Thursday, December 9, 2010

Betty's Big Three

It's Self-Reflection Time


This last week of the semester is packed and stressful. Betty is a strong and courageous woman, able to face a stack of ten-page research papers with an optimistic attitude, a large supply of Diet Pepsi and a smile that belies her frenzied attitude.

(The small pillow placed upon my desk has dramatically reduced the number of bruises and contusions on my forehead as I either knock my head upon the desk in frustration and/or boredom.)

Knowing myself as I do, I have to take special care to keep nice and balanced. It’s best for everyone, indeed for society as a whole. There are three activities which keep Betty sane and within the bounds of social acceptability. These are the legs that keep the stool of sanity upright and able to balance the great load which is placed upon it.

What are these three activities? How kind of you to ask!

1) Walking:

Going out for a daily walk is essential for my mental health. I go alone most of the time and that’s the way I like it. I go ridiculously fast in a gait that could only be described as very, very special. When I have my walk, I am a happy person.

2) Writing:

At some point my brain needs to get out of the crowded airport of everyday life and board the plane of creativity, to fly around and see where the trip goes. If Betty is grounded too long, forced to wait at the gate, writing only memos, reports, and e-mails, no one in the boarding area is going to be happy. I'll see to that. I need to make my synapstical connections, to launch some high-flying ideas and see where they show up on the radar map. The turbulence is of my own making and it’s the fun kind.

3) Reading:

I read essays all day, so you would think I would avoid any excess reading. Ah, but I need to escape from the sharp edges of the peanut brittle-like student and academic writing. I want pudding. I want to sink into the words of a delicious, luxurious novel or at least the whipped topping of a poem. I seek out the smooth, the well written, the grammatically correct.

And so, even in these busy times, I need to remind myself to do these things for my own well- being.


It may be just a short walk.

It may be just a stolen ten minutes to scribble down some ideas.

It may be just a particularly well-written passage on the back of a toothpaste tube, read while sitting on the toilet late at night.


Betty’s gotta do these things if Betty’s gonna keep her sanity.


How about you? What do you need to keep all your marbles on the tilt tray?

Tell me all about it. Betty's listening.

42 comments:

Susan Fields said...

Writing is definitely at the top of my sanity list. And walking. I prefer walking alone, too, with just me and the dog. Walking with friends is great, but my brain needs time to just wander, too, so I usually go alone and do some great problem-solving.

Good luck with your end-of-semester crunch!

Leanne said...

Betty - you make me smile. I like that.

What do I do? Hmmmmm...haven't figured it out yet - that might explain why I'm so cranky all of the time. ;)

The indulgence in a good cup of coffee always makes me happy, though. And some sort of creative project does tend to bring a smile to my face. Oh, and quiet. LOVE quiet. Put me in a quiet room while drinking a cup of coffee and working on a project - and I'm as happy as can be!!!

Old Kitty said...

Oh BB!!! I hope you get to do all these and more!! They are truly therapeutic!!!! The world needs a happy BB darn it!! :-)

I also bake. Baking de-stresses me!!! :-)

Take care
x

Parsley said...

I pet my dogs. Yep...that plus eat sweets ;-)

Mamma has spoken said...

Clean, cook, bake, shop, take a personal day from work all seem to work for me. 7 more work days till Christmas Break not that I'm counting....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh crap - what marbles???

I exercise, I play guitar, I watch my favorite shows, and I write.

Jules said...

Marbles...2 extra thumb bumpers :)

If I walked right now I'd be a Popsicle. Alternative: close curtains and dance with furry friends.

10 minutes is about all I have to write at present. My idea list has turned into Santa's naughty or nice.

I read blogs, comment, paint and sketch. I hate staying in the lines :D

Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Madi and Mom said...

BB what a great post!!! I've often wonder how a teacher manages to keep her sanity.....good to know you look after BB for us!!!
Mom's stress reliever:
Reading and crocheting AND of course Petting Madi are my stress relievers!! LOL
Madi's stress reliever: are you ready
power naps 23 hours a day!!!
AND of course letting Mom pet me.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Seams Inspired said...

Blogging, Sewing, and Reading...in that order. :o)

Here's hoping your synapstical connections are, well, connecting today. Happy Thursday, friend! :o)

Leah J. Utas said...

Writing. If I don't get any done, it's not pretty.
And quiet time. To meditate or simply rest, to be alone with my thoughts and not have to speak to anyone.

Flartus said...

Just wondering...were analogies a big part of your semester?

I'm not sure what I need to retain my sanity. I don't know that I'm very good at retaining it! But I think that walking--with the dog--would be part of that equation, and reading an absorbing novel, too.

Around Christmas time, though, sometimes just turning off all the lights except for those on the tree, and listening to traditional carols, can slow my HO-sized train from careening off the tracks and plowing into the fragile paperboard buildings that organize my thoughts and dreams.

