When I was in high school, my favorite subject was math. At first I thought it was because I genuinely liked it, but once I realized I wasn’t actually good at it, I figured out that I loved the subject because of the way the class was conducted. Every day we would come in, grade our homework from the previous night, take notes of the lesson for the day, get our homework assigned, and leave. Each day I could count on this structure - no matter when it was. I loved to go to class because I knew that I could rely on the same schedule, with no surprises to worry about.
Looking into the past and present, these six months of serving as an Indiana FFA State Officer have been nothing short of amazing. I’ve enjoyed everything - visiting with business and industry leaders, spending time with FFA members, and appreciating the small moments with my teammates. Each day has been a new experience, and you never know what you might be asked to help out with. It’s been a blast living with my six teammates, going through the year together as a family.
Right before Christmas break though, I hit a slump. For some reason I felt exhausted after each and every day. It came to a point when I was getting ready to go to bed that I reflected back on the past six months, trying to figure it out. I loved what I was doing, but I was mentally exhausted from day to day - no matter how much sleep I received. So I decided to compare the changes in my life between school and State Office, trying to figure it out.
In school, I had a set schedule that I followed to a T, especially when it came to attending math class. I loved the class because I knew exactly what was going to happen each day, but since I’ve been in office, that’s not the case. While we do have a schedule that we follow, it’s ever changing. No one day, activity, or experience is the same.
That can make someone pretty tired when they’re used to the same routine each and every day. I knew that when I came back from break, I wanted to try something different. I was so exhausted all the time, and I didn’t want that to continue on when I came back for the second half of my year.
If routine was what kept me energized, what was stopping me from setting a routine within the hectic moments of State Office? There’s nothing stopping me from waking up to start my mornings the same way each day. The timing might be a bit different, but I can still get ready for my day, fix a cup of coffee, and eat breakfast in the same order as I always have.
When I came back from break, I tried to keep to this routine. Obviously it’s not always possible, but for the most part I’ve stuck to it. And it’s great! Routine is what energizes me and keeps me grounded, and it’s nice to be able to fit small amounts of stability into a very crazy and awesome experience.
If you find yourself more exhausted than usual, take a step back to think about your way of doing things. What’s changed so drastically in the past couple of months to make you so tired? For me, it was having a routine. But for you, it might be totally opposite. And that’s okay!
Find what’s best for you, and stick to it. Life is crazy, but spend time in the crazy with energy - instead of exhaustion.
Find a routine,