When it’s everything, all at once

No matter what my to-do list looks like on any given day, and no matter the size of the projects on that list, I seem to always be convinced that I’m invincible. I don’t fully understand that, because at the beginning of every week and every day, I ask myself how the heck am I ever going to pull this off? but without ever believing that I won’t.

That’s partly because thus far, I’ve never actually failed to get everything finished. I’ve come dangerously close, and sometimes my work hasn’t been at its best, but I have always managed to get by somehow. It’s also partly because I feel completely trapped. Failing to turn in an assignment or to get at least a B in a class aren’t really options if I want to keep my scholarship. But the final reason is that my academic work is one of few things that I can actually control (though admittedly even that is in question sometimes these days), and I think I refuse to believe that that could escape me.

I’ve had a good handful of people counsel me recently to let go of things once in awhile, to give myself a break, because it’s pretty obvious that my level of stress is wreaking havoc on me. I freely admit that. But honestly… I don’t know how to let go. I don’t know how to balance being academically responsible and being emotionally and physically and spiritually responsible.

If I were hospitalized with appendicitis, academia would understand and graces would be given and allowances made. If only there was so much sympathy for struggles that can’t be proven by a doctor’s note.

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When it’s everything, all at once

2 thoughts on “When it’s everything, all at once

  1. I have similar struggles. For me, it’s often a pride issue. I seek out approval from professors before I seek approval from the Lord; I tell myself, “I don’t have time to read my Bible or pray today, I’ll do that after I finish this huge project.”

    I don’t know the specifics about your spiritual life, but maybe this bit of wisdom will help you – it’s from my priest, with whom I’ve talked about my academic pride several times.

    He said, “If you make time for the Lord, He’ll bless you with time in return.” Basically, if we make time for our spiritual lives and relationship with God, He’ll bless us with the time and energy to get things done.

    “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard(M) for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8)

    I like to remember that verse when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, or like I just can’t do it all. Be at peace; your Heavenly Father knows what you need.

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