This week was just one of those weeks.
The kind of week when you only have coffee for breakfast and lunch, donuts to last you till dinner.
The kind of week when you’re late to important meetings because you can’t find the conference room -- two days in a row.
The kind of week when you just look at yourself and go, “I’m such a mess.”
Even today, I had an appointment to be at by 7 a.m., but didn’t hear any of the three alarms that I had set for this morning! Great! Another reminder that I’m overworked, overwhelmed, and so over this week.
And I’m going to be incredibly honest here: I’m actually writing this piece as I sit, on the floor, in the middle of a car wash convenience store because there aren’t any seats left outside, and my dad insists on getting a car wash right now even though I don't have time.
When weeks like this happen to me, I’m so tempted to just give up on all my responsibilities, feel sorry for myself, and dwell on how incredibly messy the past week was, and compare myself to every other person I see who seems to have the perfect life.
In reality, a lot of great things happened in the last 5 days. It’s just that I became so overwhelmed looking at how overcommitted I was that I overlooked all the incredible people who brought me so much life and laughter in the past few days.
I allowed my imperfect circumstances to steal my joy. Yes, I’m tired and overcommitted, but at the same time, I realized that it was my mindset that was giving me so much grief, and not my less-than-perfect circumstances.
But yesterday, I realized that I was wearing the wrong pair of glasses -- meaning that my outlook on life was completely wrong. So I decided to take that pair off, and I chose to wear a new pair, and now I see the world differently. Despite the fact not everything went the way I wanted to this week, I have no realized there is so much beauty in an imperfect life.
Allow me to give an example:
Yesterday, I had to work an orientation event, but I really didn’t feel like it. It was an all day event, I was so tired from the day before, there was so much for me to get done, and to top it off, the parking situation was horrible so I had to walk across campus multiple times in heels that made my feet ache in all the worst places.
While working the event, we realized that there were some students missing, so we called them up to find out if they would be arriving late. One girl said she was lost, so it was my job to find her and bring her to the event. After finding her and guiding her to the orientation event, she told me she was flustered and late because she had just left the hospital where her grandma was having an extensive surgery. I did my best to console her, and after the event, she came up to me and thanked me for being so helpful and for calling her at the precise moment she had arrived on campus and was so stressed out because she couldn’t find the event. What’s more, she found out the surgery would be successful and her grandmother would be alright.
Driving home that day, I did a lot of thinking. I realized that having the opportunity to help someone who was having a stressful day as well was an incredible blessing in itself. In that moment, I was able to take my eyes off of my own problems and see that first of all, I’m not the only one going through stress, and second of all, in every stressful circumstance, we are able to make the most of it if we take the focus off of our problems and instead, focus on how we can be a blessing to others. In the end, I was so glad I went to the orientation event!
So, if you’re in a situation right now where you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed, just remember that days like these don’t last forever -- they only last as long as you allow them to. When your mindset becomes clouded by the a huge “TO-DO” list that seems impossible to complete, by the fact that you feel like a failure, by the fact that you feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities you have to juggle, by the fact that life just isn’t going your way, take a step back.
Stop whatever you’re doing; in fact, stop trying altogether. Focus on the present moment. You’re living, you’re breathing. You have an amazing life ahead of you. The fact is there are always going to be stressful moments, but those moments don’t have to stressful if you stop and realize that this life is too short to be worrying about something that may never happen, too short to be concerned with what others may think of you, and too short to condemn yourself about all the mistakes you’ve made in the past.
Sometimes, we focus too much on where we want to be or what we want to do, instead of where we are at right now. There’s so much beauty in knowing that this is where I am right now, and I am going to make the most of this moment, trusting that God will work out everything for everyone's good if we obey Him.