A couple of days ago I discovered that my family thinks I take on too much. That was weird. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.
I always felt like I was never doing enough.
To a certain extent, I get it. I sometimes take on more than I should; especially financially. It’s not because of some idea that I’m superior and can take on more than anyone else. Really, it’s because I don’t think I’m doing as much as everyone else around me.
I need to catch up and keep up.
The conversation came up when I was talking to my aunt about my intention of going back to school. I’m newly freelancing, so money isn’t necessarily flowing yet and there’s a lot of energy going into changing that. I just got braces and dental work done that I’ll be paying for for over a year. I still owe my dad for his assistance with buying my new car. I still have a shit ton of debt I need to pay off. I still may need to get a part-time job…and I’m adding the cost and time of school to the mix.
She told me she was worried about me and that my mom told her I try to do too much. For a split second I brushed it off as a projection of her own difficulty juggling too many things. But then I had to remember…my last breakdown was for this exact reason. I tried to do too much and it all came crashing down. So I have to accept that they’re right.
That pisses me off. The idea of having limits to how much I can get done PISSES. ME. OFF! Especially when I look around and everyone else seems to be doing so much more than I am, without consequence. And I’m fully aware that social media culture is partly to blame. It’s easy to scroll through the amazing lives of everyone you know and feel shitty. Sometimes I take social media hiatus’ and it does WONDERS…but then I get bored.
In theory, I’ve always been an advocate of respecting ones limits in the name of self-care. As you can see, I have a hard time following my own advise. I pay for it. I pay for it in breakdowns and overwhelm and general madness. That’s why I know how important it is to accept limitations. It doesn’t mean I like it though.
But, like it or not, I took my families concerns to heart, partly because the breakdowns suck and I end up making more of a mess. What the hell was I supposed to cut out though. I’m pretty locked into my financial commitments at this point so it’s going to take some work to remedy that. My time commitments CAN be dealt with though. And I’ve started to do so.
I wanted to take a full load in school so I could get through it quicker. I’m 27 and planning on going on to get my PhD so I’d like to get it done as soon as possible. That means six to nine hours a week per class PLUS nine to twelve hours of study time per class…so school would take up 60 to 84 hours of my time each week. I plan on working full-time as well, either completely freelancing or half freelance and half part time job. That’s 40 hours a week. So 100 to 124 hours a week would just be going into school and work. That’s 14 to 17 hour days. This isn’t including travel time, breaks, emergencies, or time with friends and family. And that, ladies and gents, would be doing too much.
So I had to give that up. I registered for half-time, instead. Two classes, one is three hours a week, the other is four and a half…so I’m spending a total of seven and a half hours in class. One is three units, the other is four, so I’ll be doing 21 hours of studying a week (did you know you should study for three hours per credit. Me neither until about half an hour ago). In total, school will take up 28.5 hours of my week. Add the 40 hours of work I plan to do and I have 68.5 hour weeks; about 10 hours school-work and work-work per day. Considering I’m usually awake for about 12 hours a day, not including my hour wake up and hour wind down (don’t judge me). This sounds perfectly manageable.
However…I know I have a penchant for being unrealistic…
I wish in my heart of hearts that that was as much slashing as I needed to do. Having two hours of free time sounds perfectly fine NOW but I’d most likely regret it down the line. So I have to make further cuts…and the only other place to make that cut is work.
I REALLY want to work 40 hour weeks. I actually like work. And I really like the money. I have bills and debt to pay as well as things I want to buy just for the hell of it. I plan on continuing to freelance but a steady paycheck would certainly make it easier to focus on school… even though a part-time salary isn’t very much at all. If I work part time (20 hours/week) on minimum wage, I’d be making less than I get from unemployment. So. Yeah. That’s not going down. I’ve considered just staying on unemployment until it runs out but….yeah, no. You’ll have to stay tuned for that resolution. Hell, I’m still staying tuned for the resolution.
Anyway…I have stuff to do now…because I’m not completely cured.