Poor poor pitiful me

We will just take one moment to have a pity party. I just want to chronicle what my life is like in grad school.

Monday – work 9-4, class 6-9, sleep at 11
Tuesday – work 9-3, class 4-5:30, school stuff in evenings
Wednesday – work 9-noon, class 2:30-5:30, collapse in exhaustion (this is a hard class and I'm brain dead when done)
Thursday – class 9-noon, work 1-4, collapse exhausted from week so far
Friday – wake up 9:30, schoolwork 11am-10pm, bed
Saturday – wake up 9:30, schoolwork 11am-10pm, bed
Sunday – wake up 9:30, schoolwork 11am-10pm, bed

I am now done complaining. I chose this.

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Not so much blobbage…

I haven't been writing much because I've been exhausted lately and I don't really have anything to talk about except about school. My gut tells me no one really wants to know about what I'm reading or the latest paper I've written. And for the last two weeks that's literally all I have had going on, so no blobbage.

I will tell you that I took my first midterm in eleven years last Wednesday and I studied for it for 35 hours in one week. Thirty-freaking-five hours. Yes, I added it up. Wednesday I may know how I did. If they get graded in time. The professor says the class average is usually in the 60's… grrreeeeaaaattttt… but he curves like crazy.

The stress in the weeks leading up to the mid-term then the stress of trying to prepare for it have left me squarely in the insomnia category which SUCKS. I have always been a terrible sleeper. The tiniest noises or amounts of light or too hot/cold temperatures have woken me up for years. But I've always been able to find a way to keep it under control – sleeping masks, living in very quiet locations, etc… But now I've moved out of the problem sleeper and squarely into the insomniac category. Grumble grumble. I'm finally going to give in and get a prescription sleep medication. Hopefully I'll be sleeping again soon because I feel tired and achey and cranky and just plain old crappy when I don't sleep.

So enough blobbity blah blah about school. Here are a couple of cool things:

I work in the same building as the public tv station. Every once in a while they do live shows in the lobby. It's pretty cool. Here are some photos from the last one…

Saw this crazy load of babies on the sidewalk. At first I thought they were all hers, but no, she works at a day care. Whew!

And I got the WORST haircut ever in the history of bad haircuts last week. It's so bad I don't even know what to do with it. It looks bad down. It looks bad up. It looks bad straight-ish. It looks bad curly. Sheesh. Just awful. And the lovely thing – I can't afford to go get it fixed somewhere. Yay for being a student. Here are all my curls after they got whacked off my head. Sniff sniff…

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Static

These days I have a lot of static running constantly in my head. A generally gnarling buzzing squealing noise that sometimes ramps up and sometimes maintains a low rumble.

I am tired of this. I am tired of being stressed.

Last night the buzzing squealing got so loud I didn't think I would be able to sleep. I definitely had to work some distraction magic with the tv and the computer, but I actually did sleep and I am so relieved.

The buzzing squealing is, of course, money related so this morning I decided to take action and called a few moving companies to get quotes and made an appointment with a financial planner. I also found out I'm eligible for extra loans as a grad student and did the paperwork for an extra $5k so I will have a "just in case" nest egg.

Tonight I feel bunches better, like a big load is off my shoulders and out of my mind. Ahhhhhhhhh… The buzzing squealing is more like white noise, easily ignorable and actually a bit soothing.

Tonight I plan to get a good night's sleep.
Yay.

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First Update in Three Weeks… Yikes!

Hello Voxies,

Thank you MexicanShrimpCocktail for the nudge. I am alive.

My last post about the money issues sent me into a two week stress-session where I ate my weight in chocolate and fretted about the future. But I'm ok… I was just in one of those places where talking about it made it worse and everything seemed to lead back to talking about it. If I posted anything on here it would be doom and gloom and what-if's. So I practiced avoidance theory, holed up and beat Big Kahuna Reef 2, ate chocolate, and worked on getting my plan figured out.

Plus my brother was here and he is fun and was a nice distraction, so I spent a lot of time hanging out with him.


Now he is back in DC preparing for his next big adventure and I have been to State College to find my new home. The only thing between me and my own big adventure is 6 weeks of work at JMU and packing packing packing.

So, for now, here's my new place in State College. I am VERY lucky to have gotten in because they only put a sign in the yard to advertise so I was just fortunate enough to drive by. Plus they were concerned about my cats and hesitant to allow them in. But, I won them over with my dazzling personality and credit score and it is mine! Well, for the next three years anyway. Ha ha.

