Another week!!

Wow it is hard to believe another week has flown by! I remember thinking as a kid that the year felt as if it passed so slowly..not in my adulthood it feels like the months just fly by! I can hardly believe this weekend we will be in March! Wow!! Crazy. 

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about a lot of things. I worked a six day week….so today of course was  day full of pain, exhaustion and the works.  The good news is that I have been able to sit in bed/couch all day (yes I’m realizing I have to take care of ME), and I have gotten some homework done! So two positives…still….there has been lots of pain and I’ve been dragging myself around all day! 😦

I realized this week the value of completion! I had this saying in graduate school that “it doesn’t matter how long it just matters that you finish.” I’ve reached a point in my academic career where I realize I must balance ME and my completion.  The focus should not be on just finishing a product…the focus should be on ME HEALTHY completing the projects that come with school. The pressure and stress that was relieved when I came to that conclusion was amazing. Yes I would love to finish in 3.5 years…but so what it if takes me a full 4 years??? If I finish in 3.5 years and am so sick I cannot work…I would probably be wishing I had slowed down a bit, and been able to walk out ready to do something. 

Random thinking I know… I have myself on a writing/data collection schedule so that I can hopefully keep up with my research. I have surprisingly had more homework this semester than I anticipated…actually more homework this semester than the last two semesters! So I’ve been adjusting to that added piece. The good news is that in some things I am ahead and that helps./

Organization and balance is critical! 🙂 Easy said hard done!!! I’m off to do more homework! Focused this week on getting done!!! 🙂 WOOHOO! 

Freedom

Do you ever find yourself feeling free by sharing your story. I had that experience this week….I finally opened up and shared my story so that I could be honest with several close friends. Why had I not shared before? Well I was scared of being viewed as incapable…scared of being judged…scared that they would treat me as less of a person. Then I realized…I could not be true to myself if I wasn’t true to others. The reality is if people want to treat me different ….oh well…because I am different .

My normal is not their normal…I face many daily battles that so many people do not see. As I am sure you understand, some mornings just getting out of bed is a major battle. Much less getting up, working full time, and completing my coursework. The good news is so far I think my limited discussion has been met with basic understanding. My goal is to as long as possible keep going strong…because that is what I want to do. 

That said, I have realized that I have to balance things too! I have to make my health a priority (similar to what I shared this week with a friend). I will be no good if I push myself soooo hard now to finish….what will happen if when I’m done…..I’m so burnt out I cannot get a job?? What good will that be? 

Overall, I realized I have to have faith in my future. I have to have faith that all will work out! I have faith that being true to myself, making my health a priority, and all of the above is totally worth it.  When we have these sorts of battles….we struggle with decisions….decisions to hide, decisions to not cry and put on a brave face, and decisions to live our lives and not look back with the what if’s. So freedom is worth it…even if that freedom is stopping, re-evaluating, and putting your health as a priority! 

One Day

One day at a time, that is what I keep reminding myself! The journey of life is a marathon not a sprint. The journey toward earning a doctorate is a marathon versus a sprint. It is sooo easy to want to rush through everything so that I can just be done. But the interesting thing is once done….then more things come….so you are truly never done (if you believe in life long learning) until you die! And I want to get a lot done before that happens to me. 

I keep reminding myself that this doctorate is something I do one step at a time. One or two hours a night of data collection will be fruitful! One or two hours of working on on homework for each class will be worth it as a I see the days of a class come to a close! I have reminded myself this weekend, to take a breath, to stop and enjoy the PROCESS, and to enjoy the life I have right now. Yes I am a professional student (so it feels) but there is nothing wrong with being one. 

I need to enjoy the day after day, learn what I can for the future, learn what I can do to make a better life for myself, and learn what I want to do with my future. I have so many goals…the good news is that if I think long and short term….I can do many things! 🙂 This is regardless of having to deal with health issues. To many times we let ourselves become overwhelmed, I am guilty of this way toooo many times. I let myself get caught up tooo much with the long term. Balance! It is all about balance! 🙂

Stay strong, enjoy a wonderful beginning to the week! It is almost Spring Break!!! Is it horrible that I cannot wait 🙂 My second to last Spring Break (Hopefully!!) Wow! Hard to believe! Enjoy!

Home Again!!

Home again!! Well my whirlwind trip out of the state has ended, after flying out to New Orleans, LA on Sunday evening I made it back to Houston on Wednesday afternoon. I will say it was the most miserable weather ever in NOLA, it rained, the wind blew, and it was soooo cold. I had to walk about a block from my hotel to the conference hotel and even in that one block….I realized you can get pretty wet.  But it was nice to come back to my hotel room, turn up the heat to 75 degrees, and look out of my 15 floor view.  And the good news was that I did not get behind in homework, I was able to keep up and did not skip a beat. 

However, even though I did not lose a beat with keeping up with my homework I am still getting over the travel exhaustion. The exhaustion always seems to double when I travel 😦 That is the one bad thing! On top of that the increase of Lyrica is making my body even more susceptible to being tired…YAY!

But hey being positive, I hope that the increase reduces the flares so that I can keep focused! Maybe it is just me, but the pain sometimes blinds me. The pain sometimes makes it so hard to think or even start typing a page. So I definitely hope the many days of writing/working through flares are behind me for a little bit! 

Off to do more homework….here is to hoping for an awesome and restful weekend! 

Me too!!

I have been thinking the past few weeks about how much this journey can take a toll on our lives. Maybe it is just me but I try and have a separate world sometimes I don’t want to share my journey with everyone. Why? Well because I want people to not know how much pain I am in all the time .I want people to just assume all is great and wonderful. But what I’m learning is that makes the world sometimes feel so much lonelier than the world probably could be. Why? Well those two words “me too” make me smile and and feel such relief too.

When I can meet someone who has my struggles….who also feels my pain…who also understands the fatigue. Who doesn’t judge me when I say I want to do go somewhere but I have no energy, and someone who is more than happy to listen to me vent over and over again at the smallest things that just are my pet peeves. Those two words….start a new relationship, and a new journey.

But if I wasn’t willing to share…if I wasn’t willing to be real with people….who all would I miss knowing? Who would I miss interacting with and sharing the joys and laughter of this world? It is not to say that you cannot make friends with those who are not like you….but it does mean that sometimes maybe having that one person who gets you…can make a world of difference.

I’m doing my best now to live as way that doesn’t hide who I am and what I do…because honestly I am who I am …and I can only do what I can do. I can only work so hard, and do so much and it is my responsibility to take care of my body. If it take an extra semester to graduate….if it takes a little while to get ahead…if it takes a little while to start a family…that is ok because I want to do all of those things in the right timing for me and my body and my needs. What matters is that I do not overwhelm myself…what matters is that I stay focused on my goals. And that I realize that no matter what….I have to be real to myself and to those I am around.

Hang in there and be yourself! Make yourself proud and make those around you learn to listen to your needs! That is what matters! Stay strong!

From the heart of the French Quarter….au revoir! 🙂