Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life Happens When You're Busy Ignoring Your Plans

I have been terribly overwhelmed with things of late for no reason I can put into words because there is no one thing.  There are a myriad of little things that all flutter about and cause me to feel overwhelmed and I forget things.  I forget things as evidenced by the fact that I thought I had posted six different reviews and two quote posts and more and guess what?  I never posted them.  But you know that because you never read them.

I am determined to focus.  Somehow.  To that end, I have my white board and I am going to not only put things on there but I am going to cross things off, actively checking it in the morning, afternoon, and again in the evening to make sure I am focusing on what needs to be done. 

Will it work?  Only if I work it and, let’s be honest, it may be a while before it becomes a habit but I simply have to do something.  And you’ll know it’s working if you actually start seeing posts from me.

It could happen.  But it would have to happen between a few other things. 

Things like what? you ask.

Well, my ass is being effectively handed to me as I try to work through this medical billing & coding course. I don’t know where the disconnect lies, why I cannot grasp the content, but for the first time in my life I am not comprehending things when I am truly trying to understand, to do well.  Hours of studying keep me from exercising and I burn myself out pouring over the content in hopes of something clicking.

And nothing clicks.

Then I get up the next day and I try again and again and . . .

Somewhere along the way I signed up for the Fantasy and Science Fiction course on coursera.  I think I have a theme for the first paper (The Female Catalyst:  Women and Girls as Instrument and Impetus for Change in Grimm’s Fairy Tales) but will I find the time to write it?   I guess I’ll know soon enough.  The paper is due on Tuesday so I don’t have a lot of time in which to make it happen. 

All of the above is resulting in my experiencing insomnia which, needless to say, adds insult to injury.  I find it harder to focus when I am tired.  I’m caught in a horrendous catch-22.  I have anxiety because I didn’t do well on a quiz so I lose sleep.  Then I try to sleep but can’t because I am so worried about how poorly my studies are going.  The next day I try to study but I am tired and it is hard to focus but I have no choice and try to soldier through. That night maybe I get to sleep, tossing and turning a bit, but is better than not sleeping at all.  I shuffle up the next morning and try to hit the ground running only to do poorly on a test, knowing I still have an exam to face . . . and then I can’t sleep because that night I’m freaking out.

So if I sound cranky and discouraged it’s because I am.  I’m ready for the next part of my life to begin but I still have miles to go.  A big fat bah humbug to the past couple of weeks and a raised cup of cheer to today and turning things around.


  1. Hey, Satia, I was just writing a little reply about balance to you on my own blog and then I came over here to see this post. Sounds like balance is a challenge for you right now and I hope that you can find a way to shift your focus from grades/exams to what you're actually getting out of the courses you're taking so you can get some sleep! White boards are a nice idea. I tend to use my phone alarm a lot for things I am not allowed to forget. BTW, interesting idea in your essay here about the women in fairy tales. That tight word count only allows you to scratch the surface, which I think you've done!

    1. I am constantly misplacing my cell phone. It's rather amusing, actually. Like a running gag. My children tease me that, if I answer the phone when they call, they're shocked.

      Thanks for the feedback. I ended up writing a second paper. I think my problem with the word count is that I don't feel like I can really explore a topic but I'm going to try to find a smaller theme for the next paper, maybe focus on a single moment of the story, a single chapter, or do a quick comparison and contrast of two characters. Better yet, maybe two of the secondary characters.

      The white board is helping but I am not yet in the hard core habit of checking it.

  2. Hi Satia, thanks for your comments on my blog! I've also been going through a time when I feel scattered and overwhelmed, so the moment I saw your post here, I felt instant camaraderie.

    One thing I noticed, was your comment, "I don’t know where the disconnect lies, why I cannot grasp the content, but for the first time in my life I am not comprehending things when I am truly trying to understand, to do well. Hours of studying keep me from exercising and I burn myself out pouring over the content in hopes of something clicking." Since I've taught study skills and often coach students on study skills, I have some suggestions. I hope you don't mind if I share them here.

    I suspect that you are actually spending too much time studying. That burn out you mention means that when you study, you're probably not studying effectively. What little I know about medical billing and coding suggests that this is a memory-intensive course. When you have lots of little bits of information to learn there are a couple of things you can do to improve your ability to retain stuff. The first is the easiest: break up the information into its components and work with only 2 or 3 at a time.

    For example, use index cards to create flash cards, one card per code. Now, take just 2 or 3 of them and work with these until you've got that information memorized. You can keep the rest of the deck with you and, as you master each set, exchange it for a new set. Then, every night right before you go to bed, flip through all the cards you've worked with that day. Sleep will actually help you to process the information (if you are able to rest).

    Gotta go! They're kicking me out of the learning center.

    1. Pamela, How can I thank you for putting so much thought in your comment. I've been trying to walk away from the one course a little more than before. Unfortunately, it isn't the type of content that works with flashcards but I can't just keep reading the same content over and over again and hope something clicks. I can't say that my walking away has helped because I'm still struggling with the same chapter but maybe soon I'll be able to say I've moved onto the next chapter.