Each semester I think that grad school cannot get any busier–and then my expectations manage to be surpassed. This semester has been particularly busy teaching two sections of a class, babysitting, facilitating a queer women’s group, finishing my second set of comps (I passed!), attending multiple conferences, supporting my house-mate whose dad passed away in October (damn grim-reaper) and working towards my prospectus. (The original plan was to be ABD (All But Dissertation) by January, but it will more likely be May next year.) There have also been some changes within my personal life that I don’t want to go into detail here, but I’ll just say that change is good, but also really hard.
Which brings us to this weekend, my first weekend with no immediate obligations or deadlines or travel plans. (I was away for 5 weekends in a row–which is a lot!) I did have grading to finish, but was able to do that at a leisurely pace. I had the time to go visit a friend who just had a baby and there is nothing better for a tired heart than holding a newborn while she sleeps. I am going to celebrate Friends-Giving with some friends this afternoon. I have been slowly and surely organizing different corners of my room. There has finally been time to think and listen to music and write.
And having this time to just give to myself has reminded me of the importance of having down-time, of actually having a weekend at home. In the last few weeks (somewhat prompted by some health issues I was having due to stress) I also have been slowly taking a step back from certain responsibilities, trying to lesson the load that I am juggling, making sure that I am doing things that make me happy–or at least do not create undue burden. Making sure that I have some downtime is necessary. Self-care: it is so important!