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Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Americans are making life into one big deadline:
-If you aren’t married by this certain age, you will probably be single forever.
-If you don’t have a kid by this certain age you are too old to be a parent
-If you don’t have a job or a college degree by this certain age you are going to scrubbing kitchen floors or shoveling horse dung off the state fair streets for the rest of your days.

It is exhausting finally being able to finish a project and then turn around to get a cup of coffee and be thrown three more. Americans are becoming so time-oriented, that the quality and value of things are definitely not what they could be.

I’d like to buy a shirt or sweatshirt that doesn’t have a hem threatening to rip on me a couple weeks after I buy it. I’d like to work on a short story and not have my professor poking me in my back asking if I’m done yet. I’d like to be able to sit out on a park bench today and read a new fiction book that I just bought and be able to put off my homework till tomorrow.

But I can’t. Time is precious, yes. But nerves can be as fragile as the tick of the clock. By trying to make so many deadlines all the time, we aren’t able to let ourselves enjoy the present, for we are always trying to make sure we are caught up with the future deadlines. No human is patient forever.

Time is important, but so is sleep. There are only so many days that I can stay up till 1am doing homework and wake up at 7 for a morning class. I have felt terrible lately because I’ve had friends that want to spend time with me, but my excuse has been homework.

Time is a luxury, but so is living. What is the point of living a long life if you’re rushing through it? We NEED give ourselves the time to reflect, to observe, to ENJOY.

Americans live by the “Quantity over Quality” standard. We live by the “Timing is everything” standard.

I think Americans need to sort out their priorities.

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I slept in till 10 this morning and realized I had to go to work at 3:30. I was annoyed. I’m not a big fan of working nights because everything happens at night. I sat up in bed and started wondering, “Is this it?” I will wake up everyday, get some housework done, go to work, come home and eat supper, and go back to bed. I love the people at my job, but I’m getting really tired of the actual job part. I’m a waitress, and though I like jobs where I work with my hands, sometimes I wish I could just quit. 

Then I started realizing that maybe that’s why I’m a Writing major. I would love to find a writing job where I could work from home. I like being home. I’ve been going going going all the time ever since I got back from Italy at the beginning of May, and now it’s June already.

Where are you at in your life? I decided that since I have homework that I don’t want to do and work that I don’t want to go to today,  that I am going to sit for an hour and do something that I actually want to do–read a book that I’m not forced to read. For you, maybe it’s going for a run or riding your horse. Maybe it’s watching your favorite TV show, movie, playing a game, working out, reading the Bible. 

There may be days where you are frustrated or upset about something, but if there is a way to change that for yourself, then do it. Keep a little time stowed away for yourself, even if that means you may have to stay up a little later. Do something that will make you smile, because no day should be smile-less.

I may have woken up disappointed, but that doesn’t mean I need to keep myself at that level. 

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People underestimate themselves. I am a B student, but I think that might just be because I am the world’s greatest procrastinator… But what if I took the time before hand to correct some simple things that I knew could be better? If I really challenged myself to be an A student and put time and effort into my homework as I do my short stories and books…what might I be?

This past week I wasn’t feeling at all myself. Part of it might have been because of my dogs that died, but I think it went deeper than that. Not even music was doing anything for me…and music has always turned things around for me. Now that school is almost over, I have enough papers and projects due this coming week that would give high schoolers a second thought about going to college. A couple of them are due Monday, but I decided to take today for myself. A friend and I went shopping for a cake and some small presents for a friend’s birthday tomorrow, and when we got back, we chopped off one of the school’s flowers to give to the friend, and I came back and did some Karaoke by myself using Youtube. Then I watched Sherlock Holmes, followed by a romantic comedy called No Reservations. Awesome movies. These couple of things have switched my whole day around. Having the afternoon to myself while my roommates were out doing whatever, was relaxing. I get to sleep in tomorrow, and for the first time in many days, I don’t mind that I have a lot to do tomorrow, because I got to have today.

We push and push ourselves into such pressure all the time, that sometimes we just start feeling like crap, though we don’t always know what from. I don’t know what you’re going through, what you’re worried about, or what may be going wrong in your life right now, but sometimes you just need to stop. Stop trying to run with a pack that has stronger legs, and gives yourselves a rest. Stop trying to impress everyone, and spend some time in your pajamas. Stop with extra-credit stuff for a minute, and take a nap. We all face times that we have to stay on top of our toes and things to stay awake for, but you can’t survive being like that all the time. The moment life gives you a break, don’t pass it up. Remember what it feels like to relax; remember what it feels like to not have to worry about something. Take a hot bath and play some calming piano music. Don’t lose yourself in the hustle, or you will forget who you are and become an uptight mess.

