Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am tired. I'm not officially behind on grading yet, so I'm not stressing about the fact that I've not done any grading in my office yet today and probably won't do any either in the remaining 25 minutes. I'll just grade like a fiend tomorrow during my office hours.

I'm tired today. I woke up at about half past midnight, and I haven't been able to fall back asleep. And I have a bit of a food hangover. I broke the Whole30, shamefully I feel, last week because I got sick again, and you know, I just wanted some tomato soup and ginger ale. I wasn't going to win anyway, so what the hell. I regret it because since I've been sick I've been using it as an excuse to eat things that I would NEVER eat, so I feel like shit again this morning. It's my own fault. I won't complain.

Since I've been sick, and haven't you know, been to any doctor in like 2.5 years, I finally broke down and went to the doctor. She thinks I may have some kind of low grade infection, so we're waiting for the rest of the blood tests and cultures to come back. I am apparently dehydrated though. That's what one of the blood tests reported. I knew this already. My office is dry. My classrooms are dry. My house is dry. I wake up really really thirsty in the morning even if I drink water before bed. So I think she's looking into that. I thought I might have mono, but it turns out mono is rare after age 35. So there. I think that since I got sick with whatever funk was making its way around the second week of school, I just don't think it all ever went away. Now a new wave of the flu is circulating around campus, so I really should go get my flu shot before it's too late. I think I just need the end of the quarter to get here. I need good food and a break from teaching.

So I'm going to make a quick run to the grocery and then go home and get stuff ready for dinner and then I'm going to read or lay on the couch or something. I'm tired. This morning I went through my winter and summer clothes and managed to get rid of two garbage bags of clothes that I haven't worn in at least two summers or two winters. I think that's a good guideline for stuff to give to Goodwill--two years of not wearing, regardless of whether they fit or not. Besides, since I've ordered/bought a whole bunch of new clothes, I need to get rid of some old stuff.

I need a nap though.

I need a good dinner and a good night's sleep, too.

And I think that'll do it. My office hours will be over by the time I shut everything down.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On Stress

I'm not stressed right now, really, surprisingly so. But I wanted to write a little bit about how much I hate to be stressed.

More so than anything else I do, stress make me gain weight, and not even necessarily from stress eating (although, on occasion, that does play a role). When I get stressed, like most people, the cortisol in my body goes into overdrive, except it really does result in the growth of my waistline. I shit you not. If I am calm, cool, and collected on a Tuesday, say, I can have clothes that fit. Seriously. My pants will fit. But if something happens and I wake up stressed out on Wednesday (even if I've eaten clean), my waistline will literally have expanded so much from the stress that what fit Tuesday cannot be buttoned on Wednesday.

This is what I'm battling with this weekend. The clothes I bought last week, that were loose! and comfortable! were tight yesterday. I think this is why I can maintain a healthy diet and maintain a rigorous workout schedule and still go from a 4 to an 8 during the course of the quarter. There's no reason why clothes should fit one day and not the next. And seriously, you can ask the J--this isn't in my head. And that totally explains why something that fits in the store magically becomes too small by mid week of work. I mean, I'm not consuming 10K calories a day (or even 5K)--there's no way that I could feasibly gain that much weight to cause that. So, I say the J is right. It's stress and cortisol.

The J has assured me though that since I've made some headway on a couple of things that were stressing me out that since those things are resolved that my belly should begin to decrease nicely over the course of the rest of the Whole30. So we'll see what happens over the next nine days.

I do have fewer things to be stressed out about this weekend though. We had a great day yesterday! I did awesome in my workout (deadlifted more than any other female there--2x or more as much weight as three of the other women there; only 40 # more than the other woman, but she was cleaning and jerking 20# more than me, and I was cleaning and jerking on par with 2 of the other women). I came home and had a great brunch after we went to the grocery. I got a little bit of reading in. Most of the rest of my clothes came in (man, they really really REALLY are preppy and middle aged white lady), I took a nap, and then we went to the tailgate at the U and then the football game. It was a lot of fun! I had four former students playing last night (at least), with actual field time. That sorta cool. I didn't have many players in my classes at Grad City U (thankfully--as a Big 10 school, I did not want to have to deal with them; there were more problems than not, but here, it's small enough that it's not bad). It was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day. Our seats were right on the field. It was nice. Not a whole lot to be stressed about yesterday.

