Tuesday, June 7, 2011

S for Summer Break (Already Over?!)

Two weeks wasn’t a long enough summer break. Of course, I knew it wouldn’t be. Still, I am shocked and sad and downright grumpy over just how quickly it managed to fly by. I cannot really tell you what exactly I did, because I didn’t really do anything incredibly noteworthy. The best I can recall is that I was pretty much lazy, which hindsight tells me is probably exactly what I needed. I enjoyed a few weekend naps here and there, which was lovely. Oh! I also got to read a few books for pleasure instead of learning. THAT was incredibly awesome!! I still absolutely adore my Kindle and cannot wait to return to the days of reading for pleasure and fun.

Oh, and I did a 5K on May 22 (the day before my birthday). Musicman and I did it together, and we walked most of it (due to my breathing issues and having had to abandon C25K temporarily) with sprints here and there to get through the crowd. We finished in less than an hour and were super proud of ourselves for having completed our first 5K despite the fact that we were rained on for the whole first half. I tweeted a little bit about it and ended up winning a Sketchers prize pack from Weight Watchers, which I was pretty excited about. (I have yet to receive said prize pack, and am pondering whether I should contact someone about it or be patient and wait a little longer.)

Then, I got sick. I have been in a downward spiral health wise since around my birthday, which I attributed to allergy season. It’s just gotten worse and worse, and I’ve gotten more and more lethargic, culminating in my missing the last two days of the work week last week as I battled what I’m pretty sure was a nasty sinus infection. I slept pretty much all day both of those days and still felt as though I didn’t get enough sleep. I’m slowly getting my energy back, but Minnesota is currently having a really rough allergy season, so I don’t expect to be completely back to normal anytime soon.

And I hate that. I’m frustrated at the lack of energy especially; I don’t do well with feeling tired. It just serves to make me even more grumpy and less tolerant of pretty much everything. I actually broke down crying on Sunday because I was just so sick of feeling sick and I just feel so lazy and worthless. Musicman, of course, was super supportive. He reminded me that I might also be a little burnt out considering that I’m doing the work of 2-3 people at work, I just finished a really long and trying semester at school and am now facing yet another trying semester, and I’m still working hard to be a good wife and puppy mom (and sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, aunt, etc).

When put like that, it would seem my plate is quite full. It would also seem that Musicman is an awesome and super understanding husband, which of course he is. (A quick side note: Musicman graduated from C25K yesterday. I am so super duper proud of him for completing the program! He’s still going to work on increasing his speed and distance and is thinking about when he’s going to try running his first 5K. If I’m being honest, I’m a little jealous. I should’ve been finishing the program at around this time too, but my stupid body refused to cooperate. I’m hoping to pick it up again soon.)

I should probably try to find the time to go see an allergist and maybe get on some new allergy meds, and I should get back to the doctor to talk about my asthma. But, I don’t have the time right now. I also really don’t have the patience, considering that my doctor kinda just glossed over my asthma concerns during my annual visit about a month ago. I’m especially frustrated that I made some major life changes—quitting smoking (it’s been 5 months!) and losing weight (down a little over 23 pounds!)—that should have improved my health by now, but so far, I haven’t reaped many of the benefits I was looking forward to. I’m specifically talking about the energy increase both were supposed to provide. So far, that has not happened for me, and I’m a little pissy about it.

Summer semester is in full swing and I find myself really not giving a damn. It’s my last semester at Community College, and I want to give it my all in order to leave with a 4.0 GPA, but I find myself just completely apathetic about getting anything done. I think it’s a combination of the fact that it’s my last semester, thus I already have my sight set on bigger and better things as I finally embark on the social work curriculum, and I’m just burnt out on school (and in general).

I have two competencies, Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs, which are self-directed projects), to get done and one online class that starts in the beginning of July. One PLA, the Psychology of Death and Dying, involves reading an entire textbook to familiarize myself with principles and concepts that I will use to write some papers and which will also be discussed at the meeting in the middle of July where we’re expected to hand in our work. There’s also a two part writing assignment. The first part is a “deathography” in which I must write about my significant experiences with death, applying at least 5 concepts from the textbook. The second part involves researching and responding to the ethical questions surrounding two death-related topics from a list that includes: physician-assisted suicide, capital punishment, withdrawal of life support, green funerals, stem-cell research, etc. I’m just not thrilled about this one. Death isn’t fun, and it’s certainly not entertaining. This one is just plain difficult to work on and complete.

The other, Sociology of Family and Society, involves reading ten 2-6 page essays regarding various family matters from an assigned book and writing ten 2-5 page summary/reaction papers, incorporating various sociological principles and my personal life experience into these narratives. This one shouldn’t be too hard. I had this instructor last summer for my other sociology class, so I know exactly what she expects out of these papers. I did a fine job of bullshitting my way through the four papers we had to do in that class, so I should have no trouble doing the same for these ten. It’s simply a matter of buckling down and getting it done.

Basically, I need to do lots of reading, research, and writing. I seriously don’t know why I ever thought PLAs were a good idea for a procrastinator like me. I don’t do self-directed well. I don’t know what it is. I guess I’m just not disciplined enough, and I get too involved in the minute details, such as breaking larger projects into smaller pieces. I try to get everything done at once, end up getting overwhelmed, stop for a while, and then panic as the deadline approaches. I’d really rather just take the classes, but there’s no time for that now. I must finish these two projects and the upcoming music class in order to have all the credits I need to start at St. Scholastica in the fall. THAT’S the only thing keeping me going at this point; knowing that, if I screw this up, I screw up starting my bachelor’s degree.

So far, I’ve managed to read almost two (out of 15) chapters of the Psychology textbook. I’ve also spent a few hours making up a fancy calendar and schedule to plan out how I’ll complete these projects and to track my progress. I’m already off schedule. Shocking, I know. I blame getting sick last week; however, I have to admit that I haven’t exactly been chomping at the bit to get caught up. I still have plenty of time to get it all done, so I’m not too worried at this point. Unless, of course, I can’t get out of this funk; then I’ll be in trouble.

What do you do, lovely reader, when you’re generally just overwhelmed with life and in a funk? How do you get yourself back on track?

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