I’m not really sure what happened this semester.
Things are finally slowing down. I have done all the substantial writing and researching that needs to be done for the semester, and I even have a grade: a B+! My first B of grad school. How precious.
I still have a little catch-up work to do, but it’s manageable. About 3 reasonable days worth of work to do over the course of a week, I’d say. Nothing to panic over. And then I’m DONE done DONE with school work until the 24th of January.
But the last month or so has been rough rough ROUGH and I really can’t figure out what happened.
Option #1: This Semester Was A Failed Experiment
For whatever reason, I am capable of keeping it together while taking 3 courses and working 20 hours a week, but I am not capable of keeping it together while taking 2 courses and working 30 hours a week.
Maybe there’s just something about being out of the house those extra 7 hours of the week that throws my routine out of whack.
I know my body has been hurting: I’ve become a slave to the IcyHot patch this semester. After awkwardly helping me apply one in the restroom at CVS before hopping back in the car for a few hours, Lance asked, innocently, if there was something OTHER than an IcyHot patch that fixed my shoulder (and, therefore, my migraines) more permanently. I laughed at him, just because of the way he phrased his sentence. No, there wasn’t anything that I was aware of, otherwise, my shoulder would be permanently fixed, right?
He got a little indignant. Rightfully so. So I clarified. The only thing that really helps when I’m stuck in a cycle of pain is having some time off, a few days where I can sleep in past 7 a.m. and remain reclined for the majority of the day.
This semester, I was rarely granted two consecutive days off… and then there were the ever popular Twelve Hour Thursdays!
Anyway, so if my schedule is keeping me in a fairly consistently headached state, and those headaches are keeping me from functioning at my peak, then maybe my schedule is ultimately responsible for making me craz
But, I don’t really buy that. I’m young. I’m adaptable. 7 more hours out of the house every week is NOT that much, really.
So, there’s Option #2: This Semester Got Off To A Bad Start And Snowballed Downhill From There
I wrote about how much simultaneously starting the semester and moving into a new apartment threw me for a loop. I’m not going to blame the move in theory – especially because it’s likely that we will have to move again next year – but there was something about that perfect storm of stress, heat, and work that I never quite recovered from.
Things that I threw from cardboard box to shelf on September 3 are still laying where they fell. I unpacked our last taped box two weeks ago, but there’s still an opened box full of miscellaneous crap that needs attending to. It sits on the floor of my bedroom, taunting me.
Like I mentioned before, I’m not sure I’ve had two consecutive days off this semester, and especially not two consecutive days off without homework. Maybe I just never had the mental space to clear house after the summer ended. And it’s not like my summer was a walk in the park either… but let’s not trace my neurosis back that far if we can avoid it.
Anyway, this isn’t a bad theory, really. There’s hope for next semester – my winter break is overwhelming me with it’s Expanse of Nothing-ful Days, and even if I have to move next semester, we can learn from our mistakes and ask for a few days off work to recover from the chaos properly.
But then, when I REALLY look at what I accomplished this semester, I start to feel a little weird.
Option #3: This Semester Was A Bit Busy, But It All Turned Out Better Than Average
I did have quite a few successes this semester that I never bothered to appreciate or chronicle properly.
Academically, things weren’t the best, but they weren’t so bad.
- A B+ is still a fine grade. If I get a B+ in my second class, that will be a fine grade, too.
- I completed most of the reading for most of my classes.
- I turned in all of my assignments on time.
- I had 100% attendance.
Job-wise, I held it up.
- I remembered to be in the places I needed to be at the times I needed to be in them.
- I was able to answer a majority of my Reference questions promptly and accurately.
- I completed a number of tasks at both jobs.
I was social-enough, by my standards.
- I attended two school-friends parties.
- I frequented a handful of bars.
- I chatted with my friends and family via phone with regularity.
- I went to two Christmas parties.
Personally, things felt bad, but objectively, they looked okay.
- I ran 3 times a week between October 1 and Thanksgiving.
- I spent quite a bit of time petting and cuddling my newly-affectionate kitty.
- Our budget turned out okay, even though Lance had a smaller paycheck this school year.
- I cooked a lot of yummy, healthy meals and only had to eat lunch at the salad bar a few times.
- I read a few books for fun, listened to some good music, and kept up with a few decent television shows.
- Most of the time, I got 8 hours of sleep.
So maybe things were fine. But they didn’t FEEL fine.
Option #4: There Is Something Wrong With You Because You Felt Miserable This Semester
I don’t like that option either.
But I’m assuming they are all true.
And I’m hoping that with
1) Organization and Strategy
2) Some Time Off
3) Limiting the Busy-ness and Focusing on Being Freaking Positive Already
4) Pretending I’m Somewhat of a Mental Patient Who Needs All The Help She Can Get,
that nobody will have to scrape me up from the floor of