Today, while still behind on my reading, we are not going to the grandparents', so I do have all day to read. I can spend it in my pjs, too. I'm not even sure I'm going to shower actually. I want to just veg with my book and read. It's sad though because I was really looking forward to this stuff and this author, whom I've never read but was just so for sure that I was going to fall in love with her, but I can't get into it at all. It's taking me much longer than I anticipated, so things have gotten thrown off a little bit. But, I have the day to read. I do need to spend part of the afternoon doing the weekly food prep, especially since the J will be gone this week, I won't have him to take over a meal or two, so I've got to be on top of everything right now today. And it will certainly help with the stress and ensuring that my pants fit, right?

And I should be able to relax after dinner then, too. Crap, I forgot. I do have to shower. We are going to a friend's house to watch the Walking Dead tonight, but that's not until 7:30 or so, so I have time to lounge and stuff. Whew, I'm glad I remembered that!

That being said, I'm going to rearrange my fantasy football team and grab another cup of 1/4 caff coffee and start reading.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Willing myself out of sickness

Well, I have just decided to "will" myself out of whatever my funk was. I'm still congested. My chest still feels asthmatic, and my students still continue to sneeze, cough, and sniffle in my general direction. And I have one, who despite being sick consistently (unlike myself who catches it and releases it only to catch it again) refuses to go to the doctor even though he's missing classes and consistently oversleeping due to his illness. I have only missed one class and 2 office hours. No doctor for me.

So Wednesday when I woke up, I literally said aloud, "Fuck it," and decided that I wasn't going to be sick any more. Well, Wednesday's work out was a bit of an eye opener (I haven't had three days off in a row since I started CF at the box in July, even when traveling). But Thursday and yesterday were great workout days! I needed that. Sure, I was grumpy again in the afternoon because I was tired from the intensity, but hey, I had a couple of great days. Am I on the upswing? I have no idea. Am I tired of being sick on-again/off-again? Yup indeed. So yes, I'm going to "will" myself out of this sick business here.

In other news, I mapped out the next three weeks--well, last week, plus the next two, in terms of what needs to be read and when I need to start working on my research and how/when I'm going to work on it.

I have mostly kept with it so far. Thursday afternoon showed itself to be more of a challenging day than I had anticipated and by yesterday afternoon, I felt like I had actually indeed been working almost non-stop all week that I just took the afternoon off. I got done early; the husband got done early. We went to dinner and then watched a scary movie. It was grand. :)

But mapping things out really cut my stress level in half. Even though I have my days pretty packed, my evenings are still open, and it showed me that I do actually have time to get everything done rather than feeling overwhelmed. I'm behind at this moment, but I do believe that by tomorrow night I'll be caught up. And I'll still have time to watch the game.

So, I don't want to say that I'm feeling better because the last time two times I did that I totally jinxed myself, so I'll just keep plugging along. I fear my glasses may never arrive as they are being shipped from Canada and are apparently in customs hell right now, so we'll see what happens. It looks like I will have waited about a month since ordering them before I actually get them. At least they refunded the money I paid for expedited shipping.

And now, I will do some work before I go work out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Relapse rant that somehow turned into a post about clothes.


I have no idea what is going on here. Perhaps it's stress. Perhaps it's depression. Perhaps it's a combination of the two. But man, the last three days (including this morning), I have woken up with some tummy distress. It's so not cool.

What's pissing me off even more is that it's fucking with my workouts. Don't fuck with my workouts, man. This is annoying.

I have no energy. And I'm not sleeping. You'd think being exhausted that I'd get some sleep.


Which is in part why I'm up at the butt-ass crack of dawn here. The J had to get up for drill. BAM! I've been wide awake since 4:30 in the a.m. on a Sunday morning. How totally rad is that? >:-/

Anyway, it's annoying that just when I think I've found my groove (hahaha I originally, accidentally wrote "grove," like I found a whole bunch of orange trees or something--this made me giggle) this quarter, something seems to go awry. It just fucking blows. I feel like I'm doing everything right this quarter, but damn, I can't seem to catch a break here.

