Monday, July 02, 2012

Daily 5 - Year 3, Day 315

Today's Daily 5:

  1. A quiet morning, including a nice sleep-in
  2. just a little bit of netflix time
  3. the fun of greeting my brother and his wife at the airport after their honeymoon, and giving her flowers
  4. totally productive time prepping healthy meals for the week (honestly, some of the best moments of my week are the ones where I get to do things like cooking, vacuuming and meal prep that make my crazy living situation feel just a bit more normal)
  5. curling up in bed to rest

Of Work and Holidays and Beginning Again

Normally posts on my blog go live sometime around 8 am.  That's because normally by 8 am on a weekday, I've left the house, and I'm on my way to school, or work, or wherever else it is that I'm going.

This is the first holiday Monday in quite a while (thanks to Canada Day yesterday.  I love it when stats fall on a weekend and earn you an extra day off!).  I'm curled up in bed, and I only woke up about an hour ago.   I feel almost rested, having had three days off from school in a row.

Almost, but not quite.

I worked all three of those nights.  Evening shifts, from nine to around midnight, and then I trekked home on the train.

I haven't talked a lot about my new job here, in part because I need to protect the privacy of my employer, and in part because I haven't quite known what to say.

I'm working as a care aide for a disabled woman, and right now that mostly entails putting her to bed a couple of nights a week.

Going back to work, and juggling school and life as well has not been an easy transition for me.  I've struggled quite a bit with a resurgence of anxiety.  I've battled the extra exhaustion that comes from a change in schedule.  And the job itself has been one that has brought quite a few stresses. It's physically, mentally and especially emotionally demanding, and I've fought a lot of fears and dreads as I adapt.  Last night was the first mostly smooth, quickly accomplished shift that I've had, and I'm thankful for that.

The juggling of school and work is something that carries a lot of fear for me.  I've never done both successfully, and maintained a state of physical, mental and emotional health.  I feel like I have the tools to do that now, but it's still been incredibly rough.

I'm challenged particularly because over the last year I've recognized that I feel the most healthy, and the most "myself" when I have lots of space and downtime to attend to my need for stillness, to connect with God, and to find creative expression for myself.  The combination of factors in my life - the choice to go to school, the financial necessity of working, the knowledge that I need to maintain and pour into certain relationships - is not leaving much of that space for me, and there is a pretty steady level of stress in my life that to be honest, is stressing me out!  By that I mean that the knowledge of the presence of that stress, and the fears that go with my history of not being able to handle stress particularly well, are adding a layer of stress to what is naturally existing.

And so we come around to beginning again.  When I'm stressed, my diet suffers.  My willingness to exercise suffers.  I flip easily into survival mode.  I stop taking vitamins.  I don't manage sleep as well as I should.  I generally stop using successful coping techniques.

I've becomes so aware of this, and convicted of it over the last few weeks.  And I'm trying to take little steps, make little commitments, to begin again.  To use the coping techniques that I know are helpful. To take five minutes to swallow a handful of vitamins that will help protect my physical health and energy. To walk that extra flight of stairs, and eat blueberries or a nectarine instead of a cookie or cake.

I'm also thankful that there's only a month or so left in this semester, and then I will have nearly four weeks off from school.  That I will get to spend one of those weeks with some dear friends, away from home, gaining a change of scenery, and the chance to connect on a heart level.  That I will have some of that space I crave, and have to do less juggling for a time.

And so, I ponder work and holidays and beginning again, and make little baby stepping commitments towards the things that I know work for me.