So this guide is obviously for me more than anything else. I have been in such a good place lately, and I am hoping that this list of reminders will help me in the future if I happen to hit a funky phase. And if this happens to help/inspire someone else, well that's cool too!
1) If there is something that you want to do, then do it. And start small so that you can keep doing it. For me, this has been running. For the past year I have been telling myself that I want to run more. I started off huge by running a half marathon. This was incredible, but also really unrealistic for someone who is not used to running consistently. I ran my half marathon, and then stopped. I'd run sometimes, but always made promises to myself that I would run more. Recently however, I have taken a new approach to running more. Rather than running more miles, I have been running more consistently. 1 mile a day. That's it. It literally takes me 10 minutes (yesterday it took me 9 minutes and 27 seconds, which was AWESOME!). The consistency and happiness that I feel running everyday is way better than running 3 miles one day, and then not running again for another two weeks. I obviously plan to up my mileage, but for now, I love and look forward to my runs everyday. That's something I haven't been able to say in a long time.
2) Make time for something that you love, and do it often. Thanks to my friend Max, rock climbing has been it. I love rock climbing. Its fun, its social, its a good workout, I have met a bunch of new friends through it, and I can go at night which makes it a perfect end-of-the-day stress reliever. And since I love rock climbing so much, I make it a point to get my work done early so that I can go. I think its really important to find something that you love, and I have found it.
3) Be grateful and genuine and kind. This one kind of speaks for its self. Being kind and genuine to others, and letting others know how important they are is really important. And having solid friends is really important, so when you find your solid friends, its important to constantly let them know how special they are. Also, giving genuine thanks and genuine compliments is so beautiful. And it feels to nice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
4) Make time for work. Love it. Have fun with it. And don't complain about it. This is one that I am working on. Complaining is one of my favorite things to do. Especially when it comes to anatomy. But I am trying to look forward to doing my anatomy work, and really enjoy the challenge. Anatomy is my brick wall - but I really want to be a nurse and I know I will overcome this. Even if I have to shed (more than) a few tears a long the way. I refuse to settle for just being "a lab tech". Fuck that.
5) Its all about your frame of mind. And changing your frame of mind is a lot easier than it seems. I hate the cold. But when I go outside and its cold out, if I tell myself "I love the cold - it makes me feel so alive", then I have a new appreciation for the cold, and its not so bad anymore. This goes for a lot of things "I love studying all of the origins, insertions and actions of muscles - it will make me understand workouts a lot more", "I am excited about talking to someone for 10 minutes about their health and then transcribing it word for word. It will be interesting and rewarding". These are all lies, but if I tell myself these things enough times, they start to become true.
6) Be amazed. Sometimes, reality just hits me. I'll be talking to someone, totally engrossed in conversation, and I will just sort of realize that this is my life - I am living it and I am taking charge and it is amazing and I am so fucking fortunate and grateful and happy.
7) Get excited! I probably say "I am so excited" like 30+ times a day now. I am excited to get my class over with. I am excited to bake cinnamon toast crunch muffins. I am excited to run today. I am excited to use that new bar of soap I just bought. I am excited to sit in Faline's room and enjoy her company while she does homework. I am excited for quessadilla night at Brower. I am excited to drink mint hot chocolate later. You don't have to get excited about huge things. Getting excited about small things is even better than getting excited about huge things. Because small things happen on a second by second basis. Huge things are rare. And so its important to be able to appreciate even the smallest of things like a shower and a new bar of soap.
8) Let yourself feel negative things. Don't try and just push them into a corner or bury them. On Tuesday I was so stressed and burnt out and overwhelmed. And I let myself feel that way. There is nothing wrong with feeling crummy sometimes. It happens. It its important to let it happen.
9) Look forward to the future, but also enjoy the present. This is another thing I am really trying to work at. I am always thinking "I can't wait till my hair gets longer" "I can't wait till clinicals start junior year" "I can't wait until I can move back to Brooklyn and have my own beautiful apartment". And these thoughs are all important - you need to have long term goals that drive you to keep doing what you're doing and some sort of future that gives you a purpose. But its also important to enjoy today. So then I remind myself "But I am going to love my short hair while I have it" and "Next year I won't have classes with Max, so I am going to love this year and all of the time we spend together" and "I love living in New Brunswick and with Ariel and a building away from Faline". And so I love where I am at right now, but I also love where I am headed.
I probably could keep going, but I am going to end here. Hopefully this inspires someone else as well, but more important, hopefully this helps me on a day that isn't as lovely as today.
On another note, I love and miss my grandma. And I think that's important as well.