Today I get off work, on time finally, and then I get stuck in traffic for an hour. When I’m almost home, my dad calls and asks for me to go to Popeye’s to get some chicken for dinner. Of course I don’t want to because it’s in the opposite direction. He offers to pay so I budge because I wanted dinner once I got home. It took me an extra 30 minutes just to get home after I picked up the chicken. Virginia drivers are awful and should not text, talk on the phone or change the radio while driving because they don’t pay attention. I finally got home, walked through the door, my phone rings, everyone tries to talk to me at once and I can’t hear anything. Did I mention I have a splitting headache?
I look at everyone with a very clear and stern look because they possibly can’t think that I can listen, let alone comprehend anything they are saying to me. I close my eyes, my frustration rising. BREATHE. I calmly asked everyone in the room, including those trying to call or text me, to stop talking because I was not listening.
I walked up to my room, fell on my bed, closed my eyes for a minute and breathed deeply.
At times, it seems that many people want my attention all at the same time and just like today I could not give it to them. I hadn’t even begun to loosen up after a long day at work before being bombarded with 20 questions. Each person deserved my undivided attention but I was not mentally prepared to give it to them.
This small incident made me realize that going into my last semester a million and one people will have a question and I may or may not have an answer to it. But I will try to answer any question, resolve certain issues or just be an ear to listen with AFTER I walk through the door and get settled. First, I need to take care of myself before I can tend to others. Like with today’s situation, I first needed to loosen up and have down time from work before I could actively listen and give my attention to anyone else. If I don’t take time for myself, I’ll feel like I’m going to explode and I’ll take it out those around me.
Take time to realize that you are only one person with two ears and two hands. I will not save the world in one day, but I will try for a lifetime in my own time, and I’ll make sure that I meet my needs first before others, which will make me more able to lend an ear, answer questions and help others.
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