My poor munchkins. …

My poor munchkins. Three of them haven't managed to hand in their last two papers in time; that's three F's, out of a class of nine. I know it's not my fault, but somehow I feel like I failed them. Maybe if I'd been harsher from the beginnng, scared them, they wouldn't have gotten so far behind. I don't know.

On a more cheerful note, thank you for all the support about that nasty note yesterday. I know I shouldn't have let it get to me, but it did, and your kind comments really brought me back to myself.

I particularly appreciated the note which said that I seemed to be handling recent difficulties with grace. That's really important to me; even more so as I get older. Karen, you'll remember the discussion we had about this, I think.

I'm not sure why it matters so much to me. Part of it is simply that I think I associate grace with maturity, with being a real grown-up. When you're young, you're so tossed about on emotional winds, and I'm an emotional person. It's exhausting. The idea of maintaining a certain stability, despite whatever the world throws at you, is very appealing. (Par, you remember when you said that you didn't know what ages 30-60 were for, that you were looking forward to being old? Maybe ages 0-30 are for learning to deal with the world, and 30-60 are for dealing with yourself, and 60+ is for just enjoying. :-)

It's more than stability, though. Some of it connects to privacy; this feeling that my angst should be my own...even that it might be selfish to load too much of it on other people. (I'm starting to sound like Columbine :-). I don't mean that you can't or shouldn't lean on your friends. They can be a great help. It's more that there are some things that are better handled on your own, if you can. I can see that this attitude could lead me into big problems, into feeling like I've failed if I have to ask for help, and I don't want to go there. But I still don't want to spill my stress wantonly over my friends (and the rest of the world).

I don't know. Maybe it isn't a good ideal. But I think I'm pretty invested in it. I want to be the kind of person that other people know they can rely on in a crisis, the one who keeps a level head. Considering what an emotional wreck I often am, perhaps that's a goal beyond my reach. Guess I'll keep trying, though.

Heh. A bit early in the morning for personal philosophy, eh? Well, stress will do that to you. It's better than me blubbing all over these pages, no?

Perhaps you'd prefer blubbing; I admit, it has a certain emotional fascination. I did read several entries from that guy who got dumped and kept a journal about it: "wept three hours, vomited twice, couldn't sleep, etc. ad nauseum" And genuine grief is of course very powerful -- I couldn't stop crying while I read Pamie's entry the other day about the death of her cat. But that guy got on my nerves very quickly; I guess I think the prolonged display of public angst, weeping and wailing 'oh, pity me!' is pure self-indulgence. It's a fine line, and I'm sure I cross over it sometimes. It would be so easy for this journal to turn into 'my life is so hard, pity me'. But I rely on you guys to give me a good knock on the head if that starts to happen.

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