Something Has to Give

Stressed Out by Jonathan Edward LeeI suppose I must have a good memory because my roommate has threatened to siphon it so that she can better remember details. She needn’t worry; as long as we’re roommates, I basically am her live-action memo pad. Unfortunately, my usually indefatigable memory has started to fail.

I’m not too surprised. I knew it was going to happen eventually. It always does when I’m stressed. I hit a certain stress level, and I start to forget things, usually items on my list of commitments. For instance, I forgot to attend some of my professional seminar classes when I was in my final semester of college. I simply had too much happening. I was working three or four jobs, starting a literary and arts journal project, applying for graduate school, and attending school. I couldn’t manage it all, and the thing that gave was my professional seminar class.

This time, it’s been a guest posting commitment. I typically write two posts per month for a woman with a career coaching business. I wrote the two posts in January, but I wrote them prior to the new job, new location, and new life. February? I didn’t remember to write the posts. I didn’t think about them once. I didn’t think of her, either. The only reason I now remember my commitment is that she emailed me the other day. She was gracious and didn’t berate me for not writing the February posts. She simply sent me an update about her blog and said she would like me to continue contributing to it.

Her graciousness reminds me of the grace I experienced during my final semester of college. My professors knew me and what sort of person I was. They knew I didn’t skip class. They knew I usually remembered things. They didn’t become angry with me for missing the class or tell me that I might have to take the class again. No, they simply asked me if I was alright. They said they had missed me in class.

I think it’s that grace that allows me to survive yet another stressful day. It has a calming effect even if my brain is still whirring with all that I need to do and worrying about how I’m going to accomplish everything. It reminds me that maybe – just maybe – I need to quit being such a perfectionist and to rest in grace when something does give.