I ordered more clothes yesterday. My wardrobe should be complete with this order, with the exception of the shoes I've been debating over for almost a year now. I think I may stop at the mall on the way home from the g'parents' to see if the store there has them. If not, Zappos, here I come. The reason I've been debating over these shoes is because they're not as dressy as I wish they were; however, now that I have ordered some khakis for work, I can get away with a little less dressy shoe with them. Plus, my black clogs that I normally wear--I've had them since 2003-- I've polished them several times. I've worn them so much that the sole is starting to wear (um, that's A LOT of wear for a Dansko). And, the seam on the side is coming apart. Yes, this is the second pair of Dansko I've owned that I've worn through the seams, so I get my money's worth out of them. I think finally today is the day. You can't tell the seam on the black ones is worn, so I'm hesitant to replace them yet. I want them to fall apart totally before I get another pair of black clogs. And it's true that if I got the ones I want in black they'd be a little dressier, but I want the red. You know, red is the new neutral, and I like the way they look. And I think they'll look nice with my winter coat. So I guess perhaps that is settled then.

I think I'm getting close to middle age here because of where I've been shopping these past couple of weeks. Part of it is my "menswear" obsession/look that I'm trying to accomplish, and really, what I want is a pair of oxfords, but I've not found any I like yet. That being said, I did get some ultra stylish, ultra feminine new glasses (if they'd only hurry up and fill the order and send them to me!) so that I can feminize my look here a bit. Oh, yeah, so where have I been buying my clothes? At the whitest middle aged white lady store known to man, perhaps only second to L.L. Bean--Land's End. Yes. I feel this marks me as actually being my age. But, have you ever gotten their oxford shirts?? They are THE BEST! I may, next time, have to go whole hog and get some shirts monogrammed! Ha! And, they are the only place I can find that sells women's sweater vests! I've been obsessed with and looking for sweater vests for years, years I tell you! By the end of the week, I will be the proud owner of six of them.

So, six sweater vests and some oxford shirts to go with the neck ties I already own. I'm just about set.

I got some cardigans, too.

Seriously, I'm a nerd.

My mother who will be 60 in six months is trendier than I. Perhaps I'm just keeping it old school. My fashion is retro; therefore, it is fashionable.  Right?

And I'm buying a lot of navy, too, which is weird because I've never really like navy that much because it's always struck me as an inferior, less dressy version of black, but damn, I've bought a lot of navy, light blue, and green this time around. My god, I'm going to look so preppy. Hello? 1980s called. They want their preppies back. Yachting anyone?

Oh, I flatter myself.

Oxford shirts, cardigans, sweater vests. Oh my.

I really have become a Plain Jane.

Honestly though, I'm really not sure that there's anything that wrong with that. It's comfortable, crisp, it looks nice, and it's effortless. It also opens up possibilities for some of my accessories which have been long dormant. And, it gets me out of that rut that I have been in for oh so long. I may try to see if the less dressy of the sweater vests can be taken in so they look a little more tailored. But now at least I have nice teaching clothes and nice business casual teaching clothes, all of which are comfortable and nice.

I think the reason why I don't feel the need to wear suits or really dressy teaching clothes anymore is because I feel more comfortable with my professor self, especially here. The students know I'm in charge; they know I know my stuff. I like to look really dressy on the first couple of days just to let them know that while my personality may be one that might suggest I don't take this stuff seriously, I actually do take it very seriously. Dressy clothes help that. (I believe Dr. Crazy posted something a while back on dress and authority in the classroom and teaching in jeans. I'm too lazy to look for it this morning. Sorry folks). However, I think I've gotten my first day lecture composed in such a way as to indicate that I don't give a shit about your excuses, cheaters and plagiarists win no favor with me, and neither do texters, so I don't treat those behaviors kindly, and that if you do these things, you're on your own. Sarcastic and mean as it may sound, I think it gets the job done. Plus, I think after a year, word has gotten around enough that yes, my class is fun and enjoyable and you learn a lot, but that that only comes if you put forth the effort yourself to be an active participant in the class, that passing is pretty easy, but you have to work your ass off for that A or B. So I'd rather be comfortable than MLA dressed to the nines all the time, because I teach better when I'm comfortable.

Or maybe I am just actually getting old. Or lazy. Or both. I did just start finally attempting to style my hair on teaching days. I think it's helped me feel better about myself.

Now, if my hair would just grow out enough so that I could wear it in a chignon off to the side or a french twist, well, maybe by March when I get to purchase short sleeved oxfords. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012



I jinxed myself!!

