May 20, 2016

5 Ways to Stay Sane {Work & Study}

When you are in a relationship, especially early on, everything feels great, glorious and just beyond anything you had imagined. Life couldn't be better. When that relationship intensifies by you living together under one roof you get to experience a different kind of relationship. You get to enjoy {or not} each other's daily moves, habits, and what not. Both sides need to adjust and accept new rules, new ways to live life. No need to change everything but there will be adjustments and there will hardship {not too much I hope}.

When your other half returns to school, then, well then life changes a bit more. You'd think, hey yes, I remember going to college, I remember that lame homework, those awful papers and assignments and the projects no one wanted to work on. It'll be a breeze. Yes, I remember all that.

I do, too. I still do, and I see it every day. *insert crazy face here*

Don't get me wrong I love that B is in school. It shows dedication and determination. He wants to get his goals accomplished and he wants them accomplished soon. This not only requires us to spend more on life than normal {hello, schoolbooks that cost $120 each and that is the used book price, not to mention the parking permits}, but it also requires us to find a balance in between school, home assignments, work and marriage. I'm kind of happy we don't have friends here who want to hang out often. If we did I'd welcome them of course, but that would add a bit to the already full load. So how we {heck, I} stay sane?! Here's 5 things I do to stay sane while my other half works and studies his butt off at the same time.

1. Let him do his thing
Literally. My way to study and cram stuff in is in no his way. I need a quiet, or maybe a semi-quiet, environment. I can't have music blasting or chatter next or around me. I also can't have distractions around me. My laptop stays shut off {unless needed to study and type homework up}. My phone is on silent and far far away from me. His way? It's all over the place. Laptop open, YouTube open {I am not joking}, music blasting and what not. He studies for about 15 minutes and then takes an hour break or more. I do it the opposite around.
So, I am forcing myself to let him do his thing. It has clearly worked for him in the past and until now so why make him change a thing. I also try to stay far away from him because, I so want to turn off the TV, radio and Internet so badly every time I see him "study".

2. Find something that occupies you, and you only
I read, he doesn't. So while he is doing his thing at night or whenever I am around I grab a book and start reading it in the bedroom. Or, I catch up on my TV shows. It's little things like that. It's things I only do. Or, if I feel I need to splurge...I go shopping by myself but we all know how this usually ends. Find something that you can do by yourself and only yourself. It definitely helps not to be around hearing him curse at the assignments or life.

3. Schedule, schedule, schedule
While I was studying I had my planner, and I wrote down when I had midterms, assignments due, and finals. I also wrote down when I needed to return certain items, turn something in, had a date, and needed to meet up with my monthly book club. I scheduled it and I made sure I wouldn't miss any thing. Well, B is a guy. He doesn't schedule well. He doesn't write down important things. It's a guy thing. So, it is important to schedule for your other half so you stay sane while your other half is trying to survive under so much school pressure as well. Half the time he didn't remember he had an exam in a week. I knew it though and reminded him. So yes, schedule schedule schedule...for you, for your partner, and yes, even for the two of you. No one has time to forget anything or miss a special date or meeting.

4. Schedule Time Out
This may sound like part of #3 and it may as well be but it is crucial to schedule a time out day. This day doesn't have to be a day where a date occurs or you go hiking together {that's a date, too, no?!}. It's a day no one does a school or work related thing. Sleep in, don't touch the course load, don't even check any social media {and if you have to, have scheduled times for that like 9-10am and 5-6pm}, don't do chores...just be you and only you. Watch a movie together, explore the city, or yes, go on a date for all I care...just don't do a thing about school or work or both. Take that time to be with your partner. It's called time out from the work/school take that day as an opportunity to find a way back to your pre-school/work days. And turn your darn cellphone off!!! I schedule such a day {yes, see, I do it} about every two weeks. It's not easy but it is oh so worth it.

5. Picture the Outcome
Yes, picture the outcome. Let's be honest here, there are times when I want to tear every single book and notebook of his apart. I'm done with school and seeing him being exhausted and in a way unhappy makes me sad and mad. It's frustrating to work and go to school. It's frustrating to be in school at times. He wants to be done. I get it. I can't help him much with the load. I don't make him do a ton around the house unless really necessary. I want him to focus on his studies. I have to remind him of the outcome almost every day. There are times he wants to quit. Badly. I have to sit down and make him picture the outcome. Once he pictures it he knows he is on the right track towards something awesome. It's hard to do this when you're exhausted and fed up, so trust me when I say that we have to picture the future almost daily these days. Yet, it is doable. And it will be so beneficial!!

These 5 ways are not the only ways to stay sane while your other half works or/and studies. There's is a ton more, yet, these five steps have helped us stay relatively sane. Granted, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit it, there are moments all these steps fail. We are only human. Yet, I make an effort to help out and be as understanding and supporting as I can be. There is only so much I can do at times. I can't write a paper for him, and I can't help with projects but I can help with printing out things, letting him do his thing while I cook or clean. It's the little things that count. And when I'm all fed up I grab a book, pour me a glass of red wine and head into the bedroom while I get lost in the written word. That always sounds like a fabulous time out for me. ;)

It's definitely not easy to do both, work and school. I see the future and I know he does too but we all know, sometimes the future looks too far away and even off the wishful, easy path. Oftentimes we have to take the rougher, more difficult way to get to where we want to be. He's chosen the middle route and I am so hoping this won't kick him or me in the butt one day.

We work hard to get to where we want to end up and I have to tell him every day how much I appreciate his hard work, his dedication and determination. He's usually not into praise like that but he certainly needs to hear this; more now than before. He actually told me he needed to hear these words so I am making this effort to let him know how I feel about his hard work as often as I can. We have had our differences and as I mentioned, sometimes these five steps fail. Again, we are only human. We are not perfect. Yet, that imperfection makes life beautiful and quite worth the struggle.

Any school/work stories out there that you'd like to share? Are you still {or again} in school trying to better yourself? Whatever you do I hope you are doing a great job, and keeping yourself and your family as sane and happy as even possible.


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