents are like a lifetime ago to them.

As this semester started and I began filling out my calendar, I realized I need to be more like the kids I work with. I need to be more intuitive, I need to let things go and sometimes I need to be a bit more selfish. I need to go to bed when I start to feel tired, instead of pushing through to cross off everything I aspired to do for the day. I need to listen to my body and eat an extra snack if I’m more hungry than usual today, and I don’t need to have two toaster waffles every morning if one day I just want one. I need to remove myself from situations that don’t serve me the best and I need to put myself in environments that are more inspiring. But most importantly, I need to let things go and stop holding grudges or frustrations that won’t matter tomorrow. 

The past month and a half, I’ve learned to do this and put myself first. If I planned to go for a run but someone asks me to do something, I (smartly, and with judgment) ask them to hold off until I get back from my run. If I can’t keep a promise to myself, how can I expect to keep a promise to anyone else? If I don’t put my own air mask on, how can I help to put anyone else’s on? And if I don’t let go of silly things that won’t matter in five minutes, five days or five years, then how can I expect to get anything done and move forward? 

I’ve had a lot of stress, but also a lot of inspiration. The past month and a half has been way more productive and I have felt way more energized than ever. Learning to listen to your body and let go of negativity really does work miracles. And sometimes, behaving like a five-year-old does have its benefits.

So stay tuned for hopefully more blog posts this year! I won’t promise one a week, but I think once every two weeks is a good goal. Stay tuned for photos capturing the adventures I did have time to take, and the adventures that are to come. 

xx, mer

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