A beautiful place. I am excited. It's only 1.5 miles from campus, so I can walk or ride my bike. A bit more expensive than I wanted, but options two and three were not really even close in comparison. This will be my sanity and sanctuary during the PhD program which I am sure will push me past my limits at times.I will need a place to go home to that recharges me and helps me relax and unwind.

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Chopra.com, Mind, Body, Spirit

A friend pointed me to the quizzes at chopra.com, it's the site for Depok Chopra the famous spiritual guide. I have not read his stuff but I think his basic premise is about the mind/body/spirit connection and the quizzes on the site can tell you if and how you are imbalanced. So without further ado… my chopra body type…

All that seems to be right on except for the missing meals part… ha ha. And it seems I am currently imbalanced and have been for about 10 years. I'd say that's true. The "me" I remember prior to 1998 and even some up to 2000ish is dramatically different than the "me" from 2000 till now.

The second part is a quiz to see what your dosha – or mind/body – type is…

A Question of Balance

Section Two provides a snapshot of your current mind body state. The mind body principle that scores the highest number of points in each section, is the one requiring the most attention at this time.

Invoke Your Inner Pharmacy

The first step in regaining balance is to recognize that the environment around you has a profound influence on how you feel. Paying conscious attention to what you hear, touch, see, taste and smell can help create peace, balance and vitality in your mind and body. A harmonized daily routine that engages the five senses with nourishing impressions is one of the most important steps towards achieving Perfect Health.

Accumulated Kapha

Out of balance Kapha leads to heaviness, sluggishness and congestion. Stimulation and movement help overcome the resistance of accumulated Kapha. Think activation and invigoration. Here are some tips to maximize balance and well-being:

Body

  • Take a yoga class to connect to your body and invoke your natural energy
  • Perform a vigorous daily self massage with Invigorating herbalized oil
  • Take deep breaths throughout the day
  • Favor spicy foods with a predominance of pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes
  • Walk 5-15 minutes after eating to aid digestion
  • Drink Invigorating Tea
  • Put your full attention on your meals when eating

Accumulated Vata

When Vata is out of balance, change and movement agitate the physiology resulting in a sense of instability. Balancing Vata requires introducing more grounding and stabilizing influences. Think routine and consistency. Here are a few tips to encourage balance and well-being:

Mind

  • Meditate twice a day to quiet the mind
  • Look for opportunities to create rhythm and routine in your life
  • Go to bed and awaken at about the same time every day
  • Wear Relaxing fragrances
  • Listen to slow and relaxing music to calm Vata
  • Minimize heavy reading, eating, or watching TV right before bed
  • Diffuse relaxing fragrances into your environment
  • Favor mild pastel shades and earth tones in your environment

Soooooo… first observation – What do you do when the steps to get you back into balance are conflicting in and of themselves? Hmmm…

Second observation – the Kapha part really rings true to me. Interestingly, I've been trying to do a lot of those things on my own the past three months. I participated in a walking study at work and did feel better when I was getting out there a few times a week. But the pressure of "having to" do it a certain amount per week (it was for a grad student's thesis) was too much and I quit doing it at all. Lesson – just getting out there a bit at a time when I feel like it and not putting pressure on myself might be the trick.

I've also been eating the heck out of some spicy foods. I can't get enough garlic, onions, and hot peppers in my diet. Yum.

Plus I'm looking into joining a new yoga gym in town – all yoga all the time. The owner seems like a pretty groovy dude, the classes are very reasonably priced, and I always love yoga classes when I take them. They kick my butt in a big way – it's h-a-r-d. Awesome workout.

As for the Vata section, there is truth to that too. I have been seeking peaceful, calming environments and have been focusing on keeping myself in a peaceful restful state. I actually do a good job of keeping routine in my life and sleep cycle and I have been actively weeding the drama out of my life.

One of the questions in the second quiz really struck me. It asked if I have been resisting getting out of a part of life (relationship, job, etc) that is no longer nourishing me. To that, I can say 100% no. I think applying to PhD programs is the best thing I've done for myself in a long time. I am looking forward to moving, getting into a new city/town, changing every part of my life. I need some new energy and a new direction. Wherever I end up, I fully expect that the old, pre-2000 Stevie will be back soon.

As the first quiz, my Vata body type showed, I thrive on change and am always looking for ways to move things around, improve things, shake things up. I enjoy it and it keeps me motivated, interested, and energized.

So, tip my glass to 2008 and the positive changes that are coming for me as I move on to new adventures and new energy. I absolutely positively 100% cannot wait. Bring it on! The sooner the better.

Want to do your own chopra quizzes? Go to http://store.chopra.com/dosha-survey.asp.

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