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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Diary

Warning this post uses the blog as a diary of sorts. I'm exhausted and needed an avenue to vent. I will probably immediately regret posting any of this.
I don't usually write posts about my school work or my professional work. Our posts usually consists of pretty rooms and pictures, fun events we attended, and things going on with our families. I am breaking out of our norm today.
I am so tired that I barely have the energy to type. Judd and I have been going at a pace of what feels like 100 miles an hour for weeks. He has been extremely busy with work. He has been traveling often. I have been extremely busy with work, school, and life in general. I am already hitting a breaking point and there is no end in sight for our busy schedule.
Have you ever been so tired that you just want to cry? I don't mean to be a complainer. I recognize the irony in what I am posting and how it does not coincide with the scripture passage offered in my sidebar today. Forgive me. I know that my problems are trivial compared to the problems of others. For that I am grateful.
I know what I signed on for when deciding to pursue my Ph.D. while working full-time. I watched my mother go through the same process for years and she had us in tow the whole time. I know it can be done. I also know that it is not going to be easy.
I worked two jobs while getting my Master's full-time. You would think I would have it all figured out by now. Well, I don't.
I feel like I am prematurely aging. I know, I know...I'm only 25 and that is young in the grand scheme of things. But I don't feel young. I feel tired, stressed, and depleted. I feel like other people my age don't have the same stresses on them. In fact, I am at least two decades behind everyone in my doctoral cohort age wise. This confirms my feeling about my peers. I sometimes wonder what I am doing there.
I just finished my final paper for my EDL 705 class. It was a management action plan for a strategic planning initiative in my office. It ended up being 42 pages long!!!!! I worked feverishly on it for weeks. That task alone would be manageable; however, I have had and still have multiple deadlines for things at work going on at the same time. You know, work, the job I get paid to perform. The one I have to keep. The one that is paying for my schooling. The one that is half of our livelihood. No pressure right???
Also, we have been traveling for and attending wedding parties every single weekend since March 27th. We love being able to share in the joy of our brothers' weddings. I truly wouldn't trade it for anything. The festivities have just added to our crazy schedule making everything a little more hectic.
There doesn't seem to be any end in sight. Although my final paper was due at midnight last night, I still have several major projects at work to complete within the next few weeks. For instance, I had a major report for student credit hours due to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education due Monday. I still have to complete two reports for UAB's Southern Association of Colleges and School's (SACS) accreditation. I have to finish and publish the university's Facts & Figures book. I have to complete a survey pertaining to graduate students from Peterson's and one additional survey. I have to compile planning profile notebooks for the Provost to distribute to the deans. I just feel like there are not enough hours in the day to finish it all.
On top of that, my brother's rehearsal dinner is TOMORROW. His wedding is FRIDAY. Mother's Day is Sunday. How on earth am I going to be able to maintain my composure and energy for all of it since I have been going on very few hours of sleep for the past two weeks?
This post is just a rant. I can't seem to articulate the weight that is on my shoulders. I feel like I am juggling so many balls that I can't keep them all in the air.
Tonight when I get home I have to find the strength to clean our house from top to bottom because all of our extended family is coming in town for the wedding tomorrow. Some of them are staying with us and the others will be coming over for a visit. How am I going to manage it? I told Judd yesterday that my heart has been hurting for days and I've been having trouble breathing. I guess it is anxiety.
Someone (who will remain nameless) who doesn't work actually told me he was too busy to do something the other day. It was all I could do not to laugh in that person's face. The fatigue must really be getting to me. I have lost my compassion.
I just want to escape it all but I know I can't. I also know if I did I would be really sad. We haven't even had a chance to think about the fact that our 5 year anniversary is the following weekend--May 14th. I wanted to take a quick trip or plan something fun. Instead, we'll probably just veg that weekend and rest our heavy eyelids
Judd leaves for Mobile, AL for work the Monday following our anniversary. Wednesday of that week I'll drive down to Brewton by myself and meet him there for his brother's wedding since he'll be coming from the south and I'll be coming from the north.
I need a break. I can tell when I get to breaking point. I'm there. I've been there for a few days now. You would think that as the month of May comes to an end I should feel a wave of relief. I know I won't though. On June 1st I begin two of my summer classes. One of which is my next highest level of statistics. I'm scared about it.
I know that being a type-A perfectionist doesn't help any of this. I know that some people would be able to just roll with the punches and not worry too much about any of it. I am just not wired that way. I set personal goals for myself. I always have. Every task I complete comes with an action plan or a to do list. If I don't reach those goals I am devastated.
The goals I have set for myself during this crazy time are: I have to maintain a 4.0 GPA. I've never made a B in graduate school. I am not about to start now. I have to exceed all expectations set for me at work. I have to maintain a happy and healthy marriage (this one is by far the most important). I have to maintain a lovely home and be a gracious hostess. I have to be the support that our brothers and their fiance's need during this busy and important time in their lives. I have to be the friend/colleague/wife/daughter/sister/granddaughter that other's need me to be. On top if it all, I'm expected to be pleasant and enthusiastic about it all.
I know this post is just the plight of all women in general. We are expected to meet ridiculous standards. We are the planners, organizers, care takers, food providers, etc. for the world around us.
I recognize I am blessed to have a husband that helps with it all. If I didn't, I don't know how I could function. He makes even the darkest moments seem brighter. I recognize I am lucky to be employed. I recognize I am blessed to have the opportunity to attend graduate school. I recognize I am fortunate to have family. None of this is to say that I am not grateful for every amazing thing God has put in my life. I am so thankful for all of it. I know my usual optimism will return shortly. I am just tired and grumpy and needed to let it all out.
I think I'll go home and spend lots of time in the bathroom tonight
...scrubbing toilets for our company that is.
Since I'll be in there for a while I might as well pretend I'm in this.

