Looking for something I mentioned in a post? You can find it in my shop!

Looking for something I mentioned in one of my posts? You can find it here, at my shop! Just click! Thank you for your support! A Gathering of Days Shop

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mid-Week Update on Living Intentionally

I decided that rather than waiting until next week, that I would go ahead and do a little mid-week update on how I'm coming with my goals for living intentionally.  I'm excited to share because it is actually going so well, much better than I expected, and I think a lot of it is because I have cut back on the amount of time I spend studying for school.  I know, that may not sound like a good idea, but let me explain.

As spring break was coming to a close last Friday, I began to notice that I was feeling a little down, like a depression was sneaking in, and since I didn't want to go there I did what I always do when I get "that feeling", I sat down and journaled and prayed through it. What I discovered what that it was school that was depressing me, having had a week at leisure and able to spend my days with Kate and engaging in activities that I loved, I wasn't ready to return to the long days of stress and frustration of school work, particularly math.  Prior to spring break, I was spending ten to sometimes twelve hours a day studying and doing homework. Some of that is to be expected, since three of my classes are online and the other is a T-TH class with at least 2 hours of homework each night. But since that class is algebra, that equates to at least double and sometimes triple that amount of time for me. My other subjects come easily enough, but math overwhelms me and because I don't do that well on the tests, I have to score high on my daily work.  In thinking through this, I realized that when I focus on math for more than 2-3 hours at a time my brain actually stops calculating, or at least, it slows down considerably. It's the quantity myth, you know, the one that tries to convince you that the more hours you study the better your grade will be.  For all of my effort I scored a lousy 78 on my exam, which thankfully was passing but not the grade I was aiming for. Sadly, I probably could have studied half that amount of time and still made the same grade, and realizing that I knew things needed to change. 

So I decided that this week I was going to handle my school work a little differently and see how things went, I figured if the plan didn't work I would realize early enough that I could make a few changes to ensure everything was completed in time.  So I sat down and mapped out all of my assignments and their due dates and roughly calculated how much time I felt I needed to spend on each one in order to make a grade that was reasonably acceptable to me and obviously passing. Notice I said "reasonably acceptable", because that is another fact I have come to terms with, C's get degree's, and while I hope that my grades will be higher, especially when it comes to math I'm fine with a C. Once I had that all mapped out I set to work, completing two assignments that I knew I could do in thirty minutes or less, both of which were not due for another week, but checking them off my list and knowing they were already submitted freed me up to concentrate on the harder and more time consuming assignments.  I am taking Texas History this semester, and while the class is interesting, I've discovered that I score higher on the exams if I just read quickly through the chapters and then the day before the exam I study the chapter notes the professor provides.  Waiting to review until the day before the exam means names, dates and events are all pretty fresh in my mind since the reading assignments are often spread out over a two to three week period.  I sometimes have a hard time remembering what I ate for breakfast yesterday, much less who is considered to be the "Father of Texas Education".  English composition is my favorite subject and I score well and with relative ease.  I can crank out an A+ essay in often half the time I can figure out an algebra problem, which is sincerely frustrating.  What this means essentially is that most of my time that is devoted to school is actually devoted to math, and that is a good thing, but aside from making sure I was allowing more time for it, I also wanted to make sure I wasn't spending too much time on it.  So I set a new daily goal, to close my books and be finished with school for the day by 4:00 p.m.  If I have a day when I have to be out of the house for an appointment that might stretch to 6:00, but no later, or I might get up earlier and spend a few extra hours in the morning on my assignments, which is what I did today.  I realize it's only Wednesday so I've only had this plan in place for three days now, but I'm already noticing a considerable difference in my spirit and I'm thinking, hoping that I'm on to something here and that it continues to work well.

Managing the amount of time I spend studying has allowed more time for me to relax and spend time with my mother and daughter or engaged in the things that bring me joy.  One of my goals for this week was to read Notes From A  Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally by Tsh Oxenreider.   I think on Sunday I hoped to have read the first 5 chapters, but I loved the book SO much and because I arranged my days to allow for more time to read for pleasure, I am already finished!  If living intentionally is something that is important to you I HIGHLY recommend this book, in fact I'll be writing a review on it very soon.  I've actually now moved on to a book that focuses on another subject that is near and dear to my heart, self care.  The books is titled Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness and a Full Nights Sleep and is written by a mother and daughter, Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph.  I'm about a third of the way into it already and really enjoying it.   Managing my time better has also allowed me to spend time with my mom.  Monday was free cone day at Dairy Queen, and knowing how much my mom loves their soft serve cones, we took a little time out from our day to go for a little drive and indulge!  I've also been trying to listen to a few podcasts at night, which I really enjoy, but the past few nights I've fallen asleep, but sleep is a good thing, too!

Before I close I also wanted to one of my pictures from "Lent by Candlelight" which is one of my lenten intentions. Although I don't do it every night, I try at least a few times a week to turn off all of the lights once it gets dark and light my room with nothing but candles and a small string of soft lights that are hanging above my bed.  I'm still reading during this time, primarily on my Kindle, but I am off of the computer, not watching TV, the room is quiet and cool and beautiful, very relaxing!  And with that, even though it's 10:00 p.m. here I think I'll light them for an hour or two and do a bit of reading now!

Until then, take joy!

No comments:

Post a Comment