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My dog Bosten Terrier named Riva died yesturday. She choked on a steak bone and they couldn’t get it out of her asophagus because it was too lodged in and we had to put her down. We’ve had her for ten years. She was my first puppy and I grew up with her. That was hard by itself…

What made it worse was three weeks ago our dog Trooper, a shitzu/poodle mix, got hit by a van on the road. The van didn’t honk, didn’t slow down, didn’t stop to say sorry. He wasn’t even technically our dog either. My sister’s boyfriend had been living with us for almost two years, and he had gotten Trooper as a puppy and Trooper lived with us as well. My sister and Matt had just broken up recently, but Matt needed someone to watch Trooper while he was on a trip to Baltimore, so we did…and Trooper died the day before Matt got back home. Some welcome home present. Matt was still getting over the fact that my sister dumped him…

We still have two dogs left–a sixteen year old pug named Abby and a three year old Chihuahua named Toby. Abby will probably die at least of old age in the next couple years…

I came home last night, and Toby was the only one who greeted me home. His was the only bark I heard. Abby is more of a moving couch and sleeps all the time…but both Riva and Trooper’s barks are absent now, and it makes this house really quiet and empty.

I am so tired of crying. It took me forever to get to sleep last night. I kept wishing when I woke up that it would be Sunday so I could stop her from eating the steak bone. She has been eating steak bones all her life, it’s the chicken bones we have kept away from her…

I feel God has a reason for everything he does, and I think he took Trooper because it freed my sister from Matt. Trooper was basically the only thing keeping them together, so God released the two from each other.

As for Riva, I thought about it all day yesturday. Maybe Riva is gone, because my sister will probably be moving out in the next year, and this way all of us got to see her. I had just come home from college this weekend to help at my grandma’s house, and she died the day I went back. For both dogs, my sister had to tell me their death over the phone. It’s like getting dumped over a text. It sucks.

But I got to see Riva this weekend. I got to play with her and spend some time just having her curled up next to my leg on the recliner while we watched a movie. In a way, I think she knew something was going to happen. She was acting a little weird Sunday afternoon–shaking, though she wasn’t cold, and just seemed restless. I couldn’t figure out what she wanted. She seemed happy though. I remember her smile. She was a good girl. The best I’ve ever had.

What is it about dogs? They don’t have to say anything, they just have to be around to make you happy. They are always happy to see you, whether you’ve been gone for ten days or ten minutes. They love with everything they have. If only we humans could learn to give such love so freely.

Dog and human deaths are different. I don’t really know how to say why, but I’ll work on it. I’ve cried more over this dog than some funerals I’ve been to. When you love so deeply, it hurts more than normal when they are gone…but I’d rather dwell on the memories and feel lucky that I got the chance to have her, than to have never known her at all. As I cry, part of me doesn’t believe it, but that’s only because I’m in the hurting stage, and it’s the transition that’s troublesome. But God would never put us through anything we can’t handle, and he knows we are strong enough to handle this.

People die. Animals die. And they will keep dying. If we tuck ourselves away because we are afraid to cry over death, then we will end up crying anyway from how empty our lives would be.

We will probably buy another dog this summer, we will fall in love with it, and she, too, will die. But that doesn’t stop us from buying her. Everyone needs love in their lives, and dogs help hold us together.

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College can be overwhelming at first, but it’s just another part of life. It gets easier, and you’ll end up enjoying at least the parts that don’t involve a lot of homework. You are now studying what you want to do, not what high school is making you take…

But if you feel you want some advice, here’s a couple. Hope they help:

1. First things first, if you can, make a trip to your college and find all your classes before the first day if possible. The first day of my orientation, I got lost twice just trying to get there. If you have an idea of where you’re headed, you’ll have more confidence, and it will be one less thing to worry about. A couple of the buildings my classes are in can get confusing, so you will look less like a freshman if you know where to find your classes as well.

2. College may be a new start for you, and you may want to show off and make new friends, but whatever it is that you do, don’t act all smart-alic in front of your teachers. If you were the jokster of the grade, whoop-dee-do, but your teachers may not find you as funny. Not right now anyway. You have to let them get to know you first—plus then you’ll learn which teachers you can joke around with and the ones that even your dad would hide from.

3. Most of the time, you’ll probably have to be the first to say hi. So far, I’ve only had one person speak up and say hi to me first. If you don’t know what to say, start out by asking what year they are, what major they want to go for, and maybe what other classes they are in to see if you have any more of the same ones. Once they start talking and asking you questions too, it’s easier to think of more things to say. I’m sure they don’t know what to say either. The less awkward it feels, the more comfortable you’ll be. I had a class where no one talked even when the teacher wasn’t in the room…the entire semester it was always quiet, and believe me, it felt awkward. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I’m more of a listener than a talker, but in the beginning of school, you’ll find a lot of freshman not feeling themselves because of a new place, and helping them open up will help you to open too.

