Monday, December 29, 2014

No excuses.

That was a long hiatus, wasn't it?  It's just as well I didn't make a detailed record of the last 6 weeks, because they have been pretty universally un-fun.  Thesis deadlines then comprehensive exams, then a couple of days then a Christmas I was unable to adequately prepare for..... complicated by more than one (unrelated) complete death of my one-and-only computer.  I am largely wallowing in emotional backlash that tastes the same as antepartum depression.  Too few happy thoughts  to penetrate the stress.

You might be a grad student if your husband offers you a girl's night out and you ask for a day at the library instead. #gradschool #nokidshangingfrommylimbs

But hey!  Comps are over (other than defending them in February...) and Christmas is over (even if I resent how it turned out when I just couldn't do all the things I'm supposed to do for Christmas), so it's time to move on to new stresses.

Stress #1: I have a thesis to write, and while I am paying for my thesis advisor's time, there's really nobody who's going to keep me on schedule besides myself.  I have about 30 distinct insecurities that each bring me to tears when I try to figure out how to make this happen.

Stress #2: During an emotional high in August, I bought a ticket to Alt Summit.  Then deadlines and comps dissolved me into a puddle of introverted insecurity as well as rendering me totally unable to actually prepare for an over-the-top networking event.  I am terrified, and unprepared in most ways.  Plus, did I mention my computer problems?  It's hard to design a last-second business card for your thesis survey without any software. Plus, I'm not even sure if I can find the business cards for this blog...... haven't seen them since the move. ENTROPY.

Stress #3: Christmas Break.  All my kids home all the time.  I love my kids and I'm trying to enjoy their company.  But oh, the messes.  The energy, the hurt feelings, the drama, and the messes some more.   They make me tired, and sometimes make me want to hide in a closet to be alone for a few minutes.  They have all been sick and stir crazy and sugar glazed.

Stress #4: Money.  New homeownership (spending money on fun things like tree removal and a water softener) + a Christmas I wasn't very organized about + unexpected computer repairs + dentists don't get paid leave for holidays.   None fun.

None of these stresses feels quite as heavy or immediate as comps did, but half of the stress of comps was the way it was infringing on my ability to pull Christmas off.  I'm still emotionally recovering from the whole ordeal.

But, lest I leave you with that bullet train of whine, here are some silver linings.

Silver Lining #1: While our house has proven to be way too dark for me (and skylight windows keep getting bumped up my renovation priority list), the snow we've had since Christmas has done a lot to help brighten up all of our north-facing windows.  Plus my parents gave me a happy-light for Christmas.  (My life is so glamorous).

Silver Lining #2: While Bunny continues to be absolutely insane (so stinking strong willed and flat-out strong for a 2-year-old... let me show you the fat lip she gave me on Friday when she started flailing with a toy in her hand after I picked her up) she also says please and thank you without provocation.  It always thrills me when I get an unexpected "Thank you, Mom" out of her.

Silver Lining #3:  Sir O is as sneaky as the day is long, but he's also got an innate sense of paternal fairness, so when he sneaks a treat, he sneaks one for all of the siblings.

Silver Lining #4: Despite all the stress, illness, and lost sleep this month, I only missed my 6am M,W,F workout class twice. I am proving to myself that I can make a difficult lifestyle change and I'm holding my holiday calories at bay. I still hate doing it half of the time (especially when I'm sick and tired), but habits don't start sticking until you convince yourself they are not optional.  If you are me, anyway.)

Silver Lining #5: The list of house projects is mind bogglingly long, and the budget is hard to predict, as our income varies each month.  But we finished our basement storage room before Christmas and moved half of the bins and boxes living in our garage down there, so parking is less precarious.  Plus now we can move on to parts of the house that we actually intend to live in.

Silver Lining #6: Despite some really disappointing and emotional numb days, I've been pretty easily moved by the spirit this month.  It's been a humbling experience, but usually when I was most overwhelmed, I'd get subtle reminders of how small my stresses are in the grand scheme of things.  This didn't always keep me from being grumpy or withdrawn, but it helped.  Plus I cried a lot.

Silver Lining #7: Despite working on a thesis about blogging, I have not been able to string 10 minutes together to write anything coherent for my own blog.  I'd have lots of thoughts I wanted to write down during the day when my hands were full, or late at night when I was finally laying in bed and getting sleep was a high stakes game.  So here, look at me!  MAKING IT A PRIORITY!   Sometimes giving myself permission to prioritize things that don't matter to anyone but myself is really difficult. But this matters to me, and I think I am a much better person when more of my experiences have gone through the organizing filter of being interpreted and recorded in a searchable way. So while I can't currently edit photos (grrr to the computer problems again), I can write!

1 comment:

Cheryl Libutti said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Em... I always love knowing what's going on at your house and in your head. Loved hearing about your silver linings and kudos to you for keeping your own priorities when everyone is fighting them. Keep on keeping on!

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