(See, I can do analogies, too! Do I get to pass?)

Sara said...

I consider Diet Pepsi a dear friend, too. If I were still in Cali, I'd bring you a delivery of that plus whipped topping (never whipped cream), and we'd have ourselves a feast.

Jennifer Shirk said...

When I was in school the last thing I wanted to do was READ. I think I was tired of reading textbooks and my notes and had to stage a boycott. LOL
But walking and exercise did help me keep my stress down and my sanity up. :)

mskanorado said...

Love your posts! Look forward to them daily! I would have to say that baking, blogging and walks have helped me lately! :)

Georgina Dollface said...

All three of those things for sure! Listening to music and singing to myself with my headphones on really reduces the stress for me. Even 20 minutes of lying on my bed, iPod on, singing and wiggling my toes is sometimes all I need to get me back on track. - G

KLZ said...

You and I sound like we have a lot of the same stress mechanisms.

I also eat my stress away. Or dance it off.

Baby Sister said...

If you add chocolate to the list, and substitute your diet pepsi with cherry pepsi, that about sums it up. :)
Good luck with all your papers!!

Nat said...

Walking (with music playing on my ipod) and reading...without both, I'm a Grumpy Old Woman!
Hope you get through that workload with sanity in check....

Jen@Dear Mommy Brain said...

Love it. Thanks for finding me!

Brian Miller said...

i think i just need to change my name to betty...as my 3 are identical...smiles.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Fudge.

That's my thing. I eat fudge. And who said my marbles are ON the tilt table???

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I enjoyed your post, Betty. You have a fun way with words.

I am home with a bad headache today, so am not thinking clearly. I feel my best when I am doing some form of exercise each day, but don't always get it fit in. As a special education paraeducator, I get in a swimming pool each day, and do a recycling route, so at least I get some movement in each day.

Cheeseboy said...

Replace walking for running and I have the EXACT same list. I might also add "Watch a good comedy on TV." to my list though.

Brian said...

Hey, I don't even know where my marbles went off to...I'll bet their under the couch!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I like all those things too, plus chocolate. xo

Kittie Howard said...

The 'peanut brittle student' made me chuckle. I taught senior English. Know what you mean!

Gotta have my walk. More tho, I need projects that don't require thought, if that makes any sense.

Lidian said...

I have to get out and have my walk every day, too. No question, it keeps me sane (kinda sorta).

Ann said...

Walking is a good release for stress and I've used that often especially when I was married to my first husband :)
Now I tend to escape into my craft room, bury myself in paper, glue and glitter. I also use the computer, either to read my favorite Bossy Betty post or to edit some pictures.

baygirl32 said...

the marbles are supposed to stay on the tilt tray? oops, exams are getting to me

Marlene said...

Diet pepsi! A girl after my own heart!!!! YAY!!!

Me? I sit down and pull out my colored pencils and markers. You know. The kid in me comes out.

A girl needs 2 Talk said...

I really appreciate Betty! :) :)

To stay sane, I talk/write/talk and write :)/watch a film, but most importantly, I EAT. Ravenously.

Shan said...

My needs have been distilled into *some* food, hopefully a meal, but whatever; *some* sleep in the middle of the night,and a bit of contact with my friendsand loved ones. You're officially in the loved ones category, by the way. I had to restrain mself from sending an email that said I love you after your comment on my 10 things post. I needed that, so thanks.

Cool Gal said...

I need a good work out and a glass of wine.

Hang in there, Betty! :)

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Love your survival techniques!! Hope they carry you through a busy holiday season....

Debi

Catherine said...

I enjoy my 'alone time' every morning. A big mug of tea, my kitty sitting beside me, and catching up with my blogging friends. Yup ~ that about does it! :)
xo Catherine

Lin said...

I dunno. These days I'm running crazy and I guess making lists are what keeps me sane. I go through my list and I feel like I'm gonna be okay. Too much happening these days for everyone. Ugh.

Jimmy said...

Writing is one of the things that gets my thoughts out and making sense in my mind, but the biggest thing that keeps me grounded is looking around at the beauty the Good Lord shares with us in the scenery that lies beyond the crowded cities.

Copyboy said...

We have similar professions in that I too am around words all day. I should take your sane steps into account.

Jenny said...

Reading, cats, time alone, and salt or chocolate or both.

Best of luck with the marking!

Liz said...

i'm surprised photography wasn't listed.

is that at least #4?

Daisy said...

I enjoyed reading this, Betty. Your three are also on my list. I have to have music once in a while too. :)

CherylK said...

I love this post, Betty! I've GOT to have my quiet time. I love a good brisk walk, too, but it's below zero at the moment so I do that at our local YMCA. I love my camera and don't ever leave home without it so I guess it's part of what keeps me sane.