In one of my favorite TEDWomen2015 talks, “How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard.” by Linda Cliatt-Wayman there is something she says that resonates with me every day. Linda likes her slogans and this one I have adopted.

“So what. Now what?”

In her talk Linda emphasizes the point that when information came her way about her “broken” school was “So what. Now what? What are we going to do about it”.

So what. Now what am I going to do about it? has become my mantra for whatever challenge I am facing in my life. By using this way of thinking and living I feel more in control of my life and more empowered in my actions.

Currently at my day job as a social worker and chemical abuse prevention (CAP) counselor in a high school of 1400ish 9-12 students I am the only social worker. Our building is fortunate to have two school psychologists, and two social workers. Earlier this school year the other social worker (I have been the only CAP counselor for a few years)  went out on a leave due to a significant family illness and death. Due to the nature of the social work position and being uncertain about how long she will  be out, the school has not hired a long term substitute. In addition to the counseling aspects of my position there have been additional projects I want to do for staff and students. Lunch and learns, informative and uplifting weekly emails, and more. Once the social worker went out I went into a “So what. Now what?” mode. What am I going to do about providing counseling support to the number of students being referred to me, still doing the special projects I so enjoy doing, taking care of myself and NOT burning out.  By thinking this way it prompted me into solid action steps. I did not want to live in the mindset of being overwhelmed, limited, stuck. I don’t like feeling that way and I refuse to live my life that way. REFUSE. I worked with the school’s administration on a plan of action, referred some students back to their school counselors for counseling support, had the school psychologists pick up some additional counseling students. Are there some work days there are incredibly stressful, overwhelming and intense? Absolfreakinglutely! Even if there was another social worker those kind of days would happen. What helps empower and energize me is my So what. Now what am I going to do about it?

I also use this way of thinking and living outside of my day workland. Spending time with family and friends, fitness, house projects, and do nothing time are essential to my well being and mental happiness. There is a business project I have been working on with a friend and my own business projects I am working on. If you look at items I enjoy and the additional business projects, it CAN seem overwhelming. If I try to do too much within a limited time frame it is overwhelming and not fun. To find a better balance, and continue to work towards the business project goals that I am super excited about I used my “so what. now what?” problem solving mantra.

One change I made is now twice a week I go to a 5:30am fitness class😳 I wanted to find some more time in my week at night and this was my solution. I get up at a crazy early hour of 4:20am so I can eat breakfast, take a quick shower, and go to class. There are so many people at the gym at that time it is mind-blowing. It’s a whole new world for me. By doing this I have found I have more energy during the day and the week, I am sleeping better, happier cause fitness classes help make me happy, and have the more time at night I needed to do some of the things I want to do.

Most fantastic person I know there are times in your life there is too much going on. Life can be overwhelming, stressful, hard. When there is too much going on for you slow your roll. Stop, breath, quiet your brain and body down. Look at everything going on in your life with your own “So what. Now what am I going to do about it.” Some of our best ideas come from the times we are quiet in our minds and still with our bodies. Look for ways you can make changes, small, medium, or large, to get to your way of living your life to a better place for you. You so matter and so deserve it!

May your So What. Now what am I going to do about it? be with you💜

Phot by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash