Stress

I like stress.

Often, I feel my best when I have a long to-do list and not a great deal of time to accomplish all of the tasks. And, even the thought of a long work day or all-nighter excites me.

But stress gets the best of me, I lose my calm and ability to think clearly. I can’t make good decisions and over react. I snap and throw hysterical fits.

This is our last week of teaching and we begin semester tests on Thursday (Friday is off for Hero’s Day, which is similar to our Memorial Day). I am trying to cram last tidbits into lessons and get my students ready for the exams. They, however, are already have a break mentality and just want to be done, fail or pass.

I am worried that I didn’t do enough to prepare them or covered all the material I should. I am worried most will fail. I am worried that I let them down.

On top of it I have other Peace Corps duties to finish before the month’s end. Winter is practically here and motivation for work is met with pangs of cold in my bones.

Also, there are elections on Saturday. We are on standfast, meaning we are to stay at site and be on alert. Although I am not too worried, this election seems to have a different tone and no one knows what will happen. I don’t want to think about another E, but the idea has wandered into my thought pattern the last few days.

In addition to other situations going on in village – things that I will not discuss on this open blog – I have been feeling very frustrated the last couple of weeks. It’s all led to a great deal of stress, and an extended crabby state.

I emailed another PCV about some of the things going on and the pressures of the end of the semester. She reminded me that this is my first time and I am not expected to know everything.

Then she said that the Basotho don’t stress. She is right, they don’t. When something goes wrong they just say, OK, and deal with it. They don’t run through ways they screwed up or stomp off in angry fits. They just let the situation be and know for next time.

That is a hard attitude for me to wear, but I am going to try. I can’t change what I can’t control, but I can change how I act. And really that is the best thing I can do to help my students and myself. Being angry and pissy doesn’t do any good. But if I mess up and smile, well then that is an extra smile to better everyone’s day.

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