college life

Weekend Reading: Leisure Reading? What's That?!

I can't begin to tell you how good it felt to wake up this morning and not have a near panic attack that tomorrow is Monday. I'm currently on Fall Break from school so that means no classes tomorrow or Tuesday for this mama. To be honest, I really only get one day because

  • the weekend doesn't count (those are always "breaks")
  •  I only take classes on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays
  • Alex is home with me on Tuesdays & Thursdays
So, that all adds up to me really only having ONE day off, but I'll take it! One day with both boys in school is still a whole day of peace & quiet, so I'll take what I can get :)
So what do I plan to do on my ONE day off? R-E-A-D. Why? Because I am a nerd & a bookworm. I adore reading. Problem is, I just haven't had time for leisure reading the past 7 weeks. I barely have time to read ya'lls amazing blog posts, let alone the books sitting on my shelves. Instead of reading books I WANT to read, like this
I've been reading books for class like this
(There's also a GIGANTIC "Western Literature" behemoth that should be in the above picture,but it's out in my car, and I'm too lazy to go grab it....besides it's a BEHEMOTH, meaning it's heavy and a beast to lug around. )
Papers, projects & midterms, epic literature (think The Aeneid & Homer) OH MY! The past 7 weeks have been insane but somehow manageable. I haven't had much time to devote to blogging, reading posts, dancing, & leisure reading, BUT I'm hoping to devote some time to that the rest of today & tomorrow. I'm also hoping I get better at managing my time by developing a routine that allows for time to read what I want, and not just what I have to.
How do you squeeze in leisure reading? Does having a tablet help? I just got an iPad 2-anything worth reading I should put on it? Let me know!
this post is part of  James & Jax's Weekend Reading BlogHop. To read more about the BlogHop, what she's reading, & what others are linking up, pay her a visit....reading something interesting? Write about it & link up with her!

Wordless Wednesday: The Takeover

Confession: School has officially taken over my life. I feel like I've been sucked into some kind of black hole. I expected to have a lot of work to do, but I didn't expect to be so....submerged. Trying to keep up with the outside world is surprisingly tough. And you throw the kids in the mix, having to be an engaged and active parent....and the days just start running together. Time is flying by and my energy drains much faster these days.

I've been doing well for the most part trying to balance everything...I just miss blogging. I've got to find a way to balance that part better and keep writing.

Any suggestions?


Table Talk Tuesday: College Mama pt 2

Last week I posted about my then upcoming Weekend of Welcome at my university & my concerns about how immersed I felt I could or should be because I'm older & a mama. Well, my ex agreed to stay at my place and watch both boys so I could attend all the festivities I wanted. (I know, even though he's my ex, he's awesome) So I attended various events last Thursday-Saturday. The mandatory ones were tedious & boring, my academic meeting was informative & gave me the dose of reality I needed (I'm going after a dual degree program), & some of the fun festivities were pretty rad.

Thursday night,  I wrestled over mattresses Steal the Bacon style with people 10 years my junior, got rained on repeatedly, & leap frogged the entire length of a soccer field during a crazy long relay race. My thighs started cussing me out halfway and were dead by the time I low-crawled over the finish line. (My team came in third place-GO BLUE! AUGUSTIVUS WOOOOHOOO! PBU! PBU!)

Friday there were more meetings and I was still barely able to move from the night before. When it came time to go home, I stayed home with the boys instead of going back out for that evening's social activities. Besides, Irene was on her way, so I had to prepare, grocery shop, you know, do Mama stuff.  Speaking of Irene, I should have listened to my gut Saturday morning when it told me to stay home instead of go to Philly with the rest of my incoming class. It was just a bad idea. Irene started pre-gaming in our area with lots of rain that left us all soaking wet....which pissed me off. Plus I've been to center city plenty enough this summer-I was less than enthused to be staring at the Liberty Bell & slogging my way to Reading Terminal dripping wet. The icing on the cake and perhaps the biggest indicator that I should have stayed home was the fact that I was in a reflective state of mind. Not really anti-social, but just withdrawn. I wanted to read & stew in my own thoughts....not really what I needed to be Socialite Sally for the day.

All in all I'm glad I was able to partake in pretty much everything. It gave me the chance to meet people & myself the chance to exercise some gut following. I automatically started to see what would work for me, what I could be involved in, & what I couldn't. I learned that when it comes to something like this, it's always best to follow your instincts-I know mine will tell me where to navigate to as I move forward this year.

Speaking of moving forward, let's skip over Irene & just stop at yesterday: my first day of classes. It was hectic, it was usual first day stuff, it was even surprising-some of the classes I thought would be heavy hitters & require hundreds of hours of writing this semester actually aren't. I was able to tie up loose ends around campus (like parking passes & financial aid)...but here's the thing. It all felt like a blur. Like it wasn't really happening. By the time I got home and fed the boys dinner, I couldn't even remember how I had managed to do so. It was only then that I realized my heart was pounding and that my thoughts were racing-had been all day. That I had been moving (and probably speaking at) the speed of light. The frantic pace and anticipation that came with the first day of classes had raised my anxiety to a certain level & I hadn't even realized it, because I felt so great the whole day. (Which, sound a tad like the euphoric feelings of mania, does it not?) And even though my body was tired, my mind was wired & in a very weird space, a little panicky, but I don't even think I can articulate it actually. I just know that I didn't feel right. I could also tell immediately that I wasn't going to be able to sleep. But that's just what I did. I put the boys to bed and then forced myself to 6:30.

This morning I woke up and realized that I'm a little scared about what it's going to take to tackle this semester. It's going to take me being on my A game, and I know I'm not. Not mentally. I'm still trying to get there. Medication is starting to help, and I start therapy next Tuesday....but trying to manage college life, motherhood, life in general, AND trying to get a manageable hold on a mood disorder (meds, exercise, therapy, etc)? MAN. That's alot. And I didn't even mention blogging.....

Can I do it. I believe I can. But the question, is how? I think my therapist will be able to help me develop some strategies (she's a cognitive behavioral therapist), but do you have any suggestions on how I can approach this? How do you balance it all & stay afloat? Especially you readers who do or have battled a mental illness, how did you take care of everything but also manage to take care of yourself at the same time? Any advice you can offer a mama?