Winter has officially come to Michigan. Gave us a peek with the arrival of sub 30 degree weather last week, and made its grand entrance last night with the arrival of the several inches of white fluff now sitting in my yard. I usually love the first snow of the season, the pretty white covering that sparkles in the sun or among all of the Christmas lights. This year however, I have been a strong opponent to winter’s arrival. The temperature dropped below 4o degrees and my motivation to hibernate for several months increased exponentially. Perhaps it is just because I am exhausted and getting out of bed is always harder when it is cold, or perhaps my current distaste for the cold stems from the memory of last year’s brutal winter still burned in my brain.
My lack of excitement is not limited to the first snow of the season, even my excitement for the holidays seems to be weaker than normal. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this time of year and have enjoyed the preparation and festivities that have already happened, but overall it feels like my motivation is lacking this year. I believe the culprit is a bit of burnout. I looked back at my calendar and realized that since June I have had just two weeks without class and only a handful of weekends without obligations (none of which fell in the two weeks without class). 2016 has been a long year, and a roller coaster year at that. While there are plenty of great memories, there is little energy left in me to finish the year. As I wrap up my final course in 2016, I am aware that my first class in 2017 is only a few weeks away. Since it is another 4 week course, my start to 2017 is promising to be just as exhausting as the end of 2016. It is safe to say that a cadence of “4 more classes, 4 more classes” has been playing in my head regularly over the last few weeks.
I knew there would come a point where my motivation for school would struggle; it seemed inevitable based on previous schooling experience and what I have been told by friends and family who have completed advanced degree. However, I have to admit that I did not expect to experience it this far from the finish line. Yes, 4 classes left means that I am three quarters of the way done with the program, but those 4 classes also represent another 6-7 months of workdays followed by homework and weekends spent studying instead of relaxing. Earlier this week I experienced my first instance of genuinely wanting to just stop, call time out, and not deal with school. Immersed in lecture videos after a long day at work I felt my exhaustion overtake my ambition as the primary driver. It only lasted a few minutes, but it was there nonetheless.
Now, you’re probably wondering why the picture for this post is a lobster. While school has kept me busy, it has not prohibited me from having some fun. The aforementioned lobster was a “guest” of sorts at my friends’ Ugly Sweater party last night. By guest I mean he was a gift in our white elephant gift exchange. In the picture he is cooked and ready to be eaten, but during the gift exchange he was in fact fresh and alive. He was also the first gift that was opened, which meant most of the other creative gifts didn’t have quite the same impact. The one gift that may have rivaled him was “fish and chips” in the form of a can of Pringles and a couple pet goldfish. This package happened to come from the same family as the lobster. Based on last night, I officially dub Liz Wood Queen of the White Elephant. I thought my contribution to the gift exchange, which included icing the recipient, was funny, but it had nothing on a lobster.
With an evening away from thinking about school complete, I will spend this snowy Sunday working. I started the morning with some actual work and will soon begin chipping away at the final few stages of my current class. My goal is to complete all of the requirements by Tuesday, a full week before the close of classes. I will also have to venture into the cold to rid my porch and driveway of the snow. Sadly, shoveling does nothing to decrease my current animosity towards winter.
Enjoy your weekend!
Sleep: 8.5 hours
Work: 2 Hours
Study: 4 Hours
Workout: Blogilates Arm Day