I read this article the other day about how so many college students bemoan college life. I cannot lie to you, it does get overwhelming and it can feel like a black hole that sucks most of your free time and social life (what’s that?). The article suggested, when something of this nature is afflicting you, to count to ten. So simple. Take ten seconds to pay attention to what is really important to you. Sure there are going to be bumps along this yellow brick road that we are all on, otherwise it would not make for a very good movie plot and the arrival at the Emerald City would be somewhat anticlimactic. Ten seconds to find something that is enjoyable in your day, even if it is the weather or watching a funny squirrel steal uneaten food out of a trash can.
Yesterday was the first day of classes and while I only had one class, I was incredibly busy. On that morning, before all of the craziness really started, I had to keep in mind my ten second rule. I was consumed with anxiety about my classes, my thesis, my interview, my RA job, the list seemed infinitely long. I took the time (only ten seconds, mind you) to redirect my feelings into something more positive. I then felt an excitement to interview (I got to meet new people!), my thesis problems were solved (I am partnering up with my very good friend to write a cookbook. I was so excited about this that I called my Mom. I had to spread the good news or I would have just burst into a thousand confetti pieces), my RA job was being taken care of (I realized how connected I am to the University and that all I had to do was tap into those resources), my classes (Yesterday I started my first introduction to psycholinguistics course. I loved it so much that I am considering it for grad school!). All in all it was a wonderful day!
I believe that sometimes we have a tendency to think that we deserve good days because we are “good” people. We do not murder puppies on the weekend and always tip our waitresses. I learned in my Motivation class (it’s a truly science in the field of Psychology) that there are many components to a “good” day. To summarize, things that occur in your day should not be unexpected and you are prepared for everything that comes your way. This quasi-scientific definition of a good day is something that I take into account when I have a good day. Sure, it sucks the fun out of the day sometimes, but I believe that it is true and I uphold its tenet.
On the more spiritual side, I believe that good days are gifts from God. People in general believe that God acts upon all of us and that it is completely one sided. I do not see it that way, instead, I know that God intends for us to rejoice and love life, no matter what kind of day that we are having. Usually our bad days are filled with inconsequential things that in ten years will not matter. God supplies a challenge for us to embrace the day, good or bad, because he gave it to us. This, again, is difficult to uphold. No one loves traffic! But maybe there is some reason for it. No one loves bills or money issues, but there has to be some lesson within those problems.
As I was reflecting on my fabulous day yesterday, I realized that my day was not made beautiful because of what I did, it was because I accepted the good things that God gave me. Big difference. Huge.
We all get a little caught up in the moment. I know that I did. While my day was incredible (best first day of school ever!), I did not even save time for reflection or a little Bible study. This is going to take some work.
The beautiful part is that all amazing things come from putting in some work.
Looking forward to today, to working hard, and most excitingly, meeting my good friend for coffee this afternoon!