Last night, I was finally able to sit in the tiniest of corners in my new basement. It took me over an hour to clear out enough moving boxes to fit the desk into that little nook. Another few minutes to set the computer up and find an outlet. Then there was a minute or two where my wife had to come and make sure she liked the look of my little haven, aesthetically of course. As a newlywed, I’m learning that it isn’t always about functionality. Who knew?
But, the entire scene was consistent with my life for the last month or two – scattered and jumbled, little crazy, yet, somehow, productive and fulfilling.
You see, in the last five weeks, I have managed to:
- Get married
- Buy and move into a house – the second move for me in a month
- Attend graduate school full-time
- Teach two 300-level recitation sections on campus
- Maintain my work at OnlinePlus
- Start an additional internship at a local marketing firm, and
- Submit the proposal for my master’s research
Every one of those are exciting activities that were, and for some still are, extremely fun and worthwhile. But, taken together, they all add up to what has, to this point, been the busiest period of time in my life. Finally, last night, surrounded by moving boxes like a fort from my childhood, I realized that in the midst of all the busyness, I had been able to cross a few of those items off the list. And, I was able to actually sit down and focus on schoolwork with nothing else riding my conscience.
I wish I could offer ten simple things I did to organize myself, to help manage what to this point, has been the busiest period of time in my life. But, frankly, I don’t want to. I’d have to add that back to my list of things to do, then stress out about creating the list of ten things to do to reduce stress. Clearly, I’m not qualified for the task. Besides, there are plenty of those lists out there:
- 10 Tips for When Life Gets a Little Too Crazy
- What happens when you are stressed?
- Effectively Balancing Stress and Emotions
One bit of advice I can offer as you attempt to balance school with whatever form of insanity that is going on in your life, is to find the time to connect with those who are important to you. Over the last while, I have been constantly reminded of the power of relationships. From taking time to share coffee and a few laughs, to sitting down and listening to a friend going through a tough time, to making waffles with my wife…it’s the people who matter. Always and forever.
Our natural tendency can be to hunker down, create the lists, and accomplish the task at hand. But it seems to me that to leave connection off of those lists, is to miss a lot of perspective that those connections can, and will, provide. Without those relationships, those people, what’s the point of creating lists anyway?