Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin
cswallow

I spent many days this past week laid up in bed, while my body fought the cellular invaders laying seige to the fortress of my health.  Most people hate being sick, and honestly, I usually do too. But this time, I welcomed the respite - the opportunity to legitimately "call in sick" to all my classes and meetings and pass out all day.

Usually after getting sick I'm back on my feet within a couple of days, fully recuperated. This flu laid me out for almost four days, and has left me with a battery that recharges to 20%.. and drains quickly.  I've discovered, this week, that even I have limitations. That pushed hard enough, even my normally boundless reserves of energy will deplete.

We have these 'journey boards' for this leadership fellowship that I'm a part of - it's a thick piece of poster board where we can put our reflections on what we want to work on - strengths, leadership style, values, etc. A couple of weeks ago I wrote, "be kind to yourself." I'm finally learning that skill.  Today I was reflecting on a life of mediocrity. I was really good at nothing when I was a kid, and so I had good reason to push myself hard. I was never top of the pack, and I felt like the only thing that could give me an edge was hard work.

My dad taught me that too. He grew up with parents who worked long hours at a laundromat and then a restaurant, and he put himself through college and through his PhD. He got to where he is today - a successful, well-off businessman - because he put in the hours, and studied within an inch of his life. We all want to do right by our parents. We want to take the opportunities we are given, because there was sacrifice in them.

But this week, I turned down a second fellowship, said no to several commitments I'd been eyeing, and then canceled everything else that wasn't completely vital. And by tonight, Thursday, my mind is finally recovered. I'm no longer exhausted and stressed, and I don't feel like I'm drowning. I am thrilled for Blue Devil Weekend, for meeting many, many new people, and I'm happy to be in class, at school, outside. Walking. I have a mentor-friend for my leadership fellowship who I am thrilled to be working with. My summer research is falling apart, but in exciting and renewing ways. All my dance teaching is going well, and I have a new life dance goal. 

There is so much to be done, but it will be, in time. As the weeks pick up again, I know the rush will return as well, and nothing will be easy. But for now, I want to remember this stillness, this easy anticipation, this happiness.
Tags: family, leadership
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