Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Library Therapy

School has been in session for over a month now. While four weeks doesn't sound like a long time, I assure you, it feels like an eternity. The fact that snow has been blanketing the city of Menomonie for a number of days makes the semester feel as if it should already be drawing to a close. Already I am running around campus-bundled in my warmest jacket and thickest mittens-with cheetah like speed in an effort to spend as little time in the brisk weather as possible. Oh how I long for sunny summer days spent soaking up the sunshine.

It's no secret that I have been struggling with my semester. For the past week, each day has produced new frustrations that have slowly been bubbling to the surface. I'm living in a constant state of "I'm going to burst into tears at any moment so don't say anything that might make me cry." Perhaps I need to boil over to return to my simmering state, but I'm trying to avoid that stage all together. In my attempt to feel better about life, I have returned to the one place that always makes things better: the library.

I entered the doors at 4 pm today and was immediately struck by that library smell. A mix of paper and hospital cleaning supplies, it has a distinct aroma that should be bottled and sold as aroma therapy for students. I made my way to the fifth floor where I was happy to see that I would not have to reclaim my territory of my favorite cubby. Sitting in the hard wooden chair, I feel as though the simulation has been paused and my fingers are once again able to keep up with my mind.

I know in an hour the simulation with unpause and I will be sitting through a three hour night class. For now, I will enjoy my peaceful time and continue to work on the never ending piles of writing homework.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


It was a lovely fall day. The sun was shining, the trees were looking stunning dressed in their fall colors, and I was sleeping on my couch. What's wrong with this picture?

I'd like to blame Brutus for my lazy day. A few days ago he managed to cover himself in burs. Frustrated, he began pulling them off himself and EATING them. While he gets an A for effort, his attempt at cleaning himself up ended with him hacking and coughing and finally throwing up the burs. His breathing has been a little odd and scratchy sounding and he's been silent. A very different dog than the one that woke the entire house up bellowing at 3:45 a few mornings ago when a large deer entered the yard. Feeling sorry for him, we doctored him up with some doggy Tylenol which has made him rather drowsy. How could I leave my poor dog all alone inside feeling yucky while I walk the hillside? I couldn't. So I slept on the couch with him snuggled near me on the floor. And yes, I'm blaming the dog because it sounds much better than simply saying I'm tired and got nothing done because of it.

In reality, the last few weeks have been non stop. Weddings, school, work, school, house, school... you get the picture. Rarely do I have a full day off to do nothing, and today was a quiet day with only one 55 minute class on the schedule. While I had planned to clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, wipe down the bathroom, etc... I ultimately decided that these chores would still be here tomorrow, and so would my headache if I didn't take some me time.

I'm pleased to say my headache is gone and my pile of homework sits, untouched and ready for tomorrow. Ahh.. the life of a student.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My life has turned into countdowns.

One month until my birthday.
3 days until the dreaded word "snow" enters the forecast.
12ish hours until a reworked paper PLUS reading responses are due.
9ish hours until a written memo (semi-done) and uber professional e-mail (not started) are due.
37 minutes to my math test.
3 minutes until I need to leave my house.

Thank God for coffee.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Life after Walter Reed was not fun or easy. Returning home to the quiet of our two bedroom apartment after living in the Fisher House was not only lonely, but stressful. There was no Sandy one door over to be a fill in Mom, no Faith across the hall to provide the daily dose of chocolate ice cream cake, and no Mary downstairs to provide a swift kick in the ass for motivation to keep breathing. There was just me, my thoughts, and J.R.

It was easy to dive into school. The library provided me with quiet to ease my mind, and busy work in endless mounds gave me plenty of places to hide. It's no wonder I have been able to keep my grades up and pull through two years of school with a cumulative 3.9 GPA. But this semester something has changed. I no longer have the desire to hide in my school books and knock out straight A's. My heart just isn't in it. Procrastination has become my worst enemy and I'm unable to complete any project until moments before the deadline. Even today as I sat at my computer, determined to make a dent in this weeks workload, I have ended my day with nothing but a long list of things to accomplish tomorrow.

Frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm for the semester and desperate to figure out what has changed, I have put a lot of thought into what life has been like for the past few months.

This summer was filled with time in the garden, fun filled nights on the town with friends, and novels about Wisconsin living. I spent days bent over our tiny plants, muscles aching, while my hands pulled the menacing weeds. I watched the garden that J.R. planted and I tended grow into mature plants that produced ample amounts of delicious food. I became obsessive with storing away our home grown food and dived into the world of food preservation. To an outsider looking at my food pantry, I'm just one bomb shelter away from the crazy lady preparing for nuclear war. But as I look at my collection of goods I can't help but to feel a lasting since of accomplishment that no "A" will ever outlive.

For the first time since J.R.'s injury there is an ease of life. A routine has fallen into place and our days are no longer filled with unexpected frustrations and problems that need immediate solving. We hit a few bumps now and then, but for the most part things are pretty smooth.

The first day of class I fought back tears. I didn't want to be buried in homework spending hours at the library reading until my eyes could take no more. I was already longing for days digging in the dirt, sweating in the hot sun, and whining about sore muscles. Four weeks into classes and I'm still cringing at the thought of opening a book. While I may not have Mary downstairs to kick me in the ass, at least I have her on facebook to provide the much needed "you can do eet!" that I so desperately need.