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Friday, October 4, 2013

An October Chock Full of Stuff: School Is In Full Swing!

I have always loved October, until my sister Patti passed away last October 19th.  Now I don't like it so much.  I can only say I am glad this sad anniversary is on a Saturday, where I'll be at work and hopefully so busy I won't think about it too much.  The first year is always so damn difficult.  My grief is still evident every week, but slowly getting better.  I think this process will be going on for quite some time and I don't see a day yet where I can't think about her without getting teary.  

But life goes on.  Thanks to Patti, I decided to go back to school. And through miracles of timing and help from above, I got in and started school in September.  I talk to Patti all the time, and I said recently:  "Ok, you helped me get in, now help me get through it!"  I figure I'll ask help from anyone to keep me motivated and moving forward--family and friends are a big help.

September was such a big month of change.  I felt a bit out of place the first few weeks of school, and overwhelmed.  But I quickly realized that my fellow SLIS (School of Library and Information Science) students all felt the same way, too.  And my age really doesn't matter.  I also realized just how much I had missed being in the academic world.  I really do like to be in school.  It is such a change from my day to day life as a manager in a bookstore.  Night and day.  And while the stress from working full-time and going to school full-time is a daily test of my resolve, I can say I love arriving at school and being in a different world for a day.  I don't have anyone asking me where a book is, how to set a display, or deal with customers.  It's only for 2 days a week, but it's a needed mental break from that side of my life.  And when I'm at work, I can't think about school.  It requires my manager hat and simply getting things done and serving customers.  

One of my professors said yesterday that October is the month where students have to cope with an enormous amount of work for the program.  Looking at what's due each week, I can agree wholeheartedly.  Just a few things I have to do this month:  attend a conference (and write a paper), present a book report, give a 1 hour presentation, a mid-term, weekly computer homework assignments, reading a book each week for class, keep up a reading journal, interview a librarian (and write a paper), work on an information page about music therapy with my librarian mentor, visit a library 3 times, gather information, and write a paper, and weekly article readings due for discussion in class.  I don't think that's all, but it's enough. 

I have begun to carry my planner around with me so I can schedule things in the few free moments I have available.  At work, I have a book talk next week for my friends at a local retirement facility, a book talk for local librarians in a few weeks,  and at the end of the month, setting the store for Christmas.  Yep.  Christmas.  

I can only hope all this stress decreases my appetite!  I haven't exercised since I started school, which sucks.  Sleep has been very sketchy, so getting up even earlier in the morning to workout before school or work just doesn't compete with trying to sleep another hour.  I've kept up my gym membership, so I hope to get back into my pump class soon.  Some things have to fall to the side, and this is one of them.  Housework is another.  Making pumpkin and banana bread is another.  

How is your October shaping up?  What do you do to cope with stress?

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