This week marks the end of my five-week summer class and the LONGEST, FULLEST year of adjuncting I have ever done. Do I seem a little extreme with my shouty caps there? Well, perhaps, but when I look back at the last 10 months, I can’t help but recognize that they were in fact quite extreme and, as far as a personal blog goes, they deserve some recognition!
I remember, rather distinctly, a conversation I had about this time last summer with a friend who is also in academia, telling her about what I had agreed to for the fall semester and her audible gasp when she realized I meant two classes (seven credit hours) on top of staying home with four kids, and this was still before any of us knew I was leaving the yoga studio and would eventually start my own business in the coming months, as well. Is that a confusing sentence? Yeah, it’s another metaphor for just what this last year has been in terms of activity and commitment!
As you know, it wasn’t just the fall semester that was full. The spring schedule shifted on me last pretty well last minute (in collegiate standards) and I once again found myself on campus two nights a week while offering an online class during my “down time” hours at home.
You’re laughing along with me at that last bit, right? I know several of you work from home and know just how hard it is to get ANYTHING done with Littles around, much less uninterrupted, grownup work tasks, but that is what I kept plugging along at all the way until the first week of May.
Then, three weeks later, and five whole days after landing in the hospital for an evening, I started the summer session. Thankfully summer students tend to be super motivated and get right after it, but still. As my OB explained to me when I saw her the first week of June and couldn’t understand why at 16 weeks I was still feeling so behind, a normal person could take a couple weeks to recover from such a setback, much less a preggers (with four others at home who is suddenly at work every morning) who came into the event with zero reserve.
Less than a week after that conversation? Altitude sickness.
I’m sorry. Does this post sound like one big list of complaints? I promise that’s not the intention. Rather, I’m trying to put into perspective for myself why I am continuing to struggle with energy levels, eating, and headaches at this stage in the game (18 weeks), when really…if I just look back over the last 10 months, it’s not actually all that hard to see why I am where I am.
The plate spinning has been intense. The hat wearing varied. And so, a change in plans was needed.
You see, originally, before I knew I was pregnant, I signed on to teach an online course in the fall. Up until last week (yes, even post CO craziness), I still thought I was going to do that. The fact that my due date falls fairly well before the actual end of the semester? Well, I’m not sure what I was thinking other than not clearly, because when I sat down late last week to really look at the calendar, I realized there was no freaking way I could expect students to finish up to a month early with their course work OR for myself to do anywhere from 2-5 weeks of semester wrap-up while also newly postpartum with Baby No.5.
I mean, obviously, right?!
But it took me so long to admit to myself that no, I can’t do it all. And I don’t have to, nor do I need to feel bad for making that call (no one, for the record, has tried to make me feel bad about it; I’m just saying that it is OK to give oneself a little extra grace sometimes, you know?). So now that I am getting ready to enter my final grades for this summer, I am actually doing so for the last time this calendar year. My name won’t be back on the teaching schedule until January at the earliest and again, hopefully via online so I can attempt to squeeze work into nap and night times instead of actually having to be campus-presentable each week.
After the hustle of the last year, this is going to take some adjustment, but I think it will be wonderful to get the rest of the summer with the fam to just be (and go and do, as needed but within reason) and then have the fall to get everything from the house to the deep freeze to my brain ready for this baby’s Thanksgiving-ish arrival.
Yep. I can totally dig it.