Just what the doctor ordered

There is snow on the ground and on the cars. Again. I do not understand this winter at all. I keep hoping that one of our little snows will be enough to delay the opening of the university but I guess twice in a semester is pretty dang lucky.

But I do think that getting the chance to say “screw you” to responsibility last night was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I always forget that being a student is a full-time job and that any other part-time work is just icing on the cake. It’s pretty hilarious (as in, not hilarious at all) that I spend most of my days learning how to/practicing how to help people and most days I can barely help myself.

Basically, I’e diagnosed myself with “spring break needs to be here now so I can get more than 6 hours of sleep and get some quality relaxing in”.

kitten

Last night was pretty much the bomb dot com, though. I got home from clinicals, changed right into my PJs, and sat on the couch for a good 2 hours just studying/watching HGTV/dowloading a new Grey’s Anatomy episode for my weekend long run at the gym. Then I went to said gym and ran an easy 3 miles and chased those endorphins with a GINORMOUS salad bar salad/kettle chips.

If every night could be like that, I’d probably be a happy girl.

What’s your ideal night of relaxation after school/work? 

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Mediocre

I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect. I think it’s a natural inclination for me to want to be perfect and amazing at everything. Perfect in clinic, perfect at research, perfect at school, perfect at relationships, perfect at running.

Yeah.

It’s just not possible.

Lately I’ve been getting some quasi-negative comments about my performance in clinic. And to be honest, I’ve basically been phoning it in on my clinic days because all I can think about is doing research. But those comments? They were regarding things that I actually (initially) put a whole-hearted effort into.

Yet, of course, those comments made me feel badly and I skulked around the hallways feeling inadequate and, quite frankly, really dumb.

Basically, I’m not the best person at taking constructive criticism well. Even from myself. Which is why I stopped running so seriously about a month ago…I was working hard nearly every morning at the gym and seeing very little progress. And then I realized that I had actually *gained* weight instead of lost it.

Cue burying my face in a bag of Doritos.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I really need to give myself permission to suck: it’s the only way to learn. Great researchers, doctors, and runners didn’t just wake up one day and realize they were amazing at their chosen task. So I don’t know how I expect myself to just wake up one morning and do the same.

Sometimes, stress can be productive but putting myself down each time I “fail” at something I’m still new to? That’s not okay.

He’s either brave or crazy…which one do you think?

I wouldn’t recommend getting philosophical advice from The Turtleman, but I’m not going to lie.

I do it.

Being in grad school and working 20 hours a week is hard. I talk about this nearly non-stop whenever I blog, but that’s only because I hate talking about it in real life. Everyone is busy and I *hate* getting into “who is busier” conversations. Yes, I’m away from home for far more hours a week than many of my classmates just so put myself through school I can but really, does that matter? Nope. Everyone has their “thing” that makes their life slightly more complicated.

But everyone once in a while, I just want someone to stop and say, “dang, I don’t know how she does it…she must be either really brave or really crazy”.

I guess the fact that no one is commenting on anything is a compliment in and of itself…I guess I’m pulling off frazzled and *done* pretty darn well.

Anywho, that’s not the main point of this post.

The main point of this post is that I’ve been letting things sliiiiiiiide.

As in, eating Doritos for dinner and subsisting off of coffee + half & half and not running.

And it’s catching up to me: my pants are slightly too tight, no amount of coffee is ever enough, and I’ve got a lingering cold-thing that I just cannot kick.

So, since it’s November and therefore a new month, I am re-instating my October goal of balance. A goal that kind of failed as school sent me into a tizzy. But this time, I’m taking it week by week.

My week 1 goals:

1. Eat lots of veggies. Tomorrow’s dinner is herbed sweet potato salad and fennel + sausage dressing

2. Drink lots of water.

3. Drink only one medium coffee a day.

4. Run 3x

5. Relax. No more frantic emails to professors at 11 pm and no more being frazzled about things that I cannot change.

I’d like some whine with my cheese

{Warning: This is  going to be a very tired, achy grad student’s rant}

I am not a slacker.

In my entire grad school career, which is long than I care to admit, I have taken *one* sick day.

One.

I’ve showed up to the lab exhausted, sniffling, and quite arguably contagious. I religiously get my flu shot to prevent anything more pesky than the common cold. I generally “suck it up” and power through my 50 hour weeks in the name of science, good patient care, and responsibility.

And today, I finally allowed my brain to give my body the permission to take a knee.

