Four. That’s the number of silver hairs I have on the front of my scalp. If I part my bangs a certain way, or put my hair up, they shine in the light. And those are just on the front of my head.

The interesting thing is, I can actually count where three of those hairs may have come from. My senior year of college, I worked three jobs as a full-time student, was trying to plan a wedding from another state, and I was editor of a student newspaper.

I look back on that year and go, “Wow, did I really…? Man, I’m lucky I made it through.”

Don’t hills always seem higher when we stand at the foot? It’s much easier to go down, than it is to struggle up. And yet, often, the struggle itself is what refines us and grows us–not the easy journey down.

My mom used to say she thought I thrived under pressure; I had to agree with her, once I immersed myself in journalism. The suspense, the deadline and the final product–I was better pitting myself against “impossible” odds for the challenge than I was plodding through what I knew I could accomplish.

Unfortunately, while challenges equal growth, too many challenges can equal stress. The trouble, is trying to find a balance.

Last week I wrote about having lots of time and none at all. Why do I feel so busy? I think much of it has to do with my husband’s schooling and work. Although he often communicates really well, when my husband gets stressed and doesn’t tell me, I always know anyway. He gets quiet, loses the thread of conversation and tries to do other things overly-efficiently, so he can go back to the problem that has him stressed. When he gets stressed, though, so do I. But, I cannot help, and that’s the worst.

Today, neither of us wanted to get out of bed. Lack of sleep doesn’t help stress in any way. And yet, we still got up. We still made breakfast, we still fed the cats, we still caught the bus to work.

Hopefully, in the future, I can look back on this year and go, “Wow, did I really…?” and then feel blessed that somehow, in some way, I made it. It’s not about crumbling under the pressure, but about the determination to pit myself against this–and win.

Have a great day.


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