The Final Straw

The Final Straw

When to cut back and focus on the meaningful few

Do you ever feel like so tired that your brain doesn't seem to function anymore? Do you ever feel like you are so busy, and balancing so much at once, that one more "thing" might just put you into a full-blown sob-fest? That, my friend, is when you're experiencing the phrase, the "straw that broke the camel's back." It is a popular thing to be over scheduled and overenrolled. And being busy can bring comfort and meaning to life. I for one, have always had busy afternoons and evenings after long days at school. However, that's not to say that we should strictly follow the "The more, the merrier" phrase as a life motto. But where is the balance?

Everywhere you turn, there are families and children running from activity to activity, and complaining of lack of sleep. Participating in many groups, organizations, and activities can make a life fulfilling; I would argue any day of the week that all of my involvements over the years have shaped me into who I am, and have given me some of the best experiences of my life. But, I am also someone who has trouble saying, "No" (though I'm getting better at it). I want to do it all, and sometimes, it's simply too much.

If you find yourself waking up exhausted and spending your limited energy prying your eyes open, like I have done so many mornings, you may want to rethink your schedule. While I am mildly annoyed that my body requires so much sleep to feel rested and to function at its highest capacity, I admit, and believe, that it is important. If participating in more activities is getting in the way of your ability to rest, it is likely that you're not performing to your highest potential; and that just seems like a sad waste. (Check back later to read about my feelings on exploiting and exploring potential).

Rather than stretching yourself too thin, it is better to participate in a handful of activities that are most meaningful to you, and out of which you derive the most joy. "Take out the trash" as Dr. Jarrod Spencer (Mind of the Athlete) said, when he lectured at Hamilton one night this past spring. This is an idea has stuck with me ever since his visit. It means, essentially, get rid of the extras. Clear out what isn't important to you. Then, you can spend your time and energy working to be the best you can be at the those things that mean the most to you. Not only will your mind be clearer and less stressed about everything else you have to do when you're doing one task, but you will be able to complete that task to a higher capacity and at a higher quality. The extra time gained from shaving off less important tasks here and there, can be reallocated to your most meaningful projects and to sleep to recover from all of the activity. It may feel odd that while you "got rid of" some activities, you do not have more free time. But, quantity of time available is not always the most important thing; quantity of time, how you use it, and what you create with it are arguably, even more important.

It's easier said than done, but try: ook at your life and determine what is "extra," and start living more rested, richer, fuller lives.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.


Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.


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