Instead of bounding out of bed at 7 am, I stayed in bed for *gasp* an extra hour. I ate pumpkin bread for breakfast and allowed myself to wake up with the aid of 5 cups of coffee. I allowed myself to feel how I feel: miserable, stuffy, achy, and just plain ‘ole *overworked*.

And, knowing that I had no classes or research responsibilities to attend to this morning, I let myself realize that I really, truly needed a sick day. But not even an entire sick day, mind you. A semi-sick day…a day in which I’d arrive at school at 1 pm instead of noon and still attend to all of my afternoon responsibilities.

So, being a big girl, I called the girl coordinating my afternoon responsibilities letting her know of my plan change.

And, instead of accepting that I was attempting to do the right thing while also allowing myself some time to rest, she essentially blew me off. Accused me of “faking” my “illness” and “shirking my responsibilities” because I am “lazy”.

Which, of course, sent me into a fit of tears. For a good ten minutes. I typically do a good job of being me and overall not giving a crap what other people think about me. But the idea that someone would think that I don’t work hard and would make an excuse to come in an *hour* late just got me at the core.

For a millisecond, I thought about calling her back and saying I’d come in at noon anyways.

For a millisecond.

Then I realized that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was still going to do what I had told her I would do, only with a slightly later time of arrival. That even if she thought all of those things about me, she could have had an *ounce of tact* and simply said, “Ok, thank you for letting me know”.

That’s what an adult would do.

{End rant}

Turning leaves

It’s autumn and everything is changing. The weather, my wardrobe, my menu (goodbye lettuce, hello soup!). I can *finally* wear sweaters and cute socks without looking like a strange Southerner hoping for fall. But other things are changing, too.

Such as my outlook on life.

I cannot stop thinking about life outside of school. I can just see it in my mind: a cute little house, a baby on the way, a job with regular 9-5 hours. Time to try new recipes, go for long runs, afford things that cost more than $25. The future? Yeah, I want it to be now. My classmates are all out drinking and partying and all I can think about

I know with all of my heart that I just need to slow down and enjoy what I have now…school, (arguably) more free time [although I beg to differ on this “argument” handed down to me by parents and professors…classes, clinical rotations, and a 20 hour/week job + running, yoga-ing = very little time for me to just be], very few “big girl” responsibilities.

I know what’s got me feeling this way: seeing my married classmates buying houses and having babies and not having to spend every waking weekday hour slaving away on campus. Work + school has always been something that I’ve had to do but it’s getting a lot more difficult for me to juggle everything and still be who I want to be. I’ve been thinking more about what life would be like without work + school and this leads me to believe that I’ve got some seriously evaluating to do.

I’ve always been one to look towards the future, but the only time I seriously fantasize about things I know I can’t yet have is when some serious dissatisfaction is coming on.

Needless to say, my mind has been psyching me out. But there’s not much I can do about it right now aside from breathe, study, and keep my eye on my small goals.

Small goal #1: Run a sub-60 minute 10k in November

Small goal #2: Write a solid research proposal by December

Small goal #3: Survive this semester and then re-evaluate what I need for next semester.

Whew. First up: create a kick-butt 10k training plan…

My room is messy

It looks like a tornado opened my closet and proceeded to try on every piece of warm weather clothing that I own.

When my space gets this messy it usually means one of two things: 1) I’m uber busy and exhausted or 2) I’m a stressed out mess and the state of my room reflects my mental state at the moment.

Yep, you guessed it. This time it’s #2.

To put it simply, I literally don’t know where I’m going to be living in three weeks. I might be in my current apartment, I might be in my newly lease apartment, I might be in a completely different city.

There’s just no way of knowing.

The above + insane amounts of school work + general life pressures means I’m feelin’ the crunch.

Honestly, it’s kind of exhilarating. But at the same time it’s just plain ‘ole exhausting and I’m ready to know which way is up.

Anywho…

In approximately 3 hours, I will be attempting my first hot yoga class. That also terrifies me because I’m a) a profuse sweater b) I haven’t taken a real yoga class since August and c) it’s at a new studio where I had my fail last week (however I emailed said studio about my debacle and was met with only friendliness and welcoming words…so, uh, already better than my last studio).

But insecurity can shove it. Things might be completely disheveled now but that means I’m living. Right? Right…

Does anyone have any hot yoga tips? 

Tuesday confessional

– I slept through (okay, vaguely woke up and apparently turned it off) my alarm today and missed two hours of clinic. I am not this kind of girl.

