Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sick as a Dog

Starting Second Semester

Playing Catch Up Already


Sick as a Dog
I apologize for my lack of posting recently. As I found myself starting second semester I discovered the unfortunate fact that I was sick as a dog. A trip to student health verified my suspicion that I had a double ear infection. I couldn't think of a less convenient time to be overcome by illness. It is the beginning of a new semester- new classes, new teachers, new start- and have been unable to attend a number of classes. My French course is already in full gear. There is one class I have yet to go to at all. And I am already overwhelmed and stressed because I am playing catch up so early into the new term. I am behind on readings in all my classes. I haven't completed a number of assignments already due in my French course and I have a quiz tomorrow that covers material I haven't even glanced at yet. I am frustrated and anxious. We aren't even two weeks into the semester...how is it possible that I feel so behind already? The next few days and the upcoming weekend will certainly be dedicated to catching up in all my classes. It is so important that I begin the semester strongly because it will set the tone for the remainder of the semester. Missing classes and fall behind on assignments is not ideal way to kick off second semester. I suppose I need to be fair to myself. It is not my fault that I became sick as a dog. My inability to attend classes and finish assignments is not reflective of my aptitude and dedication as a student. I know that once I am back to my regular, healthy self that I will be able to focus on my classes and my work in the manner that I have become accustomed to. But there is a great deal lying between me and my regular and healthy self. First and foremost I need to get well. Once I am feeling better I can concentrate on catching up and then move forward with the semester. I can't focus on new material being presented until I have caught up on what I have missed. 
Playing Catch Up Already
I am trying to remain calm in the midst of this catch up game that I find myself in; becoming overly stressed will on interfere with my ability to make up the work that lies in front of me. I am attempting to look forward rather than backward. I cannot help the fact that I became so sick so quickly. I can't rewind the past few days and undo the choices I have made. I decided to stay in bed and rest instead of pushing myself to go to classes. (I am conveniently forgetting the fact that I found myself unable to move let alone attend a class.) I went to bed early and slept late; consequently I did not have the time to pay attention to my workload that was quickly mounting as I lay sick in bed. However, my choices, to tend to my health needs, allowed me to get up today and make my way to my two classes. Yes, I am behind but I can't let this stop me from continuing onward. Now that I am feeling better it is up to me to concentrate on the tasks at hand, get up to speed in all my classes, and move forward. How am I going to help myself while attempting to do these three things- concentrate, catch up, and continue forward? I am going to focus on a calming affirmation that will enable me to stay relaxed as I strive to fulfill these three goals.

I am calm, relaxed, and in control.

It is key that I embody this affirmation in order to confidently move forward. Being calm and relaxed will allow me to see things clearly. The haze of stress interferes with our abilities to clearly recognize what needs to be done and prioritize tasks accordingly. 
Breathe in calm, breathe out stress-
If we can remain calm and relaxed in the midst of stressful situations then we have already one half the battle. A calm mind correlates to a clear mind; a mind that can organize unfinished tasks and complete them with focus and accuracy. Control is another crucial element when confronted with an anxiety provoking situation. When everything seems to be flying around chaotically, when life seems to be moving at an unbelievable speed, when work bombards us with unrelenting force, we need to compose ourselves and regain a degree of control. How do we obtain this control when everything seems chaotic and unmanageable? Well, honestly, it's difficult to say. The first thing to do is sit down, stop moving, and breathe. Let calmness wash over you and clear your mind. Then, with this new found clarity, look at the work and tasks that you need to complete. Once you know what you need to do then look at the amount of time you have to complete said tasks. Organize your work in conjunction with your available time. Plot out a plan or a schedule. Look at your plan and recognize that you can do this. You have the time to complete the work that needs to be done. You have control over this stressful situation; you can remedy the problem. It is easier to believe that you are in control and have the power to fix the issue (in my case catch up) when you can look at the dilemma clearly and concisely.
"[I] can remedy the problem."
As I am writing this I am breathing and letting go any stressful energy that I may have been holding onto. I am allowing myself to feel calm and relaxed. I am clearing my mind. I am preparing myself to face the mountain of work that accumulated while I was sick. I will begin to list my assignments and tasks with a calm and clear mind. I will tackle them with an air of relaxation and confidence. I will prioritize my work and schedule all assignments and tasks accordingly. As I begin to construct a plan I will feel more in control of the situation the I find myself in. I may be playing catch up already but that does not mean that I will be feeling behind and overwhelmed for the remainder of the semester. No, this has not been the best start to this semester; however, I have the ability to collect myself and move forward strongly. As I begin to make progress with my work I will be able to see that maybe I am not as far behind as I thought. I will chip away at my mountain of work; in time I will be back on course. I will move forward with the semester and in hindsight this period will appear as a blip on my radar. I need to put this situation into perspective rather than blow it out of proportion. I am only one week into a semester that spans 3 months. I guess I have to ask myself, how far behind could I actually be? The answer is obvious- probably not that much. If I approach this situation calmly and confidently then I am sure I will find that this issue is easily remedied with a few days of dedication, diligence, and focus.

Time for me to run and start catching up,
xo


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