After finally feeling better, yo, yesterday was partly a bust! And for the first time all quarter, I couldn't sleep. At.All. I got maybe 3 or 4 hours. Not even all together. Our first HERO W.O.D. was at the box today, and since this is my rest week, and I didn't get any rest, I didn't do it--it was a really gnarly one, and I might have done more damage to myself actually if I had tried it on only 3 hours of sleep.

I have a massive headache. I have a major stomachache and an upset belly. I am grumpy as hell. And I feel like shit. Woo-hoo!

My totally BA glasses that I ordered, that I can't wait to get, they had to be sent to the manufacturer for finishing or something. Maybe it's because I ordered fancy lenses and the custom made sunglasses clip thingy (I figured what the hell. Maybe it'll look nerdy or maybe it'll be the coolest.thing.ever!)

That being said, my day yesterday went ok. Class was great. I think, especially this week with the new clothes and the new attitude toward myself, the class as a whole is picking up on my energy, and we've had some really great discussions about the text this week. I'm just more on my game now with the second half of the century I feel like. Both class periods this week went effortlessly the whole time. I had really been struggling with that, but I'm feeling better now. Plus, I think taking that extra 30-40 minutes at the *$ has made a difference, too.

Here's where I think I went wrong yesterday, which was a double-edged sword. Instead of adhering to the goal I set for myself, 15 essays a day, I just plowed through them. 35 essays yesterday. I really thought it would take me 90 minutes to get through half of them, but here's what happened. About half of them really really sucked, as in didn't even do the essay right, like did half of it, so that was easy. And they all seemed to be first in the stack. So I plowed through. I'm glad they are done so I can do the lit analyses during my office hours today, but still, my yesterday afternoon was not as energetic or positive. I was sort of grumpy by the time the J got home, too. Oh well. What's done is done. At least today is Friday, and by the time I leave the office, I will be grading free which means I can focus on cleaning and reading and cooking for the weekend and the J has drill, too, so he won't be home until tomorrow night.

So that's it. I jinxed myself. Now I have to try again.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tide Change

Okay, I think the tide may be turning here once again. Let's hope that it continues to flow rather than ebb for the remainder of the quarter. We're halfway through. Although, I have to say, I do miss the semesters and my 4-5 week xmas break, but whatever. It's fine. There's talk of a move to a semester system within the university system, and as long as it doesn't mean that I have to teach 4 classes a semester, I'm all for it.

I've gotten some more rest. Not just sleep, but rest this week, and as it turns out, increasing the rest has not affected my staying on top of things. Just the opposite, actually. This has been one of the best teaching weeks I've had this quarter (knock wood it continues). I think because I'm rested, I just feel more organized and on top of things. And since my body just hadn't recovered from the monsters that were last Friday's and Saturday's workouts, I've taken a rest week at the box. I am still working out, but concentrating more on form and lifting only a fraction of what I would normally even attempt. And it's really really helped, too. I don't feel as broken as I felt on Monday. Seriously, I wanted to cry I felt so old. So I'm "deloading" this week. Actually, one of the coaches said he was really proud of me for finally ditching my ego and taking rest, so that made me feel better.

While it's taking me all week to get through the take home essay exams, and if I get them done by Friday, seriously, I'll have had them for only a week, and that's not bad at all considering about 1/3 of them are 4 pages long and the rest are between 4-8 pages (x approx. 60 essays), so I feel like that's good. Streamlining them and doing the rubric (which I already explained what I was doing and that we'd go over it on Friday) has helped, too. But we'll see how the students react to it.

I have found that it has also helped with my stress level to grade only in my office. Office hours are for grading, and I've been really good about sticking to that. That means, at any time, I'm not grading for more than 2 hours straight, so it's not exhausting the beejesus out of me like marathon grading to get them their work back would. Does it take longer? Yes. Do I feel better and not like I want to just collapse when I get home? Yes. But I do need to work a bit faster today so I can get them done by tomorrow.

