Learning to survive the learning curve

I have an awful lot of hobbies and side hustles – I like to feel productive by pursuing things that bring me joy. I also have a hard time remembering that there are only 24 hours in a day and that a good portion of those are used up by my full-time job, sleeping and eating. My life is crazy busy. It always has been, and it probably always will be. But the stress and anxiety I experienced over the past two weeks were pretty overwhelming. I had a ton on my plate and I frequently let anxiety get the best of me. I ended last week feeling pretty drained emotionally, mentally and physically. In addition to my normal side jobs of teaching a few yoga/dance classes a week and volunteering at church, I also started a macaron-baking business this summer and was hired to teach a communications course at my alma mater. If you’ve never made macarons, just know that they are extremely tricky little buggers and require a ton of time and patience. If you’ve never taught a class in the era of COVID, just know that trying to give and receive feedback through masks is very tough. Last week I FELT the learning curve of new adventures. Technology failed me multiple times in the classroom and baking large orders of commissioned macarons took way too many frustrating hours. However, even in my crazy schedule and through my anxiety, I made time for some of my many hobbies to decompress. I prioritized beginning each morning with intentional prayer and took time at night to research what I’m reading in the Bible (Leviticus is always a hard one for me); I had coffee with friends & family; worked on a painting that I started 3 months ago; created large flower arrangements for my room & kitchen; watched Les Misérables (mini series), Bourne Legacy, and an old season of The Amazing Race; finished re-reading All Creatures Great and Small; and I made sure to move my body everyday. Doing things I loved for fun, gave me mental and emotional space and support to press on with doing things that were hard and scary. In the midst of my stressful learning curve, I also found so much comfort in Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I literally walked around last week repeating those words over and over again until I fully believed them. Until I felt the anxiety release and my deep breathing return. Until I remembered that seasons of “newness” are hard and it’s ok to be a bit overwhelmed, but that I also have lots of tools to use to help combat the crazy. A challenge for us all: The world is crazy and doing new things requires a bit of time to adjust. Breathe, seek joy, love generously and try not to get wrapped up in the to-do lists. Also, give yourself an extra dose of grace when you’re trying new things. You’ve been equipped and empowered for such a time as this! SDG

One Comment Add yours

  1. COVID has been really frustrating for everyone. I love musical theatre- due to COVID, two musicals I was trying to see got postponed: Anastasia and Frozen. Frozen was a show I already had tickets for. Waiting for Blumenthal to open up again for musicals feels like forever- Belk and Ovens are their musical theaters. I have to rely on Charlotte’s Blumenthal to get Broadway Musicals. Recently when my family went Uptown (Charlotte does call downtown “uptown), it was a bit strange being in front of Belk knowing just how empty and dark that theater is.

    At least, I am still volunteering once a week at church. Volunteering, like musical theatre, is a passion of mine. I tend to read every day- right now, in the middle of Bleak House. Can even walk on one of Charlotte’s Greenways- my first book I am writing was inspired by one of them.

    Just it feels like not many things are really happening right now.

    Like

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