This year, I need to teach myself how to put my foot down when I know that a situation is going to have a definite negative impact on me. I need to understand how to take care of myself before constantly trying to take care of others. A few months ago, I told a coworker who’s like Wonder Woman at the bagel shop I work at (a manager who was constantly offering to stay overtime for various reasons) that “you can’t pour from an empty kettle”. I could tell that she was becoming more and more drained as her shifts got more stressful, and it scared me to see how weary she was getting. It’s high time that I took my own advice.

Those of you who follow my blog know that I have very weird, vivid dreams about many things. In 2017, I struggled with incredibly realistic, tense dreams about my workplace because the stress of my daily shifts overwhelmed me and stuck with me. I chose to dwell too much on whatever negative would transpire at my shifts, whether it was an angry customer, coworker drama or something else. Because I wouldn’t stop fretting over my job as I fell asleep, I ended up having awful dreams about my coworkers gossiping about me and others, customer issues spiraling out of control, and other extremely stressful scenarios.

I know now to not let work get to me that badly, and thanks to that, I rarely dream about my job anymore. If I do, the dreams are generally random and whimsical. I need to keep this mindset in this new year and from now on. My work stress needs to stay at my job and not follow me home anymore. I finally made myself acknowledge that while I can’t control many things at my job, I can control how it affects me, and as a result, my mood has vastly improved.

On a similar note, I’ve figured out a way to vastly reduce the number of nasty nightmares and apparent nighttime encounters I’ve had in the past. I’ve found that by saying “Do you acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and the Lord of all?” before I go to sleep, not only do I give myself a form of spiritual assurance, I also can quickly determine if something is really trying to haunt me. 99% of the time, nothing happens. On the rarest of occasions, I felt an evil chill that was dispelled after saying more prayers. Whatever’s been trying to screw with me at night really hates the name of Jesus, for obvious reasons.

I look forward to what this new year has to offer, and I know for sure that I still have much growing to do, in more ways than one. I trust God to guide me accordingly.