Because of this, I actually had the energy to finish reading yesterday afternoon when I got home! I wasn't exhausted or stressed from the grading, so I was able to grab a snack and then sit and ready for three hours and finish the novel which meant not getting up early this morning to finish. Grading in my office also means that I don't get up early to grade either. Bonus! I also found that sitting at *$ Tuesday morning and taking 30-40 minutes there to prep for class worked really really well, was significantly less stressful than doing it at home or in my office, and was relatively pleasant. So I will do that again this morning. That may be my new thing for the remainder of the quarter--TR mornings I sit at *$ and prep. And if that works well, then I might do the same thing in the winter. I find it to be a neutral place because at home I think about what needs to be done around the house. At the office, I feel like I should be grading or available to students or colleagues. At *$ none of that is an issue.

There are a few other things that I think are factoring into this week as well. One, the switch to half caff. I know, I know. Hopefully that that alone isn't the entire reason why I feel better, but if it were, then I would have started to feel better immediately, and it's only within the last couple of days that I've not just felt like I was falling apart. Another thing is I think that I'm finally at that point in the Whole30 where I'm starting to feel that energy shift. That things are starting to balance out. I noticed that yesterday in that I was able to read all afternoon. Ok, at first I started to doze off, but I chugged some water, and boom, I was fine. No coffee, no tea, no nothing. And that had been what I was hoping for with this Whole30 (I didn't really get that last time). And perhaps that is why I've been struggling with the workouts and recovery. It's common to feel sluggish and broken during the first two weeks, so maybe I underestimated the effect of theWhole30 this time around (since I'm doing it better and cleaner than the last time).

Another, and actually I think this is the big thing, is seriously, new clothes. Clothes that fit well, fall well, look really nice, and are comfortable to boot! There was a new look I was hoping to achieve because it's been a really really really long time since I've changed/updated my look (it's mostly just been variations on the same for a loooooooooong time, or trying to get back to a certain look from an earlier time that I have discovered is now dated and unflattering I suppose, although I was hardly trendy then), and with my new purchases (and I've been okayed in the budget to add a couple more things and then I'm set!), I'm feeling SO MUCH BETTER ABOUT MYSELF! Never underestimate the power of being well-dressed. This is the first time since seriously, like 2004, that I've felt like I had a smart, decent, flattering wardrobe that was comfortable and looked nice. I had to finally let go of what the number on the tag said and go for what looked nice, and that's just a better play. While I do hope that as I continue to work out and build muscle that I will get leaner, I really only anticipate losing a dress size more, which is fine with me. If I could fit well into the 4s still left in my closet, then everything else could go, and I'd just modify the size up if necessary. I've also varied my make-up, too.

So there it is. Perhaps this is a new change that I can maintain and keep the stress down and continue to feel good about myself.

And not to underestimate this, but I think that the stuff I'm teaching for the second half of the semester makes a difference, too. I'm really comfortable with it, and love it. But that doesn't matter either if I feel like crap, so there you go.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Maybe it's just a funk.

I think I'm in a rut. I think I've been saying this for almost a year now. I felt like maybe I had gotten out of it over the summer, but I don't think so.

Maybe it's just stress and a lack of organization, a feeling of a sense of all pervasive clutter, a lack of focus or desire.

Could I actually be depressed again? Is that why I'm feeling really good one day and then horribly stressed out and overworked the next? Is that why my body aches won't go away and why my cortisol is all out of whack? Did I just figure out what my problem is? Is this just my body's way of reacting to the things I'm stressed and worried about? Is this why I keep feeling like I can't keep my head above water?

Maybe that's it. Maybe if that's the problem then I can begin to work on it to fix it. It's better than not knowing what the problem is.

I don't think it's anything big either. I'm just really down a lot of the time right now. Maybe it was my crappier diet than normal last month with the start of school. Maybe it was my ill-timed caffeine abandonment. And there's nothing going on at school or with me and the J that's causing anything, so there's no major difficulties in my life right now. I mean, I'd like to pay stuff off and get the J's car fixed so I can have my car back, but you know, that's nothing to be depressed about. I'd like it if I could finally get my head above water so that I could work on my own stuff. I'd like it if I could figure out what I want to work on!

I did get almost all of the book I'm teaching this week read on Sunday. I had 100 pages more to read than I thought I did because I'm really good at addition apparently, but I've got today's stuff read, and I think rather than prep here I'm going to go to *$ to go prep so it seems less taxing. I don't want to do it here because I'll be thinking about all the other things around the house that needs to be done. I don't want to work in my office because then it will feel like work and I don't want to be working this early. So the coffee shop seems like a nice neutral place.

