How do we finish strong?

How do we finish strong when we are exhausted and overwhelmed? 

I took a break from blog writing right after our Final Concert for a couple of reasons.

One, I was simply exhausted after writing every day while keeping up with my students and preparing for our end of year concert.  I give so much to the experience that I always feel the thrill of the ride but also the let down after it’s all over.  The added stress of deciding to write every day just added to that feeling.

Two, the HUGE decision I had made previously, mentioned in another blog post, had to be reevaluated and eventually changed because of circumstances that were out of my control.  This left me feeling completely and totally overwhelmed.

So…I took a break.

I knew this could be a problem, but I needed it.  I thought it would only be a day or two.  It clearly turned into this lengthy period of time… 1 1/2 weeks! YIKES!

At first, the break was welcomed and almost a relief.  Then, it seemed to become almost a demand that I not write.  But that also led to me not wanting to prepare lessons for my students.  I still had two weeks left of school!  I couldn’t afford to let that happen.

So…how to do you finish strong when you don’t want to do anything?  When you just need to relax and forget everything so you can regenerate?

Well, I don’t know about you, but for me it’s comes back to my upbringing.  It means “pulling up your bootstraps” and persevering . It means taking each day as it comes and just focusing on doing your best.  Your best for yourself, for your family and if you are a teacher like me, for your students.

I made it through the last 1-1/2 weeks by putting my focus on what I could do rather than what I had no control over.  I focused on having fun with my students, preparing them for the “final” that takes place tomorrow, and just enjoying my time with my own children.

One of “having fun” moments with my students was playing a musical game based on “telephone” using rhythms.  It is both frustrating and hilarious for all participants.

One of the “having fun” moments with my own children was going on a hike today.  We enjoyed the short but steep hike, the view at the top, and the quick descent followed by some good food. It was very restful and rejuvenating in a kind of strange way.

The preparation for the final was enjoyable for me albeit not so much for my students.  However, they will see the benefits tomorrow. So will you if you read tomorrow’s post:)

 

How can Exhaustion result in Gratitude?

Today was the Garage Sale.  

Image result for garage sale

For the past week, my children and I have worked diligently to prepare for the sale. We made decisions about what stays and what goes resulting in a lot of sorting, purging and boxing up.

Thursday and Friday evening, we had help moving the large items to the garage so it would be easier to put things out today for the sale. It was really fun to watch the way the men moved items they thought were light only to realize they needed help.  It was fun to hear their banter when things didn’t quite go the way they wanted them to.

After Thursday, my children and I were sore. Although I couldn’t sleep right away.  Partly because I needed to write this blog and partly because I was too wired.  My mind just wouldn’t shut off!

After Friday, we were exhausted.  Yet we knew we would have another day to work just as hard, if not harder.  And…we wouldn’t have my sons help.  One son would be at work and the other would be at a mechanics competition taking pictures of his team members and the other contestants.

So Saturday came, and the crew arrived to help.  I was still tired but I knew I had to get to work anyway.

The last of the large items were taken out and we starting setting items out for sale.  Cars began driving by prior to us being ready but the crew took over and made it happen.

My job?  Stay out of the pricing and just keep looking at what we had to determine if there was anything else that needed to go out.

When three o’clock came around, we had sold about 1/2 of the items and had packed the rest back into the garage.  I went off to my appointment and the crew went off to theirs.

Now that I am home, I feel total exhaustion but total gratitude.

Image result for gratitude

Gratitude for a number of blessings:  The help of old and new friends, donations that came in both in items to sell as well as monetary donations, the number of items that sold, and the help of my children.

 

We have been through a lot but they have grown so much and they have helped so much. All of us are in complete exhaustion but the gratitude flows. We will still need to have another sale next week but the number of great items is still plenty and I believe we can move the rest just as well.

The gratitude I feel completely makes up for the lack of energy, the legs that throb, the knees that want to buckle, in other words…exhaustion.