Saturday, April 23, 2011

spring break

Tonight is the last night of my spring break-- okay, well, technically tomorrow night is the last night, but since I'll be doing schoolwork at school, it doesn't really count.  I've only been home for three days, and yet I feel like I've learned quite a bit more than I have in the last few weeks at school.  I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who worked at home, and I say that in all sincerity-- I never had to worry that my parents wouldn't be able to come pick me up from school when I was sick, or that there wouldn't be a snack when I got home.  When I come home, I still kind of feel like that-- like I can toss my backpack (read: suitcase) on the couch and sit at the kitchen table and tell my mom about my day and then go see what cool thing my dad has sculpted or planted.

     I mentioned a few posts ago that March and April are difficult months for me.  Some of that has to do with a lack of sunshine, most of that has to do with my being an extreme perfectionist regarding schoolwork.  I was hoping that getting out of my dorm room and out of New York would help me put things back into perspective, and sure enough, I think that happened.  So (and frankly this is as much for my own benefit as anyone else's, because as the semester goes on, I'm anticipating coming back to reread this with startling frequency), here's what I've been considering while enjoying a bit of regression at home.

  •  Not every project can be my baby.

Sometimes you have to do something just to get it done.  I like for my projects to be the best they can possibly be, and to be a really good representation of my design and drawing abilities.  And when I'm doing a non-design-related project, like a paper, I like to do that as well as I possibly can, too.  I like to consider my thesis, take lots of notes, get all of the wording just right... but I'm learning now that that isn't always possible.  I'm not advocating doing a slap-dash job with projects, but I'm finally figuring out that it is not worth spending half an hour agonizing about whether to add top-stitching to a drawing of a pocket.

  • The best way to stop stressing about how much work I have to do is to actually do it.

This one's pretty self-explanatory.  When I have a ton of schoolwork due, it's not uncommon for me to get completely paralyzed with stress and become completely unable to work on anything because I don't think there's any way I can ever get everything done.  These are the times when I end up curled up in a blanket in my round blue chair hugging a pillow and blankly staring at my desk.  Which is not productive at all, and then I only become more stressed out because suddenly I've wasted an hour and a half hugging a pillow and staring at my desk.  I was in a really awful, sad mood right before I came home, because all I could think about was how much I needed to get done during spring break and how little I felt motivated to get out of bed when my alarm went off.  It just seemed sort of pointless-- if I couldn't get everything done, how could I get anything done?  But when I came home, I spent some time doing sketches for my two swimwear classes, and I finished them to where they should be for class this Friday, and I felt a bit better.  Then I did a licensing assignment, and wrote a paper, and started sketching for my outerwear class, and then I felt a lot better.  While the next month or so is still going to be incredibly rough (as it always is), I've made significant progress on every assignment that's due for the rest of the semester.  Yay!

  • Put the glass down.

This is an expression that my mom has used for as long as I can remember.  It has nothing to do with drinking (I prefer to drown my stresses in yarn and floral prints...I mean that in the least sanctimonious way possible), it has to do with realizing that you've done as much as you can do.  Sometimes you just have to stop and back away.  This applies to schoolwork, this applies to people.  Sometimes things have just gone as far as they can go and no good will be accomplished by continuing.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter, if you celebrate it, and if not, I hope you have a spectacular Sunday!

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