Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Goals Update - March 28, 2011

Some days I really feel like I'm scaling Mount Everest or something equally daunting.

Writing a dissertation and jumping through all the hoops necessary to gain a Ph.D. degree is far, far, far harder than I ever imagined it would be.  I have been making steady progress on things and spring break was particularly productive for me.  I can't cross things off my sidebar yet because everything has to signed and sealed by the graduate officers before I can "officially" say they are done.  *sigh*  I have made good enough progress that people are impressed - and the right people too!  :)

Emotionally and physically the last few months have been difficult. 

I have been bogged down by the emotional impact of too many deaths of people who are far too young to die. 
I have been bogged down by the physical demands of working part time, going to school full time, being a wife and a mama, and a daughter and a friend.
I have given myself a goose egg on my forehead, sliced open the side of my nose, bruised the bone in my left elbow, broke several blood vessels in my knees and my feet, and pinched a nerve in my neck.
I have had 3 migraines.

Saturday morning I sat in Bible Study and finally asked the lovely ladies of my group to pray for me and for John as we go through this time in our lives. 

Another women there, M, is in the midst of a very stressful situation herself and suggested that I don't think about the next 2-3years (the time it will take for John to finish his degree), but in terms of this week, this day or this hour, depending on how stressful things are.

Another woman, W, suggested that I think about what I can do rather than what I can't do.  Even if I can't finish all of something right now, what can I do?  For example, can I fold half a load of laundry even if I can't fold the whole thing?  Can I grade 6 papers even if I can't grade the whole stack?  Can I dust the 3 shelves on this bookshelf even though I'd really like to clean out the bookshelf instead? 

Both of these things were really helpful - I knew then in my head, but hearing how those two dear women used them (M in her current situation and W in her life as a mom of 3 and an ICU nurse) helped immensely.

Two weeks ago I hit a 'wall'.  I was so ready to change everything and I started to try.  I was feeling so frustrated that I couldn't do it all and change things as fast as I would like them to and be what I wanted to be right now.

I have had great productivity in the last 72 hours since that Bible Study.
I have gotten 1/2 of the rest of my atrocious home office cleaned out (really!).
I have gotten all the rest of my back-log of grading done.
I have gotten through the last bit of data matching I needed to do for my dissertation.
I have gotten through a stack of laundry the size of a mountain.
I have done a pile of mending
I have played 3 games of UNO with my kids.
I cleaned out my fridge/freezer.
I have gotten someone to do a reliability study on my data for me.
I have had 3 deep and meaningful conversations with my husband.
I have played with toys or blocks or dolls several times with my kids.
I have read 4 books to my kids.
I have washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen, swept and washed floors, and done a whole host of other chores.

Being reminded that God's grace is sufficient and He won't set me to any task that He won't provide for the completion of makes a world of difference.

One week at a time.
One day at a time.
One hour at a time.
One task at a time.

In the here and now.

I am truly blessed and feel so grateful to M and W for their wisdom.  Can you say a little prayer for them today?  Just as a way of saying thank you.  And to maybe bless their way a bit too?


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