Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making Adjustments (or Making up for Biting Off More Than I Could Chew)

You know how when you run a marathon...and partway through things aren't working out as you planned....so you adjust your approach, expectations, etc.?

Welcome to the marathon called my life!

I had taken on too many things when I started my graduate school career. Two classes added another 20 or so hours to my week. Where were those hours going to come from? I was working full time, raising two active girls, volunteering for local charity events, and squeezing in running.

Things started to drop off.

First - blogging (podcasting ended a long time ago, unfortunately). As you can all see from my quiet blogging presence, things slowed down there.

Second - running. Since the Disney Marathon (on Jan 11th) I have logged about 18 miles - less than one run a week - with my greatest distance being 4 miles.

Third - general house upkeep. Let's just say I haven't been pulling my weight around the house.

Fourth - time for myself and with my family. I was studying every night and on weekends. I wasn't reading books, hanging out with my kids or husband except on rare occasions.

Fifth - sleep. Working all day and studying until 11 pm or 12 am didn't contribute to a good sleep situation. What sleep I did manage was chosen over running.

I couldn't go on. I was exhausted and falling behind in everything.

So I dropped one of my classes. This, after studying most of the weekend for an exam that was to take place yesterday. But this was a situation where I just needed to get a grip on reality and look forward to having a little more normalcy in my life. So Statistics will have to wait until next year. Initially I felt like a quitter...but I realized that this is one case where trying harder was not going to help me out.

I am still pretty busy....but I can focus more on one class and on life. I ran yesterday and will run tomorrow. Perhaps I WILL run the Winter Park Road Race!

So, I apologize for not visiting your blogs, or keeping up with everyone. But I need to go hug my girls and get to bed early so I can run tomorrow.

Adventuring on....


Maddy said...

I guess I should have checked your blog before I sent you an email.

Hang in there!

I'm glad to see you are finding a balance. Sometimes, something has to give!

Tammy said...

Hey Sister, don't be so hard on yourself, I think we all at sometime in our lives end up doing more than we physically can keep up with. You made the right choice on this one, especially for yourself. Keep up the great work on training, at least you have the focus on keeping healthy and sticking to something you love. Happy running :D and if you do decide to do the Road Race, have fun...

Susan said...

You are doing wonderfully. I actually APPLAUD you for dropping a class. I think you have made the wisest decision. Not just for your family, but for yourself and your sanity. Classes will always be there! What's one more semester or class or whatever?

As a mom of *ahem* three whole days now, I think family is the most immortant thing! Closely followed by personal sanity.

I used to work with a guy whose wife, as well as him, worked TONS. I mean 60+ hours per week, pretty much by choice (no kids yet). He would always complain that she "made good money" but was always either gone or too tired to do anything. That really made me stop and think. I asked myself "Why work work work to make 'good money' if you're not able to USE it and EXPERIENCE life?"

Just a tangent... but it popped into my head. Sorry!

So, I think you've made a wise decision. All A's and an incredible workload would mean little to me if I felt my family, home, sanity and health were lacking. I admire you, MC!

Petraruns said...

Hey Chris I thought you'd been quiet.. I have found myself in your situation a few times and have only recently realised how much trouble my overcommitment causes me. You have done the right thing - absolutely. Your degree is a long-term thing and you are just stretching it out. But those lovely girls will grow up so fast, be there when you can. And your marriage needs attention too .. and then there's you! You can give up on blogging and podcasting for a while and we'll all be right here for you when you come back. But don't give up running - it gives you so much back.

You're a wonderful woman Chris - all kudos to your brave decision.

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, I had no idea two classes would take up so much time but things are a lot different now with a lot of the work being done online, etc. Good for you in making a decision to maintain your sanity and family life. I've toyed with the idea of getting a PhD sometime after I'm retired :-)

Marathon Maritza said...

First, no need to apologize! You have a lot going on and I commend you for being smart enough to make a wise choice in cutting back a class. Why do 50 million things and enjoy none of them because you have no room to breathe? Most certainly not a quitter, I'd call you a smart cookie. :)

Hope all goes well from here on out!

PLANET3RRY said...

15% of all students quit statistics. (ahh, I just made that up)

I can tell you that what you learned about Life you learned in Marathon Training. Remember, when you first started out and there was so much to learn and do and you weren't sure what you were going to do and a marathon seemed like something so huge but it was months in the future. Same time here. Probably smart that you are taking one class while working full time. And with statistics, if you can't focus on statistics, then it will crumble fast.

Life is dynamic and you just need to see what you need to change to be balanced... and the running will come again.

nylisa said...

Managing expectations is a good thing. Glad to hear you're making a decision to lower the amount of stress in your schedule. You'll definitely not regret this decision!

Irish Blue said...

Wow, I'm tired reading about your crazy schedule Chris. I don't know how you do it. Sounds like you made the right call in dropping the class for now and picking it up later. The stress it was causing you is not worth it, IMHO. Like Maddy said, we all have to find that balance.