Don’t Waste Your Time. Do Your Thing.

[en] teacher, profesor, educator, school pt pr...

Image via Wikipedia

Self-Care Tip #101 – Don’t waste your time if you don’t have to on things you aren’t good at.

Ben is almost 16 years old.  His parents are happy because he’s not as depressed, more interactive and more interested in connecting with others.  They came with him to see me.  Ben gets easily overwhelmed trying to tell me about himself and his parents often interject to help him out.

Ben’s parents are parents to admire.  Patient and clear-sighted regarding values and presence.  I’ve caught my breath more than once in the company of their comfortable regard and affection for their disabled children.  (Ben’s sister also suffers from mental retardation.)

During clinic, Ben struggled to tell me he was bothered and stressed by the school staff pressing him to learn things he didn’t care about.  He lost his words over the bits about how it related to his self-esteem and looked at him mom.

Mom told me Ben doesn’t care about some of the topics he’s taught and he gets sad and anxious when he thinks about it.  He’s embarrassed by it because he doesn’t finish as quickly as others and misses some of his lunch time.

I’m not a high school educator but I still told Mom and Dad that they can feel more confident advocating for Ben’s interests and needs with his teachers.  Ben will excel more in areas he is interested in.  He will find more pleasure in them.  He will be more empowered emotionally.  He will  be more ready for his adulthood needs.

The pressure many of us grew up with to be good at everything, is bogus.  We shouldn’t.  What we should do, is be good at what we are talented at.  We should be good at what we are interested in.  In fact, be shameless about it.  I spoke about this in the post “Do What You Were Designed to Do,” amongst others if you want to read more.

Ben with his parents looked at me with something of relief.  They had “permission” to do what they wanted.  The rest is mostly a waste of time.

Question:  What has opened you up to doing what you want to do in life?  What has that done for you?  Please tell me your story.

Connect

A salty beach day with lots of kids, today leaves me in the wake of those connections. As we get older it is harder to connect. No more long school days where 90% of the day is spent on the why and how of who. No more band trips sitting in the bus for hours, walking Fisherman’s Warf with the same friends of many other scenarios. River trips with scanty supervision are conducive to creating bonds of friendship that might never be found again, in part because of opportunity. In part because of well, many other possible reasons. I’m sure you have some too.

Connections are healthy. We live longer and get sick less often when we are connected to others. And if you are someone who gets their energy from being alone or someone who gets energy from being with people, this still includes you. It’s a universal concept. My husband who is hardwired to love his alone time, spends hours connecting with his world through Twitter. Watching him swell with energy and joy through his connections has brought something healthy to our home as well.

Whatever our barriers are as we age to connecting, it is worth our while to press past those. Conversely, to try every day to open ourselves as well to the efforts pressing in is in our best interest. Maybe understanding something about those barriers in your life will give you the key to removing them. However you can do it, it’s worth it to you. Being friendly with yourself includes finding someone(s) to connect with.

Self Care Tip #9 – Connect. Be a friend to yourself.