Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 39: Stressed? Maybe?

I've had a revelation a long time coming. Kind of a slow boil, and now that I really understand it, I'm surprised it took me so long to fully comprehend.

Lesson 39: Being busy is not the same as being stressed.

In undergrad, looking back, I wasn't particularly busy. In fact, I was less and less busy the closer to the end I got. But I was perpetually stressed. My living arrangements, food quality, work or lack thereof and resulting money difficulty, school, lack of exercise, the very real worry that York would pull something on me and I wouldn't graduate, constantly being on edge for the next thing to go wrong, having no social life to speak of and being too far from any possibility of activities (6-10$ and an hour by transit as a minimum), it all meant that I was just a big, painful ball of stress. I felt like if I took anything extra on, the stress would kill me.

Compare that with now. I'm living within walking distance of nearly everything I want to do, in a good, un-infested apartment that I'm paying reasonable rent for. I'm eating in an appropriate and satisfying manner. I have work, it's not much, but it's something. School is intense, but things going wrong now feels like a rarity instead of an inevitability, and I feel like I'm working with a much more supportive administration. I play Quidditch, which takes up a lot of time, but it's physical and provides a fantastic social aspect. I really feel connected to, and involved with my classmates; I feel included. I get invited to events, and I actually feel like I can attend them. Even on a whim. Even as a split-second decision. And now, I'm even writing NaNoWriMo (there's an excerpt if you follow that link).

I am so very busy! I don't know that I could take on anything extra right now. But I don't feel stressed. I feel stressed only when things go wrong, like my database of doom debacle.

Stress is a sign that things are going wrong, I think, at least for me. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand and they feed on one another and spiral you down.

But I'm not actually stressed. I'm busy.

And busy makes me happy.


Something I couldn't find anywhere to fit in, here's a quote from my Information and Society class where we were discussing Information and Communication Technologies:

"Cloud computing sounds lovely, doesn't it? Care Bears live on clouds!" - Carolyn Hank

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