March 28, 2010 - 8:45 PM
I was so intent on having a break this week and I have no idea how, but somewhere between the weekend at the in-laws and today I am utterly exhausted and living off of less sleep than I do during my ‘normal' routine. Perhaps I just tried to pack too many things into too short of a time. Like usual, I filled my week with a lot of big events; a surprise day for my husband (which went fabulously), a date day, reading, deep cleaning, cooking a large meal for almost 100 people, volunteered in children's church, ran a home group, visited my parents twice and with Brian's mom and dad each once, and managed to squeeze some girl time in the mix also. I had a ton of fun but, like I said, I am utterly exhausted both physically and mentally.
This is not necessarily how I want to start out my last term of graduate school. Things are what they are though and I'm sure the anxiety I am feeling about finishing school and all of the many many tasks I have to complete in a short 10 weeks played a major role in my busyness. I tend to distract myself if I am stressed, doing doing doing to the point of crashing. Then I try to sleep and have very strange anxious dreams that aren't rejuvenating in the least. I end up waking up more often and unwillingly getting up earlier than I need to. I can't believe I used to live my life this way on a regular basis. I am not pleased to find myself in this position, especially after promising myself I would relax, but I am comforted to know that my present state feels abnormal and uncomfortable when it used to be my life. Thank God it's not anymore!
So I need to get back on track, to refocus. Tomorrow morning I have a dreaded meeting that I have to participate in. My role in this meeting is not fun, in fact, while ethically the right thing to do; it is the hardest thing I have done to date. With this in mind and the background stress of this term, no wonder my week wasn't a break. All week the mention of Monday has tied my stomach in knots and brought panicked tears to my eyes. I am both thankful and nervous that Monday is tomorrow. I can hardly wait to walk out of that meeting and feel the tense bricks fall from my shoulders and maybe, just maybe, I can spend the rest of the day having the break I missed all week. It is so funny; I can tell you step by step how this process will go. Tonight I'm going to stay up too late watching a movie when I need the sleep because I know I won't sleep until my body protests and I can't physically keep my eyes open. I will have weird dreams and wake up probably two or three times. There is no doubt I will find myself up by 6:00 when my meeting isn't until 8:30. I will vacillate between peace and sudden onsets of panic until I have to leave. When I arrive for my meeting, I'll be early and I will be scared. But I will leave that scared girl in the car and walk out with a strong posture, professionally dressed, cool and calm on the outside with a torrent on the inside. The benefit to a background in theater is the ability to play a part, even when scared. Most likely, no one there will know what's going on for me.
Once the meeting is over, I will be able to deal with it. The second I am in my car and out of sight the dam will break and the tears will flood down. I have to pick my husband up from a class after my meeting and will show up crying. We will head home and Brian will listen to my woes and tuck me in for a nap. The chances are I will sleep for hours and wake up feeling better and more rested than I have all week. If I can make it through until then, I will be fine. I am glad for a distracting and fun break but I am even more looking forward to a bit of rest.
March 21, 2010 - 7:09 PM
I can hardly contain my joy that Spring Break has finally come! I'm sitting in an empty room at my in-law's house as we speak and I just finished a fabulous homemade steak dinner. Yesterday we were up at my parent's house and guess what they fed us there. . . steak. I'm not a huge meat eater but it is sure nice to know that everyone we love is so supportive and brining out their best for us.
Break came just in time. My life was becoming so chaotic that even in my diligence to make sure the house was clean and in order this term, that my daughter got undivided attention on a daily basis, and my drive to keep up and ahead of school work was quickly slipping through my fingers like sand. I was running and working frantically to keep my head above water, feeling like I was living off of sporadic gasps of breath in between waves of have-to's and deadlines.
Then suddenly I took a gasp and realized that I could keep breathing. I didn't have to push myself back into work, I could do whatever I wanted to. Of course, being me, I immediately filled my schedule with more stuff. The difference is that the stuff I am doing over break is my choice. That is a cool feeling.
