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thesis

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A Season of Surrender

April 8, 2019

Well hey there! For the past few years, my life has been a chaotic swirl of going going going and a constantly packed calendar that was a maze of scribbled out tasks and arrows directing to where they would go if they weren’t completed in a day.

Then, as if by some mystical force, it all culminated in ONE week. I completed a 40 page thesis, printed it 5 times and presented to the local nonprofit that I had created a marketing plan for. It went so well, and the client was so happy with not only our research, but also with the presentation we had put together. I am still waiting on a final grade, but so far it is looking good. Stay tuned!

A few days later, my sisters threw me the most beautiful baby shower. It was Eloise themed, and every detail was absolutely outstanding. Everyone showed up in a big way and really spoiled myself, Sean, and Tiny Girlfriend in a big way. I am so humbled by the outpouring of love and it is really an incredible gift to have everything I could need to care for my sweet girl once she arrives.

And with that, all the pent up stress and worry that my brain had been blocking out was lifted.

And my body decided: oh hey! I’m pregnant. I kid you not, the day after my baby shower, my body just decided it was going to feel like I thought I would feel while I was pregnant. I am more tired, and can’t move as fast. I am out of breath just carrying the laundry basket up from the basement to my bedroom.

This whole process has been so fascinating to me. To grow a whole human being over the course of 10 months is mind blowing. To do it while finishing grad school, and working is something I didn’t really take into account when making my plans. But somehow, I was able to manage all of these tasks at once. But what is really crazy to me is that now that I am done with all of these things, and have transitioned to only working from home, my body is demanding rest from me as it prepares for the biggest athletic event of my life.

This has taken an immense level of surrender on my part. I know I have mentioned this before, but I often find my value in how much I have accomplished in a given day, rather than just in having an intrinsic value.

And when your body physically shuts down at 2 PM saying: hey, I’m done, let’s sit and rest; it goes against the idea that you have to accomplish a lot in a given day. And yet here I am, feet propped up, bottle of ice water in hand and watching criminal minds and letting my body build up a store of energy for Tiny Girlfriend’s birthday.

I am really focusing on taking this time to be fully aware of the incredible thing my body is doing, and stopping to be thankful for the fact that I am good enough- sitting on the couch, or out running errands.

Gene informs me that after next week, she can come at any time. After ordering some final things on Amazon, and finishing her last load of laundry today, I feel like I can rest easy knowing I have done everything I can to be ready for her big debut.

I am surrendering to this newest phase of life. And learning how to love myself in this season.

Encounter

Human Problems

March 20, 2019

“If Christ does not change the way in which we confront human problems, Christ is just a fantasy.”

Giussani, L. (1986). Morality: Memory and desire. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

This probably could not have come at a more appropriate time. I am pretty sure my thesis group just blew up.

There is plenty of time to the due date. I know it will get done. I am not concerned at all actually. Remember? I just admitted that I know how to plow through and get something done regardless of how it affects the rest of the team (though I am working on this, and am not advocating for it unless its absolutely necessary).

Leadership and control do funny things to people. It’s like there is this metaphorical gold medal given if you get tapped as the leader of the group. The teacher seems to rely on you a little more. People look at you a little differently. You “stand out” in a class. In a program where we are all busting our asses to get a piece of paper that says we are certifiable leaders, you can see why this happens.

There also comes a time when everyone thinks they are the leader. Every last person tries to strut their stuff, and see if they have the chops to run the group. What inevitably happens, is that the person who really really wants to be deemed the group leader, winds up going a few steps too far and causes distress amongst the rest of the group.

Some people choose to interact with this by just sitting it out. Hey man, its just a paper. I’ll get my stuff in when it needs to be in, and I’ll make sure its good enough for us to get the grade.

But I have a really hard time with passive aggressive behavior that is degrading to the rest of the team. Nearly a decade ago, a friend of mine told me to give up sarcasm for lent. He said that if I couldn’t just say what I needed to say in a direct and kind manner, I probably shouldn’t talk at all because it was not worth hurting so many people. This may seem dramatic, but it really struck me, deeply to my core.

I spent those next 40 days really thinking about what it was I was trying to communicate, and how I could use words that were effective without being hurtful.

This may have backfired a little bit- I now seem to be more like Temperance Brennan from Bones than I’d like to be, but you know… you win some you lose some.

So when someone decides to deal with problems with nasty, passive aggressive texts I have an issue with it. I spent a solid 10 minutes writing and re-writing a text to the person having a problem. It was straightforward. It started with I am not sure what’s wrong but it would be easier for us to move forward if you could just state what is going on.

And then I deleted it. Over, and over. Because what came after it was, while accurate and truthful, NOT helpful.

Because if I say that I believe that Christ has changed me, then I have to acknowledge that sometimes, just turning the other cheek and dealing with the mess is the appropriate course of action, no matter how right I feel that I am.

So onwards I go. Reformatting. Filling in gaps. Editing to make everything sound like one paper. And hoping, beyond all hopes that in 7 days, my client appreciates the hard work.