Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Busy Bee

If I can't provide a full post tonight, I'm hoping I can give you all a little smile. Yep - that's me on the right (the little chubby bee) proudly holding the hand of my brother Josh (the over-sized BLT sandwich). These are just two of the ingenious Halloween costumes designed and created by my awesome mom. I thought this classic photo went nicely with the title of this post (a title that also explains why I've been a little absent lately) One word sums it up nicely...FINALS! dun dun dun...

Actually, I'd say I'm managing my time better than previous exam periods in my life. I'm reminding myself that, like any stressful event, finals period always has a similar effect on me. I'm always exhausted, very sore and, instead of working on papers in the evening after a long day, I want to just snuggle in my bed and doze off. This time, instead of fighting against myself and becoming frustrated with my pain, I'm trying to just accept it all as part of the process; as part of me. And for the first time? I can honestly say I feel prouder because of my disease - because I've come this far while simultaneously coping with Spondylitis.

This ties in with a greater decision that I made halfway into this past semester. I decided to extend my masters program one year (from 2 years to 3 years). Around mid-February with four intense courses and 21 hours of field a week, I was burning myself out. I was skipping assigned readings that interested me (but I was too tired to get to), skimping on my hours at work, and just neglecting to take care of myself properly. I felt like I wasn't reaching my potential in any aspect of my life - not in school, not in my internship, not in my personal relationships and not in my physical or mental well-being. I met with the office of Advising at Columbia and together we sorted through options. Making the decision to take an extra year may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was a pretty significant event. It was the first time I gave myself license to really slow down and not feel guilty about doing so. Instead, I felt proud for knowing my body that well and for calling the shots in my life.

By extending a year, I can take a lighter course load each semester and actually absorb what I'm doing. I owe it to myself, to the people who care about me and my future clients to do the best I can in this program and stay as well as I can (in every sense of the word). Each day I'm learning that it's okay to take things at my own pace. I'll still get where I'm going, but I'll just have to be a little more creative with the journey...

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