One thing that I'm having a bit of a hard time with lately is balance. Sigh. Which was my problem before I quit my job too. Though its a different type of balance that I'm having trouble with.
I guess my problem is everything now is pretty much on my terms and my schedule. While on one hand that's a great thing, on the other hand everything falls on me. I can no longer blame my job for not having the time to study or even to keep the house clean. If I do badly on an exam it will be 100% my fault for not being prepared enough and that's a tough pill to swallow.
My mother-in-law (who I absolutely love) asked me the other day what it felt like to be a lady of leisure, assuming I just have so much free time now, I must be a little bored. She even suggested I look for a part-time job in a shop or something to keep busy! I almost laughed (though I think she just doesn't realize a) how serious I am about this process and b) how much work is actually involved). Because really, I feel way busier than I ever did when working.
I think a lot has to do with the fact that I've set much higher standards for myself now. When I was working, my goal was to do my job well, but I wasn't out to go above and beyond. I felt perfectly happy to meet expectations (it was the smart thing to do - the effort it takes to be considered exceptional was not worth the additional $2-3K in higher salary). Also, because I wasn't physically at home most of the day, I didn't give myself a hard time about the state of my house, whether dinner was made from scratch and even if I opted to spend free time surfing the net or indulging in a good book.
Now my goal is to do the best possible in my courses. I got an 85% on my first lab report and I have to admit my first reaction was one of disappointment, though really it is a good grade, especially since I'd never written a lab report before. I also want to spend quality time at the nursing home, make a proper dinner for my husband and son when they get back from work and preschool and want the house hold chores that I was forever playing catch-up with to be done.
I realized recently that this is just NOT going to be possible. Especially since I'll be adding both another course and also doing research work for my family doctor's clinical trial company (which I'll go into more detail about in another post) in addition to taking over the accounting responsibilities for my parents family business. When I assess what my new work load will be it honestly looks like way more than I've ever done before. And I'm constantly going to have to juggle these things, which ultimately will perpetuate this unbalanced feeling.
But at the end of the day, I'm still happy. I'm growing more confident every day that I made the right choice and feel content with it. Though the days of TV marathons in my PJs, and hours strolling around malls are just not going to materialize like I think my mother-in-law thinks (ah, who knows - maybe I'll give myself a day one of these days...Boxing Day maybe?).