A Balancing Act

First of all, thank you all SO much for the kind words and excitement you shared with me over passing prelims!  It was seriously so amazing to hear all of your comments and how you ‘knew I could do it’ and were just as proud of my accomplishment as I would.  It means the world to me — thanks for being so amazing.

And for for the reality check: My, oh my.  It has been forever and a day since I last blogged.  But this first quarter of my second year in the PhD program seriously swallowed me whole.  I was told “just make it through the first year, its all downhill from there.”  Whoever was saying that, was seriously mistaken.  The workload (specifically reading load) we have to do this year is unbelievable.  We are not even TWO FULL weeks into the quarter, and I already feel like I’m starting to flounder.  And I’m only now finding a chance to breathe.

That’s not to say I haven’t been doing other things besides school, but those have been necessary get-out-of-the-house or office events.  Such as the Santa Cruz County Symphony I saw on Saturday night.  It was delight.  Brought back so many memories of college and high school orchestra, and really made me want to play again.  Kind of Winking smile

But, I will admit: I’ve been having trouble balancing all my favorite daily activities.  The one that has stuck in there almost every single day is exercise.  Without it, I’m sure my head would have fallen off by now.  Since things have been hectic, I’m trying to come up with a new plan on how to prioritize and make sure I allot time to the necessary and desired areas.  So, please stick with me while I walk the fine line and figure out my balancing act.

In the meantime, I have found a few spare moments besides my daily exercise to keep myself sane.  Our roomie second quarter eve meal was some amazing pasta that my good friend Chiara gave me when she left our school this summer to return to Italy.  Homemade pasta trumps pasta from a box everyday of the week and then some.  Omg was this good.

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The pasta sauce was a recipe of my own making.  A can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, regular diced tomatoes, 4 cut up Italian chicken sausages, onion, a bunch of garlic cloves, half a jar of regular marinara sauce and oregano, basil and parsley.  I let it simmer in the crockpot on low for about 8 hours.  It was delicious.

I also got to indulge on this amazing vegan chocolate chocolate cupcake from Whole Paycheck with the girls.  They all had this scrumptious looking-cake to share, but I got my own cupcake.  Yay for dairy allergy Winking smile

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Nom. Nom. Nom.

And was able to partake in an evening of PhD Shennanigans (two night before my second marathon – post recap to come) with some good friends.

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Perhaps not the wisest choice to participate in said activities two nights before a marathon, but I only live once, and two days in the quarter was already overwhelming.

How have you perfected the balancing act?  What’s the first thing to go?  What’s the one thing you always make sure you have time for?

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5 thoughts on “A Balancing Act

  1. I haven’t needed to do the fine balance thing for some time, but when I was busy in school I always made sure that I slept and ate breakfast. Even if the other meals of the day were garbage food, or I had to stay up half the night, I would eat breakfast every morning and I would grab a nap if I needed one, even if it was only for 10 minutes. The first thing to go was entertainment, for sure. No TV or novels for me. I’m still working on the exercise thing, though!

  2. Yeah, if there’s one thing I became really good at in grad school, it was multi-tasking. The two things that I always made sure to make time for were running and spending time with Brent and friends – both got my out of my head, kept me sane, and reminded me that there’s life outside the archives.

    Good luck!

  3. Oh man, was I ever in your shoes. During studying for my Doctorate in Physical Therapy I was told the same thing- first year is the hardest. All I can tell you is, it’s not that the workload decreases, it’s that you become more at peace with it ha! I always made sure I had time for making myself home cooked meals, but doing it in bulk so I had enough for the week. And I kept my sanity through working out 5-6 days a week. One thing I learned is that you never finish studying, there is always more to learn. It is a daunting thought but once you accept that, it frees you to take care of yourself first. I found I actually had better quality studying. Good luck!!!

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