Groundhog Day, The Sequel

The Blackmores Running Festival was held in Sydney last Sunday, and with it, the half marathon that rain, hail or shine, I was going to run, stumble, walk or crawl to cross the finish line, as you might remember. I was so looking forward to running across the Harbour Bridge, finishing up down at the Sydney Opera House, collecting my medal, and ticking an item off my 30 by 30 list.

I think I severely under-estimated just how much of my time would be required in taking on three units for my final study period of university, on top of my full-time job. I would battle through 10-hour days in the office, drive home, set myself up with my journal articles and my MacBook, work on essays through until around 1am, finally fall into bed to sleep, only to wake up and repeat again the next day. Weekends involved trying to juggle essay writing while babysitting Niece and Nephew Posy.

Thirteen weeks, three units, twelve essays.

Mr Posy picked up the cooking (it felt like there was barely time to eat, let alone time to make dinner as well!) and cleaning duties, my sporting commitments fell by the wayside, I got behind in all my television shows, I couldn’t remember the last time I opened a book to read for fun and not for an assignment, and my friends started to forget what I looked like.

I’m not sure when I thought I was going to train for a half marathon.

I handed in my final essays for the study period a fortnight ago, today. I can’t even describe the overwhelming sense of relief, the delirium, that I felt when I pressed the ‘Send’ button for the last time.

By the end, I was up to three coffees a day (from my usual once a day, only in the morning routine), and it was still a struggle to keep my eyes open. I was wrecked.

Now, I’ve had two weeks with so much ‘spare’ time, and I feel a little bit lost. I’ve found myself researching Masters programs, downloading training plans for a half marathon, searching vendors and suppliers for our wedding next year, and coming into work on weekends.

This not-studying-thing is going to require some getting used to. In the meantime, I need to decide on a new half marathon race to run…

A whirlwind vacation

And, we’re back. Well, we’ve been back for about a fortnight, but I’ve been waist-deep in university assessments and haven’t had the time or the brain-space to even think about writing for enjoyment. I also can’t remember the last time I read a book that wasn’t “required reading”… I have at least one essay due every week between now and the end of August, so my life is all kinds of exciting right now. Work, study, sleep – rinse and repeat. The good news is that after this hard slog, I will be done. The crazy news is that I’ve been looking at Masters courses – why stop at two degrees? I am a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Our trip away was everything that I needed – time off from work, time away from PosyTown, time with family and friends that  I miss so much. Before we flew out, I was constantly feeling like this awful angry person – someone that I am not, and I certainly did not enjoy feeling so on edge all the time. Spending time with my dad and grandparents and extended family in Bega was exactly what I needed. The landscape down in that part of the country is magical, and it was so lovely to be able to escape from the world. I hope my Pop enjoyed his 80th birthday party as we all did!

On our way back up to Sydney, Mr Posy and I spent the night in Canberra – it was his first trip to our nation’s capital, so we took the day to explore what is a very pretty locality. Say what you will about Canberra, there is no denying that it is a beautiful city. Unfortunately our flight to Sydney was delayed the next morning due to heavy fog, and when we did eventually make it to Sydney, our bags did not. I had watched them, from my seat on the plane before take-off, unload all the luggage, so it came as no huge surprise when we arrived in Sydney and the baggage carousel was empty. An apology certainly wouldn’t have gone astray, however…

Our time in Sydney was a bit of a whirlwind – we caught up with as many people as we could, but our trip was over before we knew it. My dear friend Neek remarked to me over a drink that she loved that I was always excited about visiting Sydney, because she knew so many people who don’t share that same excitement. Who are these people that visit or live in such an amazing city, and don’t even know it?! These people need to pay a visit to PosyTown… In the middle of the build-up, when the heat and humidity is so bad that you start to think that you are literally in Hell.

Can you believe that we are now at the END OF JUNE? Niece Posy is going to be TWO YEARS OLD next week. TWO!

Green

I’m at the “business end” of the university semester, and consequently I’ve found myself bunkered down in the uni library the  past two weekends. I’ve had a couple of assignments due that I actually enjoyed, and found myself getting carried away with searching for journal articles and later poring over them. I haven’t spent that much time on campus since I was studying for my first degree… and back then, I tried to avoid the university grounds where possible.

It got me thinking about a time when life was much simpler, even if it didn’t always seem like it at the time. My study came first, and work (nannying for a family {that I loved} during the day, and working in a cafe {that I didn’t love} at night or on weekends) was considered an optional extra (but let’s face it, it wasn’t really optional – it was a necessity).

If I had too many assignments due at once, I could swap a shift at the cafe, or study while the children I looked after were napping, or I could slam a few sugar-free red bulls as well as some No-Doz and pull an all-nighter without having to worry so much about whether I would be able to function the next day. These days, I can’t just take a personal day when an assignment is due, work always needs doing (I wish some of my clients would nap…), and if I get less than six eight hours sleep, I’m a crabby mess.

Study is such a luxury these days. Something I fit in between full-time work and domestic duties. I didn’t realise until I sat down and actually thought about it, really thought about it, how much I missed it. Missed actually studying, researching, writing; not just finishing an assignment for the sake of getting through it, but really immersing myself in it.

I feel sad that when I was at university full-time, I just wanted to get it over with; it was a means to an end. I didn’t really soak it all up like I should have, I just wanted to finish and get out into the workforce. Now that my priorities have shifted, now that work comes first, and study is an optional extra, I find myself green with envy. Envious of my younger self, envious of those who have so much more time to study than I.

I suppose the grass really is always greener, isn’t it?