Monday Musings.... I woke up & I was still breathing

When my office got moved to the basement this past year, I was pretty excited. My colleagues, on the other hand, looked at me with great concern as they wished me well and gave me a ton of advice regarding the perils of working in a windowless office hidden away from the constant commotion of staff and students on the second floor. Well, the basement has not only afforded me the luxury of a great space, there has been a ton of unanticipated student and staff activity, where every day literally has been an adventure for me. I don’t need a window for the sun. I've got a door that shows me more about the world than a second floor space ever could! One thing you should know about me is that I am

How to Get Rid of Toxic People – Become a Hermit

You have them in your life. Those people that you work with, live with, or are related to. You know they are toxic because you feel like you are either being smothered, controlled, judged, or you are walking on egg shells. You try to think positively, and think that maybe the next conversation or interaction will be different, but you end up shrivelling back in dread, shaking your head in disbelief, and wondering why this is affecting you so much. Perhaps you have taken a step back and honestly examined your own life, saying: “What is it about me? Am I doing something to attract this kind of person?” And yet you come up empty. You often make one of two choices: either you keep being hopeful

Monday Musings...Stayin Alive on I-75

I have a very bad habit of waiting until my gas tank is virtually empty before I go and fill it up. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought that I am moving along only on the fumes. So this day was no different. I chugged into the gas station, turned the ignition off, and immediately a gentleman appeared from the shadows and started cleaning my wind shield. I got out of the car and he greeted me with a hearty hello and asked how my day was going. I replied with a standard “good” and then I asked him, “How about you”? Instead of the usual “fine”, he said, “Well, I'm sure you don’t want to hear about my life? You don’t have enough time.” I paused, smiled broadly, and said, “Well I've go

When Life Gives You Lemons...It Gives You Lemons!

Shortly after my son got married, he got into two pretty serious car accidents, back to back. He not only needed to get a new vehicle, but he also had to brace himself for the sky-rocketing cost of his insurance. This was not what he needed, as he was starting a new life that was supposed to be filling with freedom and bliss! We all know that the fact that he was alive was all that mattered, but that didn't make him jump up for joy and say: “Wow that was a close one! Let’s go celebrate!” No, instead, he was racked by guilt and the fear of what if this happens again, how am I going to pay my bills, and the plans we had now have to change…. When we talk to people after they have experienced a

Monday Musings - Once I was 7 Years Old

“Did you just come out of the pool?” asked the blue-eyed, freckled face peering up at me. “Yes, I did!” I replied with a smile. “Was the water warm? Cuz I really don’t like cold water,” she inquired with a very serious look on her face. And so it began, my little conversation with a little girl who was so full of wonder and excitement, disappointment, and then hope. It all started with her noticing me and asking a random question. We live in an interesting world, where we mistakenly believe we are all connected – and that with the click of a button or quick dial on a cell phone, we can instantly feel relief about our questions or our fears. But nothing replaces the face to face encounters t

You Are Good Enough

Every day the halls are filled with students seeking and searching to find their way in this world. Education is presented to them as a shining key to their future, and I wholeheartedly agree, as it turned my life around. But what is a true education? The best education I have ever received was in the company of those I admired and who risked investing in me as a person, first, and a student, second. Every day we have lessons to learn, and every day we wonder if we’ll pass the test. The pressure can be unbearable. It’s those tapes we play repeatedly in our heads, the biggest of which is: “I'm just not good enough.” There are a ton of study areas around the campus, littered with lounging stud

Monday Musings...Caught by the Wave

I'm a morning person. I always wake up before the alarm clock. I glance over, see that I've beaten the annoying buzzer, and press the button to ensure silence continues. I stumble in the dark and get ready to start my day. I love getting up in the dark, when most people are still asleep, or pretending to be. It’s the perfect time for me to enter my headspace and think. My first thoughts are usually about the future. I consider all of the things I know I need to accomplish that day, and I often wonder if it is humanly possible to get it all done. It’s like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff, looking into the sea of possibilities and I feel paralysed. Like many of you, I take a deep breath an

The Three Things I Learned in Grad School

Having been bit by the psychology bug in first year, and getting to work in a lab, I set my goals on going to grad school. Since there are 52 branches of psychology, choosing what to specialize in was pretty difficult. My original choice was to go into cognitive psychology, which was fairly new at the time. I loved how the mind worked and how we process information, especially as it relates to our memory. But a good friend said: “Why don’t you choose a field where you will always have a job – you know, where you’ll always be needed.” The choice then became obvious for me. Combining my love for how the mind works and how mental illness develops, I chose clinical psychology. If I thought I was

Somewhere There’s A River…

None of us gets to choose our beginning. Instead, we float downstream to meet the world and are gently placed into the arms of strangers. Years pass and we continue to wander and wonder… looking for acceptance and approval, thinking about who we are, and dreaming about what could be. I am a wanderer, always have been. As a kid, sitting still was hard for me, so the river was a place I would go to think, burn off my energy, and imagine what it would be like to cross over to the other side. I was always alone by the river, alone in my thoughts and in my emotions. I can honestly say that I don’t think anyone knew me. My childhood was spent in solitude and silence…except for recess. That was th

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© 2016 Head Space: Charlene Mahon