Just. Plain. Happy.

It’s hard to believe that less than two months ago I was complaining about having nothing to do and about my days running together. Now, I’m quite close to complaining about the opposite, about having too much to do and so little time to do it all. But you know, as I’m writing this right now, I’ve decided not to gripe about that. I’ve decided, just now, that I should do the opposite. I should count my blessings. I have a job that’s quite flexible (at least this semester), I’m going to graduate school to expand my education and open new opportunities (and I’m enjoying it, for the most part), and I have an amazing husband who actually wants to spend time with me. My life is good. . . and busy, too, but that’s okay.

It just can’t be both ways, you know? I can’t fret over my neurosis and worry that I’m not doing anything with my life and then get a job and start doing something only to complain about it. When it comes right down to it, I’m actually quite content. How many people can say that? And yeah, my life’s not perfect, but it’s really good. I have a roof over my head, food in my mouth, a car that runs well, I’m healthy–physically, if not completely mentally–I have everything I really need and most things I really want, I’m smart, I’m not too bad looking, and I feel like I’m becoming more self-actualized because I’ve managed, almost, to kick my fear of public speaking. I’m not going to complain today, even though making a 75% on an accounting quiz has made me feel a little bit low. But you know what, it’s just one little quiz, of one module, and I’m not going to worry about something I can no longer change. I’m just going to try to do better next time.

And you know, my job has been quite okay this time around, too. It’s a different thing to be an adjunct than it was to be a graduate assistant. I’m not writing my thesis anymore, which takes some of the pressure off–even though I’m in school again, which is quite a time consuming part of my life. I’m more sure of myself and my methods, I’m invested in making the best use of my class time, I’m learning as I go along what works and what doesn’t, I’m asking for and getting amazing feedback from my students. I feel quite good about it, all in all. The first papers of the semester came in yesterday and I’m looking forward to seeing how my students did. I’m thinking, overall, that they did great!

So, maybe it’s just the frozen yogurt I had tonight with Melanie talking, but I feel like I’m in an okay place right now. No complaining to the world wide webs about my life today. Just positive affirmation that all is well and is getting better by the day. So far, 2013 has been a great year, and it’s almost my 13th anniversary, which makes it even better! I love that the year starts out pretty quickly with my wedding anniversary, it always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Matt’s an amazing guy and I’m so thankful to have him in my life. Now, with all that gushing, rather than griping, back to my homework because I have a lot left to do this weekend. Good night!

***

Oh, so check this out, it’s been a while since I wrote earlier and I’m reading about motivations in my Foundations of Management book. The chapter is talking about Maslow’s hierarchy and how self-actualization is the top tier. That brought me back here because I was talking, up there, about how largely overcoming my fear of public speaking has been making me feel more self-actualized. It seems all of my lower level needs are met enough that, in regard to this one aspect of my life, I’ve been able to rise to the top, which makes me feel good about myself.

And you know, now that I think about it, it also explains why I was able to overcome this particular fear as a side-effect of going to graduate school. If I understand it correctly and if Maslow is right–and most people seem to believe he is–when lower level needs are met we are able to rise to the next level more freely. My physical, safety, and love needs (the first three of Maslow’s five levels) have been met for a long time, but going to graduate school and becoming more educated has helped to meet my needs for esteem, both in terms of worthiness to others and worthiness to self. When my self-esteem rose, I was more able to speak in front of other people, which has helped me to become more self-actualized and reach my full potential in this aspect. Yeah, definitely go me!!

PS. If I’m misunderstanding/butchering poor Maslow with my somewhat shallow understanding of his hierarchy, please don’t tell me. I like the idea that I’m getting somewhere inside my head.

Comments

  1. Shannon says

    I think you did good illustrating how Maslow’s hierarchy has played into your life! I did learn though that only 2% of the general population and .1% of the college population achieves self actualization. If you’ve done it, I could use some tips!
    I do like Maslow’s hierarchy, but I have some issues with the order…I have read some studies about premie babies and “failure to thrive” even though all their physical and safety needs are being met, but they begin to thrive once they are held and massaged…It would jack up the pyramid, but I believe the love stage should coincide with stages 1 & 2.
    Anyway, I am really glad you are doing good! It’s unbelievable how quickly life changes, isn’t it?

    • says

      LOL!! Well, it might have been a slight exaggeration. I have a quite imperfect understanding of Maslow in a psychological sense. I’m reading about him in regards to Organization Behavior and business, so it’s not a direct translation–though Maslow himself admitted that his theories don’t work 100% when applied to organizations, rather than patients. Still, he’s way popular with the business crowd. So, maybe I haven’t gotten all the way to complete self-actualization, but I’m working on it. ;)

      My book talks about a gentleman named Clayton Alderfer who reworked Maslow’s hierarchy for business purposes and he, like you, rejects the notion that lower level needs must be met before higher level needs can be addressed.

  2. Shannon says

    What’s funny is I have had days where I am feeling so good that I am like, “YES, I have conquered Stage 5! I am SELF-ACTUALIZED!” Then I have other days where I feel like I am still stuck in Stage 3. It is definitely not a linear process for me!
    That book sounds interesting. :-)

    • says

      You’ve known me a long time, and read my blog for quite a long time, too, so you know that sounds just like me. One day, I’m like, “everything’s awesome!!” and the next, I’m like, “I’m so miserable!” lol

      • Shannon says

        Yep! Well you can’t keep the “everything’s awesome” theme going on all the time, or else you would have to rename your blog “Pretty Optimist.”

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