reflections, week 11

it’s absolutely wild at work with an overabundance of meetings and way too much administrative work on my little teacher shoulders, but at least things are going well enough! here’s our weekly update:

write something every day (except Shabbat). I started keeping track of the days I write for academia on my spreadsheet, although I am not including them in my word count—and, as expected, tracking it showed that I have been consistently writing almost every single day, just not always creatively. now that I have finished the wild term with a double course load, I’m excited to try and challenge myself to write creatively every day, even if it’s just some scribbles… and I’m starting to grapple with the question of whether my dissertation word count will, well, count.

be better about money. the most exciting development here is that, once the CPA review is done at the end of this week, I will finally be able to file my taxes! I’m 5-6 weeks behind my usual schedule, but I’m honestly just relieved I will finally be able to do that. I’m also hoping to cement my summer position soon so that, between the bit of savings and the tax refund and the summer job, I’ll be able to stay in a good place financially even through reduced earnings in the summer.

self-validate more. writing a final paper for a class in which my (soon-to-be, I hope!) dissertation chair was my professor was nerve-wracking because she gave me the freedom to use that assignment to explore potential research options—but it also meant that I needed to buckle down and feel confident and validate myself through the process. It was a really interesting exercise, to say the least! the growth continues…

until next time!

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reflections, week 10

hello from germlandia! I’m home sick for the second day in a row, which has been excellent time for me to reflect/stress about everything…

write something every day (except Shabbat). I haven’t kept up with typing up all that I’ve written longhand, but I’ve written most days! I did see someone on Twitter talk about how, instead of writing every day, we should be aiming to set up routines in which we can write productively and consistently… at some point, that will be my goal, but right now I’m just going to try to keep this writing thing going for now. I’ve also been uneven about keeping up with my bullet journal, which now seems like a good marker of how well/unwell I feel… more on that when I write my inevitable Q1 reflections on bullet journaling at the end of the month. 😉

be better about money. we’re halfway there now, in the sense that everything is being paid on time… but I dip into the red more often than not on the last few days before payday, which isn’t ideal. I’m hoping that, as soon as I get my tax refund, I can give myself a cushion in there and then continue paying everything on time (probably moving to auto pay!) without overdrafting myself. I’ve managed to get caught up on everything and my credit score has begun to recover from “depressed and broke!Elle” aka “summer Elle,” so we’re moving in the right direction.

self-validate more. I’ve realized that, for all that I’ve grown in this, I’m still seeking external validation/approval when it comes to sending responses (such as emails) that I’m nervous about, as well as whenever I have negative feelings about someone or something. I know that this is just the healing process after years of being gaslit—but sometimes it’s hard to realize that you have not made as much progress in learning to trust yourself again as you would have hoped. I think I’m going to ask my friends to remind me that I’m supposed to validate myself whenever I ask them to validate my response/feelings, so that way they are holding me accountable for not depending on them for it… we’ll see.

my two-classes-at-once term is ending this weekend, which is exciting and also frightening… next up, taking my last course before the research prep course, preparing for my comprehensive exam, and screaming into the void about my dissertation. I expect we’ll have more posts about grad school coming soon…

how to survive when your significant other (or roommate!) is an emotionally exhausted teacher

(note: as has been the case recently, I’m typing in lowercase for the aesthetic. life’s too short for grammatical prescriptivism, so just let me live.)

happy Sunday, y’all—or, as I call it, “teacher Monday.” I’ve been doing some mentoring and coaching for a first-year teacher recently, and we’ve had a lot of conversations about how much of an emotional toll the job takes on our relationships, not just ourselves. it got me to thinking about how I’m having one of the healthiest, most productive school years of my life this year—and, I have to say, I think a huge part of it has to do with the fact that I am now married and I have a wonderful and supportive partner. that made me think more about what we’ve done to make our relationship work despite the wild stress of my job (and my second job, and grad school…)

DISCLAIMER: while I have been going to therapy for eight years at this point (so, my whole teaching career), I am in no way a mental health professional and am simply speaking about my experience! Please remember that every person is different and so is every relationship, so your mileage will definitely vary… but I know I can be hard to deal with in general and my job doesn’t help, and it’s taken a lot of trial-and-error to figure out what works, so I figured I would share.