-I started the application to return to school #2. I know I will be happier there. But I am having such a hard time letting go of what I feel I “should” be doing and I worry that I’m running away because things got scary, hard, and were not what I expected…cognitive dissonance FTW

-I’m taking my first yoga class since August on Thursday. My muscles are trembling in anticipation.

-I have a serious love for tortillas smeared with peanut butter. There’s just something so, “oh hey, I’m 12 again and out camping” about them.

-Almond milk = awesome. Espresso = awesome. But I’m having a hard time adjusting to almond milk + espresso. Any tips?

-I desperately want an awesome roommate. I have had 3, shall we say, duds. That have my my life hell. All I want is an awesome gal pal to drink wine with, complain about the day with, and go running with. Is that so much to ask for?!

-My new pink running shoes make me feel like a bad-ass whilst running

-I am conjuring up a set of goals to set into motion for April. These goals both terrify and excite me.

Takin’ a rest day

I started this morning with a delicious vegan oat bran muffin, I’m spending the day with my dad, some delicious veggie pizza, and salads/St. Patty’s Day Guiness with my gal pals.

I’m thrilled, but also slightly anxious.

I know I shouldn’t be. Pizza is delicious, so is Guinness. And my legs clearly need a rest day. Rest days are just as important as hard workouts…I would even go as far as saying that they might be more important. Because without rest days, your muscles can’t heal and you can’t become a better runner. And carbs are amazing fuel for my runs. This is what I tell myself.

But there’s always that little voice shouting, “you’re going to turn into a little fluff-bot”.

Um, yeah. No.

I fully recognize that this type of thinking is ridiculous and irrational. But after so many years of disordered habits, it’s hard to let the normal seep in…no matter how badly I want it.

It’s so hard to separate what I eat and how much I run from my self-worth. Janae wrote a great post about this last night.

I am not a 6 mile run or a gargantuan salad. But a veggie munching runner is how I see myself. What am I without running? Well, I’m an awesome girlfriend, a loving daughter, an environmentally conscious nature lover, a book nerd, a baker of delicious muffins, and a future doctor. Clearly I have tons going for me other than running and veggies. So much.

So why are those two things so completely prominent, and overpowering even, in my life? Not cool, Maria, not cool.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!! How are you celebrating (or are you celebrating at all?) I’m not Irish but I am a lover of all things Irish.

Also, how do you find balance between your hobbies and the “rest” of your life?

So very excited.

Why?

Because tomorrow is my last day of productivity before spring break. Turns out there is a light at the end of this incredibly busy tunnel! I have a feeling that wine will be had.

And really, all I have to do is take an exam, run, pack and clean my looks-like-a-tornado-hit apartment.

Then it’s off to a relaxing evening with the boy, followed by a week with my parents and no responsibilities.

I cannot wait.

Spring break often makes me wonder how I’ll make it in the real world…I mean, if I can’t go 2 full months of no breaks after the winter holidays are up, how in the world am I going to survive with a real world job? Eek. But then I realize I would probably have a psychotic breakdown if it weren’t for spring break next week and count my lucky stars that I am not a true member of the working world as of yet.

Hallelujah.

I plan to catch up on sleep, reading, relaxation, and eat lots of delicious (and paid for by my parents) food. Most people jet off for tropical vacations but all I really need is a comfy bed and lots of free time…even if that does require me to fly to a colder region of the country. Because nothing beats getting taken care of by the lovely ‘rents for a week. Nothing. Especially after how hectic these past few weeks have been.

What are you planning on doing for spring break? Or, if you don’t get one, what would you do?

Feed a cold

I groggily made my way to Earthfare to stock up on some “I’m definitely going to feel miserable this weekend” goodies. Well, $56 worth of goodies. Thankfully they always say to feed a cold (which is also great because I have been starving all day…my body is working hard to fight off this virus, I need to feed it! [which is admittedly freaking out my ED habits but they can suck it, I want to get healthy!])

I got:

Earth Balance spread

Rudi’s spelt English muffins

2 bottles of Cosmic Cranberry kombucha

Chamomile tea

Vegan roasted veggie pizza

Strawberries/kiwis

Mandarin and naval oranges

Lemon zinc drops

Lemon juice

Triple echinacea green tea

Creamy tomato bisque

No chicken chicken noodle soup

If this army of vitamin and herb packed groceries doesn’t help my cold (along with lots of rest and bad TV), then I don’t know what will!