I have lots of fun things planned. I've already been enjoying time with family and have a surprise day planned to spoil my husband, a day away at Belknap hot springs ( a favorite getaway for Brian and I), and working to start our garden. In the midst of all of the activities I am choosing, I commit to taking moments to take a breath and slow down. I have to keep my mind on break mode and not give in to the temptation to spin the wheels in my head and get myself amped up for my final term at the UO. I know that busy times are looming and while I feel like I can get a bit of a head start, spending my week doing absolutely nothing for school or for a prospective job hunt is probably a much healthier use of my time.
You are bearing witness to my commitment to not think about my school/work situation at much as possible (aside from answering questions from loving and curious family members). I am going to have fun. With that said, I am choosing to cut my blog short so I can head upstairs and spend time with my family.
I will talk with you all in a week.
March 21, 2010 - 7:09 PM
So I am a bit worried about a couple things as I'm heading into Spring Break. I didn't share this in my other blog because I felt that I needed to reserve one for happy and one for the unfortunate circumstance I am finding myself in. Regardless of these circumstances, I still commit to having fun and doing what I choose to do.
Concern number one: food poisoning. I hardly ever eat fast food. I think it is greasy, salty, nasty, and always gives me a mild to moderate upset stomach. My family left town directly from church this morning to head to southern Oregon and we stopped and ate at Taco Bell on our way out. I am also prone to car sickness, so I didn't think much about feeling sick with the combination of fast food stirring in my stomach and the constant movement of rain and windshield wipers waving furiously in front of my face for two and a half hours today. I felt better once I was out of the car and went for a walk and I assumed that would be the end of it. Little did I know that just a few hours later I would be sitting here with severe stomach pains and wondering if I have some form of food poisoning. I can't say that I've had stomach issues like this before but my whole abdomen feels like someone is squeezing it as hard as possible and my body is counteracting this by tensing up all of my muscles and pushing back. Underneath this battle is a very loud and talkative stomach that sounds really really mad. Long story short, this could be an interesting night at the in-law's house.
Concern number two: my mom had the Swine Flu about a week ago. She has fully recovered and is in good health without any symptoms. Thinking that the threat of danger had passed, Brian, Shae, and I went to visit my Mom and Dad in Salem yesterday. We had a fun day and we all enjoyed each other's company. However, towards the end of the evening, my Dad started to feel sick. I remembered then my Mom telling me my Dad took some time off of work to be at home and take care of her while she had the flu. Hmm. . . maybe going to Salem wasn't the best idea. I hope my Dad isn't getting sick because my poor Mom was pretty miserable for a week and I don't want to see him go through that same thing. More selfishly, I don't want to see myself, Brian, or Shae go through that either! I want to enjoy Spring Break and I don't want any of us sick as we go back to our school routine. Only time will tell, but I guess at the end of the day, the benefit of seeing my parents is worth the risk, for me at least. I think I would feel pretty bad if Brian or Shae got sick out of this. Hopefully none of us will and nothing will be able to take away a fun break. God knows we all need it.
March 14, 2010 - 10:18 PM
I have been sharing some about the odd experience I'm having transitioning out of the Couples and Family Therapy (CFT) program and the UO. There are a lot of important pieces of my program that I am quickly finding myself thrown in the midst of, preparing pieces and parts of a major paper (about 90 pp.) that I have to write, beginning my thoughts about job searching, saying goodbye to classes with professors, and planning last-term social events with my friends.
I hadn't really paid attention to the fact that I had my last term with two of the core faculty for the CFT program this term and now those classes are over. It wasn't brought up by anyone until the last day of classes and it was a shock to hear. I was so focused on the goal of sleeping in during Spring Break and anxiously waiting for classes to finally be done that I didn't even stop to recognize the preciousness of that time in class. These two professors, Deanna Linville and Jeff Todhal, have given me more than they are aware of. All of the faculty in the CFT program have always given above and beyond what I expected. They are a dynamic team and they have created a phenomenal program which, deservedly, gains national attention. I am so sad to think that I won't have class with Deanna or Jeff again. It feels so surreal. I have been dreading the end of this program and no amount of wanting to hold on to this time is making time slow down. It's funny, but I almost feel guilty for wanting Spring Break. Only almost. How can it be that I still have a full term left and I already have to say goodbye? Weird!