so, with aaaaaaaaall that in mind, here are my top five tips:

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reflections, week 9

running hella late this week because it’s been a really tough one… February is usually a difficult month for me emotionally, with this week being the hardest and, although I feel I am doing a lot better than I have in previous years, it still has not been a walk in the park…

write something every day (except Shabbat). I ended up writing a lot longhand this week due to starting my second playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition, so I have no idea what my word count is, but I think I only skipped a day this week!

be better about money. I might feel differently about this in a day or two, but right now I am loving that I got so many of my things paid today and that I’d planned properly for the start of this month. I also got a notification from Mint today that my credit score went up more than 10 points and, even though I recognize that credit scores are often bullshit, it’s still nice to get that external validation.

self-validate more. I honestly have been rocking this resolution, but today I found myself more insecure than I have so far this year, and I definitely asked for a lot of validation for my work in the awards assembly at work. Relatedly, I pushed myself way too hard with that assembly and I am now c r a s h i n g hard.

overall, I think I’m starting to hit the “I am too tired for this wall”… my habit tracker for this month was absolutely tragic despite my best intentions, and not even the bullet journaling is something I did consistently. but we’re on to a new week soon and a new month, so I’m going to take Shabbat to recharge and then hit the ground running to make next month better.

who knows? I might even actually keep up with Duolingo this time 😂

reflections, week 8

a day late because I was on a field trip with some students yesterday… but, as y’all probably know, tarde pero seguro (late but certain) is the name of the game for me…

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve been trying to do even small bits of writing on days when I’m running out of time or energy to write extended pieces—so the hope is to keep making progress on that! my double-class term is almost done, so I’m hoping I can commit to working on one project that I write on every day.

be better about money. this month has been tough in terms of money because both the roommate and I have gotten shorter checks than usual due to various shenanigans, but I’m happy to report that we’ve stayed on top of things as best as possible and that things are looking up for the next couple of months. yesterday I took the CTA for a long-complicated commute instead of just getting an Uber, so I’m feeling good about that too!

self-validate more. this continues to be an area of strength most of the time—but I still sometimes reach out for external validation before I can commit to finalizing some things, which is something that I still want to work on. I have really reduced my negative self-talk, though, and that has been a huge struggle for me for years, so I’m glad to have that to celebrate.

I’ve got some things to get off my chest that I’ve started to write about—but it might have to wait for two more weeks, or until the double-class term ends!

today I experienced… executive function????

okay, y’all, today has been wild in the best of ways because I have actually knocked out just about everything on my to-do list!

the best part, at least for me, is that I did not even have to give myself an intense pep talk, or bribe myself, or even do anything other than decide to do a thing and then do it. it’s seriously life-changing to remember that such a thing is possible because I honestly do not know when was the last time I felt like this was. I literally worked for about seven hours and did my laundry, cleaned my room, wrote three papers (so I’m now ahead in my grad class!) and did some grading!

(granted, I did not a whole lot over the weekend, other than writing a brief paper last night, so perhaps it was the actually resting that did it? either way, I am hella, hella grateful)

here’s to more functional days, y’all.

resolutions, week 7

do I have other blog posts queued in the drafts? yes. am I drowning in things to do and therefore have yet to finish any of them? also yes.

in the meantime…

write something every day (except Shabbat). this was not as great this week; I even dropped the ball on my bullet journal and just took a few days off from life and habits. (to be fair, this detour coincided with my return to Dragon Age: Inquisition and my drowning in Cullen feels, but.) I’ve got some interesting things to write coming down my queue, but it’s a matter of managing my time so that I can write them. we’ll see.

be better about money. the IRS saga continues, unfortunately, and I know that it’s just a game of chicken between me and USCIS and the IRS, haha. I think I’ve been doing okay in other aspects, but I also know this is a hella tough month financially so I have to figure out if I can keep it together moving forward.

self-validate more. I actually have continued to do well in this, which is really surprising and exciting—I had absolutely expected this to be the toughest resolution to stick to! I think this will be harder when I’m having really low days, but so far I’ve been pretty even and validating myself has been pretty comfortable.

okay, back to crying about Opportunity and Dragon Age: Inquisition…