Thursday, June 21, 2007

Boys State...

This week I've been inactive due to my participation as a councilor in the Missouri Boys State program. It's a program designed to promote leadership and knowledge of government among high school junior guys. It made a huge impact on my life when I went through, so I like to give back every summer. Stressful, yes. Worthwhile, definitely.

I realized a lot over the past few days while I've been here about myself and about those around me. First of all, I realized that I'm not big on crowds. I'm sort of a control freak (I always like to know what's coming next), so having 60 juniors in one room is incredibly stressful for me. I find myself completely anxious all of the time, which is a terrible thing. I've been getting away at assemblies and taking ten or fifteen minutes to do some mindful breathing, which calms me down a lot.

The thing is, there is a lot of possibility for things to go wrong and change and fluxuate with 1000 guys in one place. They're hard to control, and I don't know how to react to that. I'm getting better at letting go of situations, but it's tough sometimes. I can't control life. I need to just live in the moment and allow it to shift and change. That's where the fun and excitement comes from anyway! If life went exactly as I had planned for it to, I would be really bored and disinterested. So I guess not having control is a good thing. I just need to learn that with my head and my heart, letting go of situations and enjoying the ride.

I really miss everyone. I miss being a part of the blog community, which I don't have time to do while I'm here. I'm putting in 17+ hour work days with these guys, which is incredibly taxing. I'll be back online soon, but it's tough being away for so long. Enjoy life! Breathe mindfully! It's a helpful tool....

3 comments:

lindsey said...

I'm glad that you're spending the week at Boys State. The impact that you're making on those young men is probably bigger than you'll ever know.

How awesome that you get to share in and help facilitate such a great experience! You're doing good things Sparky.

As for the culinary experience this weekend, well...we'll see. And if it doesn't turn out so well, there's always Jimmy Johns.

Anonymous said...

Being a lifeguard is stressful for the same reasons. I have no idea what's in store for me every day, and it can get pretty frustrating, especially this week. The possibility of a water emergency, coupled with the bratty kids around the pool and parents that always seem to find something to be upset about can be really stressful. Luckily, the necessity to be able to deal with anything as soon as it happens is a wonderful exercise for living in the moment.

I miss you, man. Get back from Boys State already so we can hang out.

PeterAtLarge said...

Good for you, for sparing some part of your life to work with boys. I've worked enough with spiritually and emotionally wounded men to know how vital this work is: it seems sometimes that our culture is hell-bent on damaging our young male population than with nurturing them. Thanks for doing this work! And blessings, PaL