This awareness isn't all a bad thing though. The realization has brought the cohort closer together and we are planning series of fun activities for our last term together. So far we have a massive clothing/household item exchange, designing and making cohort t-shirts or hoodies, a craft time at brushfire, an open gym night at a local gymnastics studio, and various movie dates planned. There is also rumor of a big party to celebrate the completion of our massive papers and presentations that we all have to do to graduate. I am excited for all of these and only hope that I can be good about making the time to participate to the fullest.
Well, I'm sure you all will hear a lot more about these sorts of things in my future blogs. I have a lot ahead of me before I'm done and the transition has officially started. It will only get crazier and weirder from here.
March 14, 2010 - 9:53 PM
This past weekend my husband took the car to take a very big very important test in Salem. This left me car-less on Saturday morning. I needed to get to my internship to see clients. I had my bus route mapped out and didn't think anything when I put on knee high boots with stiletto heels. Little did I know what was in store for my feet that morning.
Before leaving for the bus stop, I decided that I was going to clean the house up and get the floors mopped and vacuumed. These chores are hard to do during the week and I knew our weekend was full with meetings, lesson planning, homework, and paper writing. I made quick work of cleaning and in my frenzy I mixed up the time that I needed to get on the first bus with the transfer bus. The result: I got on the wrong bus!
I realized my mistake when I was about a minute from the downtown Eugene bus station. I was too far away from the house to make it back and change for the trip I would have to make to get where I needed to go. I looked at my watch, 9:35 am. I had a client at 10:00 am. I scanned the bus station panicked looking for any bus that might get me closer to where I needed to go. There were no buses in sight.
I was off like a flash in my boots, professional pants, thick sweater, wool coat, and full shoulder bag. I have never walked so fast in thin heels. I'm sure I looked ridiculous walk-jogging with my arms full of coat, bag, and fumbling through the numbers in my phone and making failed attempt after failed attempt to make a rescue call. When I came to hills, the incline with the spiky heels made it so that I could run and I ran up every hill I came to. The sun was shining and although I am not normally someone who sweats, the combination of the exertion and the stress made me feel sticky and wet. That was uncomfortable but it was nothing compared to my feet. Every step started to make my feet more and more aware of the unkind task they were being forced to do. I just wanted to slow down and take my time or to call my clients and cancel. I wasn't in the position to do either and every time I looked at my watch it pressed me to keep going harder and faster.
It was 10:04 am. I was officially late, now walk-jog-limping down the busy road towards my internship discouraged, hurting, and rehearsing how I would explain my tardiness to my clients. I decided to check my work voicemail and see if they had called to see where I was. There was a message but instead of asking where I was, they were letting me know they would not make it for session.
I tell you what; I have never been so relieved to have a client cancel before in my life. I didn't care about the trek I made to be there for them. I slowed down and leisurely strolled the remaining block between me and my internship. I hobbled up the stairs and collapsed into the office chair at 10:10 am. I pulled the boots off of my swollen feet and wasn't surprised to see three large blisters on my feet and raw throbbing flesh everywhere else. I was thankful that I had some lotion with me and did my best to give my feet a little TLC before my next client came in. I mapped out my journey and learned that I walked a total of 2 ¼ miles loaded down with a heavy bag and a coat in stilettos in 35 minutes!
I have never had a problem with my shoes before, but then again I've never pushed my luck like I did on Saturday. The sad thing is, after all of that, my other client didn't show up and I was left sitting in my office, I didn't see any clients, and I knew I had to walk about another ½ mile to make it to the nearest running bus line. I cringed and worked up the courage to head out and was able to make my way home. By the time I got home, I had bruises on the bottoms of my feet and one of the blisters had popped. OUCH!
I soaked my feet in a hot bath, rubbed lotion into them and have been walking around in fuzzy fluffy socks in my oversized cushy bubblegum pink slippers. I know it is said to truly understand someone's experience you have to walk a mile in their shoes. I would never will a mile in my shoes on anyone!