I have a friend who told me a story this week that gave me a lot of insight. When she was a child she often would come down with Strep Throat, an infection that involves the swelling of one’s throat often accompanied by a fever. She said that she had strep throat as often as once every two or three months for most of her life growing up, and that she still gets it as an adult. My friend told me that her mom used to tell her that she would get strep throat from sucking in the snot in her nose instead of blowing her nose to get it out. So, she would imagine beakers inside of her stomach, and every time she would suck the snot in her nose back in, one of the beakers in her stomach would fill up just a little bit. She said that in her mind, once she filled up the beaker to a certain level she would get sick, and then the beaker would empty and she would start the process over.
This registered with me in a few different ways. I made the joke to her that as a child she was giving herself “karma”, and she explained that she thinks this is how she first began putting the thoughts together that actions have consequences. When I think about her story, I can’t help but imagine it as a metaphor for how I often think about myself. When I eat unhealthily (which happens often) I think of the calories I’ll never work off, or when I don’t clean my bathroom at home for a week I can’t help but feel the dirt and bacteria that may be building up. Yet, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realized that this could be spun in a much more positive light. Recently I’ve been told “do what you need to do to fill your cup each day,” and I can’t help relate it to my friend’s “beakers”. What if instead of imagining the negative things, instead I imagined the positive things? Like if taking a few minutes to breathe after a difficult conversation at work or making time to call my little brother could slowly “fill my cup” throughout the day. As the new year approaches and resolutions are made, (some realistic and some not), I would like to set a goal to think of the “beakers” inside of me and how I can find positive ways to fill them.
On another note, congratulations to all of you students out there on finishing up this semester! The idea of graduating in 5 months is terrifying, but for any of you with more time left enjoy it. If you are anything like me, it will continue to go by so fast. If you still have a final left, here is a picture of my cat in the snow for motivation! If he can take on the cold you can ace your final!
I am a student affairs professional, an amateur chef, and an adventurer at heart.
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