Friday, August 5, 2011


there is an odd balance that i come across when i'm dealing with big things
and a lot to accomplish.  but there is also a very fine line between feeling so overstimulated that I can hardly think straight and
feeling like I have no inspiration running through my veins at all.
when i'm feeling under pressure, i try to keep a few things in mind:

1. realize that there is a deadline and that it will be over soon
in college, i would freak out at the thought of the twenty some-odd pages of writing that had to be turned in the next Monday.  but then i'd think, sure that's in two days, but in two days it'll be over with.   you gotta get it done, regardless, but realizing that you wont have to sweat it in two days, sure makes the process more tolerable.

2. prioritize
i know not making it to the gym for two days makes you feel like crap, but so will your teacher or your boss when you send an i'm sick email or make a phone call that screams B.S.  writing a list of what's crucial in a sensible checklist will organize the madness and make you feel good when you cross off your list of to-dos.

3. stick to your guns and do it 
there's not a worse feeling then not doing something and regretting it later.
i sort of feel that way about not taking the test to re-enroll in my grad program.  the test had to be done in the spring, but i wasn't sure if i was really going to re-enroll in June.  but i never did the test, so re-enrolling wasn't even an option, and  i sorta hate that i didn't give myself that option.  i could have finished summer session by now!

4. do it well
it's the way i was raised, and it is a no-fail approach to doing almost anything.  plus, when you've given something all you've got, there isn't room for lingering thoughts about what's already passed.  there will be no question, or need to fix it later, if you do it well the first time.

5. celebrate a job well done
it's easy to think about all the things you are going to do when the stress and pressure is over, but the fun often gets thrown by the wayside and we end up lopping out on the couch instead.  celebrate, don't sit.  you'll remember your job well done the next time your back is up against the wall, and think to yourself,
i got this.  no sweat.

are there any specific things that you do when you're under pressure?


photography by suzanne August 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

I love the pressure list! I am going to make a copy of it. #4 screams "Your mom". Yep...that is what she would have taught you.

A Serenade for Solitude August 5, 2011 at 3:20 PM  

Suzi-thanks! i should post it up where i can see it to--or at least the picture. love that one. sometimes i think my mom has ruined me for the want for perfection that she has instilled in more thing that needs a fine balance. :)

Shantel S. August 5, 2011 at 3:24 PM  

I can sooo relate to this post. We have family coming in town next week, and I just finished my "to-do" list of things to finish before they get here. I just love crossing tasks off:-).

Anonymous August 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

I relax - and work at the same time. I draw a bath and do my reading there or have a glass of wine before my first draft of a paper. Little things like that help me concentrate.

Cassie August 5, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

Shantel-have fun with the fam! My sis left a couple weeks ago and I'm missing her tons!

I like your ideas, Theophanie. Reading in the tub sounds like a good time, anytime! How could you not relax?! :)

a little bit biased August 5, 2011 at 10:00 PM  

When I'm under major pressure, I may have a few good panic attacks where I can't breath very good and
then maybe have a good cry or two... Oh, do you mean positive ways to get through the pressure?!? Well I don't know. I think your list was great! I also probably make a list, talk through it all with my loved ones, take a little time to just relax and destress (a little sewing helps me to unwind) and then rejoice when it's all over! Thanks for your good ideas Cass!

Martina August 6, 2011 at 1:11 AM  

I kind of follow your points here i guess! Sometimes, pressure makes me creative, but when it lasts too long, it's tiring! I've had my share now - and need vacation ;) Happy weekend!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} August 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM  

Lists! I make lots and lots of detailed lists when I'm under pressure, and that simple act alone usually helps me feel much less overwhelmed. I've noticed this strange phenomenon in my life: the more pressure I'm under and the more due dates I have, the more I get done. I could use some of those right now.

Jared August 7, 2011 at 8:56 PM  

Good words. I think I enjoy the pressure so much that I put it off until I think: can I do this in the time allotted? And sure enough, it gets done, but why not give my heart a little relief and give it that good old constant, non-hasty effort. Something to evaluate, eh?

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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