If you were to ask me what the biggest challenge about college as a working adult has been thus far, I’d say immature online platforms but if you dig further, I’d say: it forces me to take time for me.
Until I had to do this, until I had something that could not be done simultaneously, I never realized how hard it is for me to carve out time for me.
I always thought, “Oh, well, I run! A couple of times a week, even! That’s Me-Time!” Yeeaaaah.. okay, I got up early, before anyone was even awake, to run. Most times, I returned home before anyone was awake. That’s.. not really taking time for me. That’s using my own time in a different way.
But I don’t have that luxury anymore. (Well, I mean, I haven’t run in weeks.) If I get up early, it’s around 4:30 a.m., so I can have dinner prepped (and cooking, in some cases) before I leave, and I leave before anyone else is awake to get to work and start my day.
Work is beyond a full-time gig. I rarely work ONLY 40 hours a week. But it’s a job I really enjoy, so there’s that.
Um, I think I need not explain how useless it is to try and get any schoolwork done in the afternoons. Rush to daycare before they close, hurry home, throw a snack at Tony, feed the many many animals, get dinner finished up, plate everyone.. yeah, it’s useless.
So evenings, then, right?
I try to wait until Tony is in bed, so that I’m not depriving him of parental time. But he usually hits the sack around 8:30 p.m. .. the first time. Then he’s up until 9:00, sometimes 9:15, trying to stall having to go to sleep.
Then he’s finally asleep. I could stay up and get some work done, but .. honestly, by 9:45, I am struggling to stay awake. And I need some time to unwind with my husband. It’s how I clear my head at the end of the day.
So the latest I can stay up is 10:30 p.m., but
- I am not at my best by that point and
- It kills me the next morning when the alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m.
Rinse and repeat, five times over.
Help Is NOT a Four Letter Word
All of this is to say that I’m having to ask for help, and man oh man, am I bad at that.
My parents graciously offered to take Tony on a Friday night, which was AWESOME and just what I needed. Bryan and I went and had a grown-up dinner (one without chicken fingers on the menu), and then we came home and chilled out in front of a movie. Then I hopped online and studied before taking a quiz.
WOO HOO, PARTAAAAY! But I needed that. I needed time that I didn’t feel was taking me away from someone else.
Sunday, Bryan took Tony swimming. For two hours. It was AMAZING. I worked for about an hour, and then caught up on my school planning for the week while running laundry circles.
These things feel downright luxurious when they happen, which .. which makes me think I am too hard on myself. I should ask for help when I need it. I should utilize my resources around me. I should share the joy that is The Boys. Also, Bryan is an AMAZING dad to his boys. I should let him do that.
I should not keep putting off Girls’ Nights Out because I feel guilty. Or hell, I should read a book that’s not a college requirement because I want to. While in the room with other people. I should not check my phone during my hair appointment; I schedule it midday so I have plenty of time to get Tony and no one should have a fire alarm while I’m there.
I should take time to do my homework and know that the world will not crumble around me if I do.
(.. I probably won’t.)
Image used under Creative Commons via Dawn-Pink Chick