“Yeah I know I’ve been a little absent; I can see that my tires lost traction.
Living in a see-saw like fashion; Part of me is compelled to seek action.
What it is is moderated chaos; And well, maybe I can tame it with a day off.
A fire walk with the hot coals under me; I wonder if the companies will keep me living comfortably.
The grey hound runs ragged for the rabbit; And I never even got to think of changing up the habit.
Well I laid a blanket, sat back while the world kept going. I waved at him, you can all get gone.”
-The Herd, A Few Things
After last week’s crazy hectic mid-term madness I was left completely exhausted and overwhelmed. Lucky for me, that weekend Ben and I stayed at the Four Seasons in celebration of our first anniversary. As gorgeous as the weekend was, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the homework, research and work projects that awaited me come Monday morning. I also couldn’t get over the fact that I had gained five pounds since starting the semester despite teaching an aerobics class twice a week and training for a 15K. The more I thought about it, the more I got upset. I began to recognize how irrational I had become over the past couple of weeks. After a few conversations with loved ones, I decided that something within me needed to shift—and soon. I’ve decided to:
Get enough rest. Let’s face it, I am a complete witch without adequate sleep. While some people can survive on 6 hours a night, I need at least 7 or 8 to function properly. I realized that I had been running long distances at 5 am on mornings when I could only get a max of 7 hours of sleep and then have to work and go to class until 10pm. I need enough rest for multiple reasons: for my body to properly recover from all the exercise, to be more emotionally stable, to keep my immune system strong and to have more energy.
Prioritize. Although grad school is sure as heck taking up a lot of my time right now, it isn’t the only thing I’ve got going for me. I can have it all, I just can’t expect to be absolutely perfect at all of it. Getting a B in a grad-level class is not the end of the world for me (that piece of paper isn’t going to say my GPA on it), but being a phenomenal life partner is. I needed to check back in with my heart for a moment to really recognize what is important.
Utilize work breaks. Technically it’s a legal right (that people have fought long and hard for) for me to receive breaks during my 8 hour work day. Every moment counts and I plan on using that time for reading, long walks or extra exercise.
Above all else, listen to myself. The schedule I make for myself is not an end-all. If my body tells me it isn’t ready to do what’s planned for today, I need to honor that. Patience and self-respect are still concepts I need to practice regularly.
I’ve adjusted my schedule and am now basing everything around sleep. Which means I’ve also had to adjust my 15K training schedule. I thought I’d be ready for the 10-mile Harbor to Harbor, but when I looked at the timeframe I realized it’s in just a few weeks and I don’t want to put that much pressure on my body right now (with everything else going on). Thus, I’m focusing on running the Turkey Trot 8.6 miler on Thanksgiving morning. The new and improved schedule (which takes it slow so that I don’t put too much pressure on myself):
I definitely feel like I’m honoring my self more by allowing more time to work up to the 8.6.
I’ve been working with this new sleep-focused schedule for the past week and have already seen huge shifts in my attitude and energy levels. I’m so glad I took the time to re-evaluate and shift a few things so that I can be a more balanced, functioning human being.
Life is definitely still chaotic, but at least it’s a little more manageable now .
Do you follow a schedule? What are your priorities in life?