Source: Mary Evelyn McKee

Here's to dreaming right???


  1. Bless you heart! I'm glad you did do this blog post. You must feel better now. It's these things that we blog about that make others feel like they are not the only ones out there who feel that way. I do hope that things get better after May 22nd. I'll be glad for that day to be here, too. Remind me again why we think in our heads we need to have all of this stuff to get married? I suppose it will be worth it in the long run, but this is just craziness. I'm thankful I'm not having to juggle the craziness you are having to deal with. Just remember to look to God for strength. This is the first semester I've been in school that I haven't felt like you do right now. What I should have done was take my own advice to its fullest extent. Just remember that we love you no matter what your house looks like =) You are a wonderful person and an amazingly strong woman. I'm praying for you to get through this difficult time. Tonight while you're in your bathroom, just let out a big scream. I have to say that it helps sometimes. That or a big cry....or both.

    Just remember that we love you no matter what!

  2. Praying for you, Abby!! I know you will get everything done and will be able to enjoy time with you family! love you!

  3. Abby, it was so good to see you and Judd last weekend! I would've never known that you had any of this going on because you were perfectly happy, composed and energetic throughout the weekend. Bryan and Laura are lucky to have you and Judd. :)

  4. I feel your pain, and I am so tired I want to cry at least once every couple of weeks. Working full time and being in grad school has been a huge adjustment for me. Some days are better than others, and through time, it has gotten better. Yall need to plan a quick get away. That's what we just did, and it was good for the soul!!! I'll say a prayer that you get some rest.

  5. Abby, just let it all out girl! I hope the world stops spinning so fast for you and you can take a break at some point. Thanks so much for the well-wishes and stopping by my blog! We are super excited about the baby. :) I'm adding you onto my blog list, feel free to do the same! xoxo

  6. Update: Thank you for your prayers and kind words. I felt the prayers for sure. They must've worked. I finished my mega paper and completed the spring semester's courses with "A's". I got the house clean with a great deal of help from my darling husband. And I did what I could to make the weekend of wedding festivities and Mother's Day celebrations memorable and fun for all. It's amazing the support group we have in the blogosphere. Thank you!