Yesterday, also, I gave, collected, graded, and calculated roughly 60+ in-class midterm exams and graded and commented on the critical analyses from the novel class. I still have some lit analyses that the students turned in yesterday in the survey class and their take home mid-terms to grade this week. I'm trying really hard to limit my grading to the office. I feel less stressed when I grade at the office rather than doing it here or a coffee shop. Sigh.

Did I tell you that the J took me shopping for some new clothes this weekend? And I ordered a couple of things on line, including some new glasses, so I should have stuff coming all this week, which is cool--it's like getting a bunch of presents and stuff. :) Maybe the new clothes will help. I've been in between sizes for a while now; I've given away a bunch of clothes, and I haven't updated my work wardrobe in two years +. I was trying to go for a new look at the start of the school year, and I hate to say it, but I spent all this money on some glasses that I actually haven't gotten comfortable in yet, but maybe that's because I also didn't like the hair cut I got at the same time, or the fact that my wardrobe just seemed stale. So maybe that's it. Maybe I just needed a complete overhaul? My hair has grown out a bit since the last week of August. I've got new stuff. Maybe that's what I needed.

And more sleep. Or a massage.

In any case, thanks for letting me just brain dump here and work through my morning downness. The mutts are at the door which means they're ready for their 7:30 walk, so I'm going to get to it and then head to the coffee shop. The J made breakfast this morning before he left, so that's already taken care of, too.

Have a good day folks!

ETA: So if I can get 12-15 take home exams graded during my office hours between now and Friday, I can get them all done with minimal stress and exhaustion, rather than going for some marathon grading session. And I will have only had them for a week if they get them back Friday. That's not bad at all. I've also decided to really pare down the grading: 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95. And I've decided that to keep things simple and uniform, thus eliminating the need to write the same things over and over on their exams (which would be only to help them for the final--they can't revise these essays), is to make a sheet/rubric specifically for this exam that says all the things I'd put on their essays anyway, but now I only have to write it once. And I was doing the rubric as I went for this first batch to get a sense of the "norm" and what I'd be writing on the essays. Now that I've gotten all the grades outlined (except the 85), I think it will go much easier now. We'll see how this works after I give them their exams back.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

On the Upswing, Perhaps?

I'm finally starting to feel a little bit better. Of course, I say that now, and it will continue provided that I'm able to get the novel I'm teaching this week finished today. And the food for the week prepped. Fortunately, the football game I want to watch doesn't start until 6, so I've got all day (yes, I did just write that).

After three days of zero caffeine, I gave up. I switched to half caff coffee, which is what I should have done in the first place. I should have started with half caff, then 1/4 caff, then decaf. It was too much for me. Sadly, I feel a lot better now with the half caff. The headaches and stomach aches were too much, on top of already not having felt well for a while, I just, I don't know. It seemed like too much for my body. So perhaps a total caffeine ween is something I should attempt over Thanksgiving Break when I can sleep off the headaches and such. I was doing it for the Whole30 (not required) and for health and other reasons, but the stress of the headaches and stomach aches and not being able to keep up with my work was doing me more harm I felt like than not drinking the caffeine. A body can only do so much.

Also what helped me this week was that I moved up the film that we were supposed to watch in the novel class to this last Thursday. On Tuesday I suspected that the students were having trouble with the reading load (shit, I was), so I decided that we needed a break sooner rather than later. And I think it will be good for all of us, actually. I really should be able to finish the novel today, which means that my office hours can then be devoted to grading midterms rather than prep, and which also means that I won't have to do any of that business at home. And I should be able to get it all finished by Thursday or Friday. Right now, I feel hopeful and positive.

What I need to do is get my stress under control. That has been the biggest thing right now. I didn't feel this stressed last year. At my first job, my second year was better because A) The J was home; B) I had had such a horrendously god awful first year that it seemed like no matter what happened in that second year, it would be able to top the shite that was year one; and C) after the kerfluffle with my now former friend, even though I was unhappy for many reasons at my job, it was significantly less stressful (I had/have great friends, was more comfortable in the job, etc.). This year, it's different. Last year was so stress free, relatively speaking, that I felt great for most of it. Last fall I felt like I was back in grad school's early days. But this year. I don't know. Maybe it's having gotten sick right at the start. And maybe it's the novel class--a new prep with mostly new stuff. I just hate feeling like I'm barely keeping up.

