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Pain Management

It has been a difficult week, no question.  

First of all, I'm starting to realize that my body is getting old.  I have been taking some great exercise classes at Mom's Treehouse this summer. I love the fact that these classes have offered camaraderie and an opportunity to exercise.  They have, however, also helped me realize that I have very weak knees.  My lower back and knees have been aching this week and even with trips to the chiropractor, I'm having to be gentle with myself.  I'm reminded of what comedian Louis CK says about getting older.(warning: there is language...but it's HILARIOUS!)

Secondly, we lost another cancer warrior this week.  Drew Goodman's battle with the nasty disease ended this week. Although we knew this was coming, it still hurt like hell.  Every time a family loses another child, my heart breaks all over again.

On top of all of that, work has been a little crazy.  It's nothing unbearable but on top of the other challenges in my life, it just compounds the situation.  I have learned two very important lessons in my short time already as principal: I will rarely work less than 50 hours in a week and I rarely get to deal with people when they are happy and satisfied. 
I do love my job but it sure is a lot of work

So how do I mediate all of this pain? Even the small things can add up and when you combine them all together, it turns into a big old pile of...mess.  Here are some things that work for me:

Just keep swimming...
  1. I keep moving, physically and emotionally. When you stop moving your muscles, they stiffen and atrophy. This applies to your muscles and joints but it also applies to your heart.  I'm reminded of Dory. I just keep swimming.   
  2. I find ways to give back. That helps my heart as well.  Today I will give blood in Drew's honor.  
  3. I try to keep it all in perspective. I can't do it all. I can't fix it all. However, I will do what I can.  We are all human and (unfortunately) have certain limitations.  Sometimes, one step at a time or one day at a time is all we can do. 
These thoughts bring to mind one more line from a classic movie.  In The Princess Bride, Westley says, "Life is pain, Princess.  Anyone who says differently is selling something."  Sometimes just acknowledging the pain is a big part of the process.  It's okay to say that life isn't fair. It's okay to be angry and sad.  What is not okay is getting stuck.  There may not be a quick solution and we may not have all the answers but we can mediate the pain in the small steps we take every day. 

"Just keep swimming..."

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