So What … NOW What?

What [hwuht, hwot, wuht, wot; unstressed hwuht, wuht] – (noun) : the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics. The real, unaltered truth.

So What? [soh hwhut] : what we as individuals make of a situation. What an individual emerges with after things have passed through their “lens” of past experience, biases, and lifestyle .

Now What? [nou hwhut] : how do we process the event?  What do we make of it and how will we learn from this and use it in future?

[What?]  I got to class at 7pm last night and overheard my classmates talking about the assignment that was due right before class.  I hadn’t turned it in, nor had I done the required readings.

[So What?]  I freaked out.  Not only did I stress the entire three-hour class away, but I binge ate both on the car-ride home and ate everything in sight once I got in the door.  I proceeded to beat myself up for forgetting the assignment while beating myself for eating so many more calories than I should have (the damage: a banana, peanut butter, granola + rice milk, rice cakes, crackers with jam and a piece of chocolate all over my full calorie intake for the day).  Eventually I pulled myself together, wrote my Prof an email saying I’d be turning my paper in ASAP and stayed up reading and writing until the wee hours of the morning:

[Now What?]  I got the paper in.  It’s docked 10%, but I still got points for it.  Also, I get it now. I need to use my planner as a holy text.  It’s the only way to juggle all these tasks.  But most of all, I recognize that I am going to make mistakes. I’m human.  I falter.  I can’t expect perfection from myself 100% of the time.  That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try my best.

[The wee hours, peanut butter banana in hand.]

[What?]  In the past two weeks I’ve had the following things happen: 1) I’ve started my new job [with no benefits], 2) last week’s paycheck was 70% less than what it was meant to be [thanks to tuition waivers being taxed], 3) the new job’s promised pay was cut significantly–twice [we’re talking 13%], 4) my brand new laptop [which is being repaired] is scheduled to take 3x longer than planned to fix.

[So What?]  I’m really trying to focus on the positive and be grateful for everything that I do have (a more positive work environment, the chance to grow, create and have a little more flexibility, etc.) but I’m feeling lost and confused as I try to learn this new job and keep up with a hectic schedule. I’m trying to figure out what the universe is trying to tell me through all of this. And I keep reminding myself that growth will always be worth the effort in the long run, but that it definitely doesn’t always feel good.

[Now What?]  I just need to keep truckin.  Things will eventually even out.  I know that  if I keep writing, keep creating and keep listening to my intuition I’ll be led in the right direction.  Also, I’m learning that–even if I’ve always considered myself to be a certain way–I don’t need to pretend to be anything I’m not.  I say this because I know a lot of bloggers who write (way too often) “I don’t want to say anything negative and be a damper in my blogs”.  Why not??  Isn’t that the point of expression?  I am not a static being.  I experience the whole range of emotions–elation through depression. I am learning to allow myself to just be… whatever that means at any given moment.  Even if that is frustrated or sad. It’s all beauty.

[What?] Here’s a list of things that sound fun to me and that I’d like to do on a daily basis : run, practice yoga, study, help students (work), teach fitness classes, write blogs, take photos, get outside, participate in global discussions as a woman of color, read, journal, eat one meal with my husband, create jewelry, socialize.

[So What?] There are not enough hours in the day.  I’m feeling frustrated that I’m not allowed to do the things that I enjoy and make me feel alive (the creative things).  I see fellow bloggers posting 3, sometimes 4 or 5 times a day (honestly, who has that kind of time??) and I wonder if I’m truly living my full potential when I feel like I’d almost rather be doing other things with my precious time on earth.

[Now What?]  Balance.  At this point in my life, this is where I’m at.  I need to be grateful for the opportunity and ability to do all these things (and more!).  I’m special and I am finding my purpose each and every day.  It may not be ideal, but I’ll have to be okay with posting less often so that I can spend more time on grad school and my husband.  I’ll have to sacrifice teaching a full schedule and sometimes even being able to make jewelry so often so that I can be a good worker and friend.  I’m learning to accept that I won’t be able to do everything 100% but that it doesn’t mean I can’t still have it all (just in smaller portions). I may not even be able to put out one post a day, but I could do every other day and still get my fix.  I can keep up with teaching two classes per week.  Patience and practice will allow me to create more balance.  Too bad I’m not better at the whole “patience” piece…

[Full moon setting over the West Maui mountains around 5.30am yesterday.]

Do you have any tips on creating balance in your life?  What is your way of processing big life shifts?

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