Honestly though, even if it means that my teaching/grading suffers a little bit, at least I have maintained regular workouts through all of this (if I'm really really really sick, I won't go. I do rest when I need it). At my old job, it was easier for me to put grading before my health and fitness goals. Here, I think it's the only thing right now keeping me as afloat as I am, keeping me from a full on stress attack, keeping me from having to go back on meds (I seriously never ever want to have to be on meds ever again).

While I was an utter and complete stress case the other day, since we're not going to the g'parents' today and since I'm already halfway through the novel I'm teaching for the week, and it's a quick read for me, I'm feeling a bit more confident that by about 3, the novel will be done. Then I can go to the grocery, food prep, make dinner, and watch the game. The midterms for tomorrow are already made up, so that's good, and the stuff I'm teaching in the survey class is stuff that I've already taught about six times now, so I feel good about that. There's only one new story on the survey class schedule for the rest of the quarter, and even though some of this stuff is outside my field, I actually feel like the stuff for the last half of the quarter is the stuff I do best. Maybe I'm not an early Americanist anymore. I find that I start the survey later and later now. I don't know. My thought is that if I teach to my strengths the students are going to learn more than if I try to teach them the things I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they do need to read stuff outside my comfort zone, but if I can cover the class with the stuff I'm comfortable with, then isn't that better? Oh well. All I know is that at least in the survey classes, even though I have a shit ton of grading to do for them this week, the teaching part should be relatively low stress. And if I can stay ahead in the novel class, I may be able to eek out some of my own work by the end of the month. We'll see.

Oh what a difference rest and a lower stress level makes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Argh. I'm ready for Thanksgiving Break already.

So far this quarter is not going as I had planned. I either need to accept it and move on or keep fighting against the current. I feel like this blog this last month has been "oh I'm sick and stressed" to "oh! I'm finally feeling better!" to "oh, I'm sick and stressed again..."

As far as work goes, I've not been able to recover from the half a day sick day I took in the second week of classes or from the day I canceled my office hours. I have skipped going to my grandparents' on Sundays so that I can catch up and try to get ahead on work, but as soon as I get caught up, I'm behind again. I cannot seem to keep my head above water right now. It's not like I've never taught a novel class before with two survey classes, but for some reason, this time, I'm struggling here.

And, since the quarter has started and I've been stressed which has affected my eating and upset the nice hormone balance I had going, I've gained some weight, which is really distressing because I went through my closet before school started and got rid of everything that was too big and kept the stuff that fit. Well, that stuff, in the span of a month, is too tight, which then of course, stresses me out. This is my first set back of the year (since January), and I know that the largest part of it is stress, and when I'm stressed, my body holds on to weight and picks it back up easily. And of course, naturally, when one is stressed, sick, and tired, the time when ones food choices should be their best, they're at their worst. And that's what has happened here. I am bloated. I'm tired. And since I started another Whole30 and have cut out all sugar this time (including honey) AND caffeine, my body is just a holy hell of a mess. My teaching has not been as energetic as it has been, and I've not even been able to even think about my own work let alone do anything with/for it. And that is stressing me out, too.

Since the only thing in my closet that fits right now are my one pair of jeans, I feel frumpy, which contributes to my stress and everything else. Perhaps I just need to accept that it will realistically take about a year of CF to get my body where I want it to be, even though it seems like everyone else is slimming down much faster than I am (of course these people are either men or girls/women 10-15 years younger than I am, too), and it's so frustrating right now. I just feel old and frumpy, stuck in a rut that is my appearance (I think we're going shopping this weekend--there should be some good sales).

Anyway, I'm just a holy hot mess. I long for my summer schedule when I could just workout, nap, cook, and read. Now my system and body is just all out of whack.

Seriously. Maybe it's just a sophomore slump. In any case, something needs to change soon or this quarter is just going to get even more unbearable.

And I'm sorry for whining and being melodramatic. I'm just so freaking frustrated. Everything was going so well. I was doing good things. I was getting my scholarship done. I was getting healthy, and now. Blah. It's all come to a standstill and gone a bit in reverse.  And I hate it. And I feel like the harder I try, the more I'm setting myself back. I don't know how to fix it, and that's frustrating me and pissing me off and stressing me out even more.