Stress or I’ve Learned Something

I had a rough week. Seriously, how bad is a week that you actually pray for a Monday so you can start over? Even though I wanted nothing more then to get in bed with my iPod and pull the covers over my head, I couldn’t. I had to keep going. Written out like that, it sounds all triumphant and heroic, like I was running up a mountain, planting the American flag, and sounding a big ‘ol “WHOO-HOOO!!!!” while “Eye of the Tiger” played. Yeah, that’s not how it went.

I wanted to run to everyone I know and beg them to tell me if I can do this (‘this’ begin life in general, I think).  But then it occurred to me, if you keep going to people and asking them, “Can I do this??” imploring them to build you up, eventually they are going to start questioning your abilities, too. As much as I wanted that validation from others, I had to find other ways to deal with my stress.

I’m not athletic. Considering I’m 5’11”, chunky, left-handed and into art, this should surprise no one. But I’ve learned is that exercise is as good for your mind as it is for your body. My head feels clearer afterwards. Maybe that’s because my mind is busy repeating, “Oh dear God, please don’t let me die” over and over? But since I started working out regularly at the end of February,…. my stress levels have dropped tremendously and I wouldn’t have made it through the week without it. Fun fact I learned: 45 minutes, 5 days a week on the elliptical machine does NOT prepare you for running. After a very short jog on the treadmill, my lungs went into full on revolt. My husband asked me if ‘jogging’ was actually Bethenese for smoking. Nice. You won this round, jogging. But I will be back.

The second thing I did was go to my quote journal. A few posts back, I mentioned how I keep meaningful quotes pretty much everywhere I can write something down. This is the one that got me through this week. It’s from The War of Art:

[The Professional] reminds himself it’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.

Although there were quite a few moments this week that the parking lot sounded pretty damn homey, I know this quote is true. It goes with this one from Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own

It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great. 

Being dedicated to our goals means trudging through the mud and getting down and dirty sometimes. But just like the adulation, the criticism never lasts. Take what you need, shake the rest off, try to be better and move on to the next thing. That’s what I learned this week.

P.S. That’s me as a South Park character, right down to the silver hoop earrings (yes, I am that pale)! Want to see yourself as a South Park character, too? Visit SP-Studio!

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