4. Look for some hangouts around the college where a lot of people tend to go. On your free time, you can grab some lunch or a book or homework and head over to that area. Maybe you’ll be lucky and meet some friends there. But you won’t make any if you hide in your dorm or at your house all day by yourself. Sometimes people will come up to you first instead, but you have to actually be around people for that to happen. College is a lot more fun and enjoyable when you have friends to share it with. People are already looking for new friends when they get there, so it’s easier than trying to start in the middle of the year when everyone is already getting settled with their new lives. The beginning of the year is the time to take some action.

5. Make sure you are prepared. High school teachers may get a little annoyed if you are always forgetting to bring a pencil, but you will get lectures and “the look” from your professors if you aren’t prepared. In my high school, it wasn’t really “cool” to carry around a backpack, but everyone in college has one. Don’t kill yourself by trying to carry everything by hand. Your arms will die. As long as it doesn’t have Dora the Explorer or Captain Underpants on it, you’ll fit right in.

6. Get involved in extra-curriculars or sororities. If you go to a big school with like 500 kids in each class, it may actually be a little more difficult to make friends, but if you join choir or a capa house, you’ll be more likely to get that best friend bond that you may be looking for if you don’t find it in your roommates. When you join clubs or special classes with people who enjoy some of the same things as you, you find a lot more to talk about. Once you have a friend, he/she can lead you to some of his/her friends, and you can lead him/her to some of your friends, and before you know it, you don’t feel like such an outsider.

7. Put on some clothes. You’re not at the playboy mansion, so skip the lowcut shirts and the shorts that could be swimsuit bottoms. “You want a man to give you the time of day, so leave a little up to the imagination and respect yourself. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and the beholder is anyone you want it to be.” (Saw it on Pinterest, don’t know who said it). And dudes, pull your pants up. I’m not saying wear tight booty jeans–that’s just awkward, but down to the knees is just ridiculous. You might as well just wear boxers to class. I don’t know who said that was attractive anyway. It’s not. Stop it.

8. Get your stuff in on time. Procrastination is the devil. This ain’t high school anymore kiddies, and college professors don’t accept late work as much as high school classes. For each hour of class, you should be doing two hours of homework just for that class. It doesn’t matter if you try hiding yourself in the back, teachers pay attention to your work and start making opinions about you by how you act, how prompt you are, and how much time you put into your work. So do yourself a favor, and get some things done so you don’t have to worry about it. They aren’t gonna go around making sure all your I’s are dotted, they expect you to be prepared, pay attention, and get it done. If you fall behind, good luck catching up. They go easy on you at first, but once the semester gets rolling, you gotta buckle down. Partying is for the weekends and summer. Get your work done first. They expect you to put in the time and effort, and won’t wait for you to catch up if you fall behind. This is also a good way to get on a teacher’s bad side. Bad idea. Don’t do it. No. A lot of times teachers are the people who can help get you internships or give a recommendation to companies hiring people. Being dependable will help get you there.

9. Take time for you. It’s gonna feel overwhelming at first, and sometimes you feel homesick. I know a lot of people that cry after their first couple weeks; so take a little time and do something for you. Read a book, play guitar or listen to your Ipod while you go for a walk. You won’t do well on your work if you’re constantly stressed, and your face won’t like all the new pimples either. You think clearer when you have a relaxed mind.

10. Get enough sleep. I had been going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 6 every morning. Come Friday, I was exhausted. Personally, I’m someone who needs around 10 hours of sleep to be satisfied. If you do okay with a little less sleep, then hop to it, but after a couple weeks of the same stuff, you are gonna be worn out, might wake up late to class, tick off your teachers when you slept through homework…well it’s just not pretty. That whole “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” thing is a load of crap. We’re only human after all. Take care of yourself. Naps become your best friend. Yes they will.

Other than all of this, have some fun. That doesn’t mean go to every party known to campus, but spend time with your new found friends, and enjoy your new freedom and new life away from high school. These are the days where you are working to learn how to do your future jobs, and you can finally do some classes that you have been waiting to take. You aren’t stuck with a curfew anymore, but you learn more responsibility for yourself. First year freshman can be annoying cause they are so oblivious to college life, but we have all been there, and should help them out when we can. Freshman–learn the mistakes of your peers, and listen to them so you don’t make the same mistakes. Making older friends your first year is awesome cause they can give you little shortcuts and hints on teachers and the buildings. Sometimes the people who made the most mistakes are the ones who can give you the most wisdom.

Stay safe, don’t be stupid with your choices, and enjoy the time you have before they let you out into the world of work and bills. It may seem like you’re busy all the time, but believe it or not, this is the most free-time you will get until you’re retired. Make the most of it 🙂

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