You Could be Fighting a Dragon

I used to be absolutely horrible for stressing about deadlines. Whether it was getting reports done for school, getting presents done in time for Christmas, or making the most of a weekend, it was the kind of stress that would keep me up at night, cramming extra words on the page or lying in bed unable to stop thinking about all the things I still had to do. My muscles would get sore, I would get awful headaches, I was grumpy, and I had horrible cramps. I hated every second of it. But I also used to be a wicked procrastinator.

I say used to be because I truly have kicked the habit. Since the beginning of November, I’ve been procrastination-free. And I’ve also been stress-free.

I’m actually astonished with the level of relaxation I’ve been maintaining. Besides not waiting till the last minute to work on things, I haven’t been doing much differently. I still watch movies when I should be writing essays, leave studying for tests to a couple nights before, and browse pretty pictures on the internet when I should be researching sciencey things. I haven’t taken up meditative yoga or stopped caring about my grades.

I just kind of came to terms with the fact that I have to make sacrifices now and again that will benefit me in the long run. And even if I choose to do school work instead of writing, it doesn’t mean that my writing isn’t as important to me. It’s helped a whole heck of a lot.

But it wasn’t until a few days ago that I had a really great thought. Even though I was studying like mad for my exams (which are coming up faster than I realize), I was ridiculously happy. Buried in a textbook, I had the irresistible urge to smile. That made no sense to me. How could I be happy when I wasn’t doing anything fun?

Well, I rationalized with myself, studying isn’t exactly fun, but it’s not like it’s gonna kill me.

Which, obviously, is entirely true.

Sure, my exams might chew me up and spit me out, but the injury would all be metaphorical. And my grades might take a blow, but I’d be left unscathed. No matter how badly my exams might go, I’ll still come out okay.

I mean, it’s not like I’m fighting dragons, like the heroes I so admire.

I’m not fighting in a war, fending off wolves in the wilderness, or struggling against dehydration in the desert. All those things could easily kill me, but not exams. So why freak out about studying when there are more important things to stress about?

I’m going to study all I can for my exams, of course, but you certainly won’t see me losing sleep or aching with cramps. I intend to stress out only about the truly important things. Or preferably, not at all.

It’s nice, to have things put into perspective every once in a while.

And it’s always good to take a moment to be thankful that you don’t have to fight any dragons.

Do you have a way to handle stress?

May you always keep in perspective the things which deserve the most worry in your life.

-Alex

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5 thoughts on “You Could be Fighting a Dragon

  1. I am so happy to read that you’ve conquered procrastination and are feeling so much less stressed! That’s wonderful. Even reading it makes me feel less anxious.
    I used to handle stress by going running, but I spent a lot of time in hospital last year, and put on a lot of weight, so not only am I unfit but running isn’t a great option for my body right now – too much wear and tear on the knees.
    These days I try to handle stress by “reality checking”, making sure I voice my worries and talk them through, even if they sound trivial or irrational.
    I’m not always successful, because I don’t always find the words or have someone handy to talk to, but that’s the plan :-) and it seems to be working. Somewhat.

  2. I’m so glad to hear you aren’t stressing (: And what you say is so true.
    When it came to exams, all my friends used to stress endlessly before entering the hall, but I just sat there, eating a cereal bar or something, observing them all and wondering why everyone always got so uptight. I could never understand it. ‘Cause I was like you are now: it’s not the end of the world. So I might do awfully. And? It might be disappointing, but it’s not like I’ve had a limb mauled by a dragon ;)

    Just do the best you are able. That’s all you can ask for. And if it doesn’t work out, no worries :) There is always another way.

    • That’s a great mental image, you calmly eating a cereal bar while everyone else scrambles to check their notes. There was certainly a lot of scrambling this morning :P But it’s great that you weren’t a part of all that stress :D

      That’s exactly it–there’s always another way. So true!

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