Last week I got a long overdue momcation; a full week at home, free of parenting responsibilities. Before then, the longest I had been away from Graham was a single weekend and I went somewhere else while he stayed home. This time, he went to visit his grandparents so I felt assured he was well taken care of. For me, the reason for my momcation was to spend the time getting well.
If you saw my prior post, you are aware of the back pain I have been experiencing this semester. I'll spare you the specifics, but the Monday after spring break, I was in too much pain to walk and went in for an emergency epidural steroid injection. The injection did not take immediately and I had to switch to some heavy hitting nerve pain medication. The new medication (primarily used for epilepsy) was not completely effective -- I was in no way pain-free, but if I wanted to be conscious at all during the day I had to deal with it.
The week after spring break was an emotional rollercoaster; seven weeks from graduation and I am completely helpless fighting the pain, or so I felt. I needed time to rest, try alternative therapies, get a handle on my mental anguish, figure out my sleep needs and catch up on a week of class.
The medicine made me tired so I had to say good-bye to late night study sessions and hello to 6-7 hours of sleep a night. I also needed time to go to my acupuncture appointments, which was the new therapy I was trying (somewhat successfully) and make time for counseling sessions. The nagging law school responsibility was to start my twenty-five page research paper, read and get notes for classes I missed and try to work ahead (while preparing and attending class, of course). I had a whole week of uninterrupted time to do it.
What did I want to do instead? Anything and everything with my husband, who I spend little time with when I get to the mid-semester crunch. Go to movies, dinner, and going to bed at the same time are all sought-after luxuries. I also wanted to catch-up on everything that was not school-related -- read a book, catch up with friends, go shopping.
I realized that I could have the best intentions in the world to study, but I could just as easily sabotage my plan with a uncontemplated decision to do something, anything else.
It does not matter if you have a child in law school, are married or living the single life -- sabatoging your homework plan is one easy decision away. I do not have it harder than any other law student or any other parent because I have a two-year old and attend law school. You make time for what you make time for. Fortunately, I did get done what I set out to do; or at least I got done what I realistically could have gotten done in my condition. But it was only because I held my nose to the books and ignored the shiny silver things that wanted my attention.
It is easy for me to sabotage any important part of my life. The main thing is that I recognize what is important and identify what distractions can pull me away from meaningful parts of my day and my life.