Perspective

It's VERY easy to get lost in our routine, mundane, get-up-and-do-it-all-over-again lives. When the work week starts, I sometimes feel like I'm in "drive" mode the whole time and have no time to turn off my engine. It is not a good feeling.

But there was one thing this week that granted me the opportunity to shift my perspective a little. It was yesterday when one of my junior high schools held their annual 'Career Day' event. I was one of the 18 professionals asked (i.e. cajoled!!) to present about my career to interested students, explaining how and why I chose my career, how I got there, and future prospectives. I added my trip to Morocco into my Powerpoint, and explained how international work is one of the many options OTs have. There were a few pictures I added too, and I found that the more I spoke about my experiences there, the more relaxed I started to feel. And yes, that part of the presentation was the part I was the most passionate about! I came home that evening and looked through the pictures I had taken. That shift of perspective back to something that was arguably the best experience of my life really helped me put my work stress into a more realistic frame to view it through.

Related to that, the keynote speaker advised students to set goals: short term, long term, and dreams we wish to achieve. Whether it's because I am always writing therapy goals for my students, and I forget that I need to do the same for myself, I have not thought about this for a while. Then Morocco triggered my thoughts and I took flight! I really really want to start something long-term there...whether I open my own clinic, or consult at the same centre I volunteered at, or start educating health professionals about rehabilitation practices, I have to do something!!! Then I thought about the language barrier...I did get by on French, since Arabic is way outta my league!! But my French is minimal and basic, so I thought perhaps I could at least start by brushing up on that, and then researching methods to start long-term causes in overseas countries. Who knows what will come out of this?! Either way, I'll be slightly more educated than I was before!!

Ok, so my point? The world does not end if you do not complete everything that you need to get done. In fact, it remains to be done until you do it, nothing is related to life or death with the tasks we stress over. Also, while the stress we go through is actually present (and is actually good for our immune system and NEEDED for our survival), our perspective truly does impact the intensity and duration of the stress we experience. I've felt stuck in a rut all week, very dysthymic and discouraged at the remaining weeks of the school year and all that has to be completed by June 29th. Even while I'm writing this I still feel stuck (i.e. GET TO WORK SAMEERA!!!), but I am going to try my darn hardest to NOT let it drag me down, which means getting out of my own head as much as possible! And perhaps into a mall every now and then ;-)

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