Friday, September 26, 2008

One year ago...

I was completely stressed finishing my degree. Every moment not spent teaching or planning or correcting was spent working on my alt plan thesis or worrying about working on it. I spent my nights with my lap filled with stacks of articles, my weekends at the library writing in silence, my prep hour at school working on my bibliography. I cried rather frequently. It was no small feat. But you know what? I finished it. In time. Rather successfully. People have actually read it. A year later (well, last week, so almost a year), I finally read it. My dearest advisor told me not to read it. To enjoy the pretty cover, lavish the fact that there's a book with my name on it on my shelf, brag from time to time, but never read it. I will find mistakes and obsess over them, he said. But because (like everyone) I wrote it out of order, I'd never read it in sequence. So I did. It wasn't that difficult to read (unlike my scientist husband's, which I claim to have read, but have really only looked at the pretty pictures), and I relearned the things I had buried deep in my brain, hoping never to have to see again. Wow, I thought. Look what I can do! (anybody? anybody?)

But the point is not to brag. Okay, maybe it is a little bit. But my point is this: here is something I HAD to do to finish my degree. Like all the other schoolwork in my 20 years of school (yes, I'm counting kindergarten :-)), I did it as best I could and on time. Because I had to. For me, schoolwork has always been a "have to". It wasn't an option. It always took precedence. So why, now that I'm done with school (at least for never know what the future holds), do I fail to follow through with other goals that should be equally important? Most currently: weight loss. Yes, I'm losing weight. This week was even a good week (in comparison). But after 6 months of trying, I'm no where near my goal. I know slow weight loss is good weight loss, but I still fail to work out every day, fail to eat well at every chance I have. If I had homework every day, I'd do it.

I also neglect my babies, my doggies. They are at doggie daycare right now. Whereas this is a luxury we can treat them to once or twice a week, we do it because we don't achieve our goals with them. We don't walk them every day. They need the exercise a day of playing affords them. Dog park visits should be more frequent. Another goal I fail to meet.

My house is not clean. Unopened mail is strewn across our dining room table. The glass cooktop needs a good scrub. The floor hasn't been mopped in a month. I'm sure many canisters of dog hair would be sucked up by the vacuum. Dusting is the bane of my existence, so more likely than not, I caused my own illness this past week. Unmet goal #3.

I don't want pity or anything. I have a super-wonderful, absolutely fabulous, no complaints kind of life. There are many things I do accomplish. But things like my own health, the health of my family (yes, my dogs are my family), and the cleanliness of my house should all be as high priority as homework once was, yes? Yes. So why the resistance? Where does this complete lack of motivation come from? I was always obsessed with getting good grades, so maybe someone needs to grade my life every week. Any takers?

How about you? What sorts of things do you leave undone? Do you regret it?


David said...

You're sitting at about a B, B+ maybe. You missed a few points on that last quiz, but you'll bounce back.

Seriously, settle down! Enjoy your procrastination, you've never really done it before. And I think that's a problem. You look great, your dogs are happy, and who cares if the place isn't spotless! Just do whatever makes you happy -- that should bump you to an A.

Travas & Heather said...

The few women I know who do EVERYTHING while keeping up with EVERYTHING...are not really happier. I would not trade my life with them. Love you!

Molly said...

Housework isn't brag-able, Emily. It doesn't have a shiny cover, and, in fact, when it is done, or the weight loss is over, there is the risk of regain, re-messy. It's something that has to be done on repeat. It gets tiresome. Whereas the master's thesis (and my husband's was oh-so-not-fun either, but I read it--MANY TIMES--to help edit it--and my own thesis was re-written once, I think, which is pathetic given how much I am emphasizing revision in my one class I am teaching this semester)... where was I? Oh anyway, you're normal. That's kind of boring. You should be messier, like me. NO, DON'T DO IT! xo

Les said...

Dog hair, un-opened mail, dust...are you sure you aren't talking about my house???
My dogs and I have all gotten out of shape. I was planning to start running them more as soon as the heat went away. Well, it's only in the 80s now and yet we still choose the couch. We'll start, you know, week latest.