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Monday, 27 August 2018

Once you're in it, it's okay

Deb Cook responded to my post last week 'Oh, isn't that interesting that the stuff you expect to be stressful isn't (the HSC trials) and relaxing dinners out can be?!' and she got me thinking. A lot of our stressful situations, we create. Had you asked me even a month ago, would my child and I have fun lunches on the way to an HSC trial exam, I would never have expected the answer to be yes.

Having seen a few friends get teary at their child's graduation and feel feelings of loss at the end of their role as a school parent, awaiting the pending empty nest and all that it means, I was expecting a wave of sadness and loss as my eldest left school. I was completely unprepared for the feelings of pride and excitement when I received the email to my own child's graduation ceremony - I understand this is my first graduation and their last, so maybe I'll be in the same boat later down the line. However, for now, I'm excited at her new adventures, and at the person she's becoming.

In a surprising turn of events, I don't even care now about the HSC. As she madly fills out application forms, I figure she'll get into something, one way or another, so does the ATAR even matter? Perhaps it is us, the adults in the education system and the parents of those doing year 12 that need to change the stress levels for our children. Given 40-50% of year 11 and 12 students suffer clinical emotional distress, maybe our focus needs to put it in a more realistic frame. My child is still sitting the same exams, but the stress free trials experience seems to have altered the 'importance' of the exams. They're just exams. Same as all the other ones you've done before in 12 years of schooling.

I am very much the person expecting the worst, in order to be prepared, but perhaps I'd be better parking that energy and just waiting to see how it plays out? When my father was dying, I came across the audio book This is How by Augusten Burroughs. While driving to and from the hospital each day, I learnt how to let someone die and how to cope with being diagnosed with a terminal illness. His book talks of the anticipatory stress being far worse than the actual terrible thing happening. The truth of the matter is "Once you're in it, it's okay" The outcome was the same awful loss it was always going to be, but the book helped me make it less painful for both me and Dad. I really made the most of the time we had, even though he was stuck in a hospital for months. I made it matter and we shared some really special moments in those last crappy months.

If this was true for the painful loss of a parent, how can it not be true for such a simple thing as exams? Or something as positive as a child growing into an adult and stretching their wings into the wide world?


As daunting as you feel it will be, as big an obstacle as it appears, always remember, no matter what you are facing, once you're in it, it's okay.


(This is How is excellent - it covers among other things, how to be thin, how to be fat, how to be confident, how to fail, how to get a job, how to feel less regret and so many other things. I am eternally grateful for discovering this book in my library by accident when I did. It made me get through three incredibly difficult months without regrets, and cope with a loss I thought I'd never be able to bear.I can not recommend this book enough.)

27 comments:

  1. I love this. I have a child doing Year 12 this year and we talk about balance and keeping it real. You do the work you are capable of and work hard and that is what the results will be. Stress doesn't change the results.

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  2. Excellent advice. You can worry all you like but it won’t necessarily change the outcome.

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  3. That is very sage advice. I think I need to check out that book.

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    1. Get the audio version - he reads it. It's so entertaining. I borrowed the audio version from the library then bought the print and audio version. Ha!

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  4. This is very good advice. Worrying wont solve anything so better to put your best foot forward and plod on through... #TwinklyTuesday

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  5. This is excellent advice ... and that book sounds great too! #teamIBOT

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  6. Oh Lydia, thanks for the reminder about Augusten Burroughs. Just got it then through my audible account. I much prefer to listen to books on the way back and forth to Sydney. So so true about anticipating and practising for stress. Brene Brown mentions that very thing in her book...I think Rising Strong or it could have been Daring Greatly. She wrote of her preparedness for her mother's ill health but that none of that prepared her for it at all. Denyse x

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    1. I loved it. I'll be interesting to know what you think. I also found listening to the audio books made me relaxed on arrival and not think about all the time in the car (it was 2.5 hours a day round trip). I then later read that listening to audio books works like meditation and can help reduce stress and I have to say, I thoroughly agree! Will be interested to know what you think.

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  7. The unknown is scary but you can work through it and come our shinning X #stayclassymama

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  8. This rings so true for me . It's so often things that you work yourself up in a frenzy about that turn out ok. I try not to stress about things that are out of my control but it's so much easier said than done . The book sound incredible #stayclassymama

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  9. This rings so true for me . It's so often things that you work yourself up in a frenzy about that turn out ok. I try not to stress about things that are out of my control but it's so much easier said than done . The book sound incredible #stayclassymama

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  10. I'm such a worrier and spend too long worrying about the what ifs.It really is something i need to work on #dreamteam

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  11. We are still very early on in the parenting journey but it heartening to hear that the kids flying the nest can be a positive experience :-)

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  12. I don't remember stressing about my Year 12 exams, I don't think I took them too seriously. Maybe it's one of those things that you forget how stressful they were. I need to get this book on audio, sounds great. I never remember to listen to audio books when on long drives.

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  13. What a great perspective to have. We can make a mountain out of a mole hill at times...
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com
    Popping over from Open Slather at One Mother Hen

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  14. Great advice and a good way of looking at it. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam

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  15. Worrying is never productive, just getting on with any challenge is the best #KCACOLS

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  16. I stress over so many things and it really does spoil a lot of life. I'd love to read the book you recommend to get some perspective. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

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    1. Part of the final year exams in Australia

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  18. It's so true, once you're in, it's okay. It's not always easy but true and comforting to think that. #kcacols

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  19. I've started to ask myself, will it solve it if I worry and the answer is always no. It calms me and starts the process of putting it all in perspective.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.
    Mainy

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  20. I've definitely beeen pushing on with things rather than putting them off and worrying. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

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  21. Wonderful perspective, especially when life keeps throwing stress our way! #KCACOLS xo

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  22. This is How sounds like a great book - I might search this one out for a bit of a boost! Returning from #KCACOLS

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  23. Life is a whirlwind! Sounds like an absolutely fantastic book! #KCACOLS

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  24. Wise words! And words we should all live by! #KCACOLS

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