Indulgence in Stress

I have been inundated with papers.  I have just a few weeks left of college (!) but at the moment all my energy is focused on writing term papers.  Two of which happen to be due tomorrow.  An additional challenge:  write and illustrate a children’s book.  Writing it was a breeze, and a lot of fun.  Illustrating?  Awful.  I hope my professor doesn’t mind stick figures and awkward, handless people.

Overall, it’s not a truly terrible workload.  I’m lucky that I don’t have to worry about a capstone or thesis like some of my friends.  I’ve been dedicating most of my free time since Friday, and am about 3/4 of the way there.  Mostly I’ve been getting through the hours sitting with my laptop in front of me by treating myself.  I take breaks, I’ll have some chocolate, I give myself free time to read a romance novel.  I know that I’d never get through this marathon paper-writing without indulging myself, which is why I started relatively early– almost a whole week in advance of the due date.  I could have started yesterday, but then I wouldn’t have had time to rest, and would have been much more miserable.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel:  on Thursday, I hand the papers in, will probably stop for a bottle of wine on my way home from class, and then can settle in with a new episode of Bones and the two Reeses Peanut Butter eggs I’ve been saving for that moment.  And I can relax… until finals, at least.

When you’re busy, do you treat yourself? How?  Or do you prefer to wait until it’s finished before rewarding yourself?

5 thoughts on “Indulgence in Stress

  1. LeeB.

    First, congrats on almost being done with college! When I’m busy with any sort of work or home project, I always go for the finish line first and foremost before indulging in any reward. It just seems to me the reward is all that much sweeter if I know I’m done with the particular task.

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  2. DabneyAAR

    My life is just one long list of a million things to do, many of which has deadlines I set for myself. (Do laundry for the kids today. Write a blog piece. Check on stock market. Make some jewelry for an upcoming show. Ask husband how day went. Nag middle son about finishing up his on-line class. Edit brochure for office.) I find I have to just walk away and do something just to do it at least once a day.

    Fortunately, I have the world’s best bathtub so about once a day, I fill it up, get a book, and just sit in the tub for an half an hour or so. My husband–a keeper–calls it my bobbling time.

    I also, at least once a month, take my only daughter–I have three sons–and we get a pedicure together. We look at silly magazines and just be together. I am such a believer in all work and no play is no way to live.

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  3. Jane AAR Post author

    Dabney — my roommate, too, indulges in hot baths. I do sometimes, but we don’t have a great bathtub for it.

    LeeB- good for you for being able to work through to the end! I just can’t — I need that downtime or indulgence to keep me going.

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  4. Jean

    First, huge congratulations on graduating from university! Another milestone over; hopefully, fifty more successful ones to come for you.

    In terms of indulgence, I’ll probably take a book from my Highly Anticipated TBR pile, ignore the review books that have been putting me through a really, really long slump (like now), and slouch down with some apple cider and popcorn.

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  5. Tee

    Jane Granville: When you’re busy, do you treat yourself? How? Or do you prefer to wait until it’s finished before rewarding yourself?

    There was a time when I did the waiting for completion and sometimes still do, depending on the timing of the project. But what I really try to do now is include small blocks of time for myself in the middle of a project. That way, I’m energized frequently throughout it. For instance, when I was almost consistently busy with my parents when they were still living and not doing well, I needed to give myself breaks later in the evening to recharge for the next day or time.

    I once heard listed at a motivational meeting the hazards of never stopping for a little time for yourself. The speaker said to imagine yourself with an apron full of apples in front of you. If you continuously give them away one by one without replenishing them, you will run out of apples eventually. So she said one needs to replace the apples (energy) so that you will always have them to give away. During those critical times with my parents, when someone asked where I was going or doing, I would respond with, “I’m replacing my apples.” That was all I needed to justify taking time for the library, to read a book, have a drink with my husband, etc.

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