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Limitations

September 12, 2008

This was my first week back at university, and I have to say, it’s shaping up to look like a very full but fantastic term. I’m taking Investigative Journalism on Monday nights (taught by the managing editor for CBC), Reading & Writing Online (my first ever online course), Rhetorics of Gender, and Academic Writing: Humanities (in which we seem to spend all of our classes arguing. Sweet). So far I’m really enjoying all of them (disregarding my initial run-in with one of my profs) and although it’s been a chaotic week, I think I’ve managed to organize my time for them so that I can get everything completed as needed. It was a little overwhelming the first couple days but I can do it.

It’s been really difficult with the new apartment, because until yesterday, the painters were still in there. So it wasn’t until last night that I was able to move my bed and desk over to the new place. This weekend will be The Weekend That I Move, and also the one in which we buy a bunch of furniture which we are in rather dire need of (I promise to have pictures posted when our apartment is all moved in and beautiful!). It’s been really frustrating to live in limbo with boxes everywhere!

My father made an interesting point the other day, which made me think of Zandria’s thoughtful post (Making Goals: Say “I Will”), when he commented on how busy he seems to be now that he’s going back to university after retiring a few months ago. Then he remembered that when I was just a baby, he had taken a year off of work so that he could go to university. He had been taking 5 courses, commuting an hour each way every day to school, and also been taking care of 2 small children at the same time as my mum was working as a vet. And yet somehow, they had effectively prioritized so that it all worked out. And now he is wondering how he ever managed to do all of that when his current workload seems so daunting!

It’s really fascinating, the limits that we put on ourselves. We tell ourselves that we can’t do things or else we are doubtful of our abilities. Our lives are too busy to accommodate for anything else. No one else is as busy as we are!

This is the story that we tell ourselves. And yet. We are capable of so much more.

This year I’m taking 4 courses, working 3-4 days a week, moving into a new apartment, writing A LOT, and working on seeing if I can get into some editing business as well as work with some publications. I also want to fit in lots of cooking, exercising, reading, and playing into my life. To me, that seems like a rather full amount of things I will (thanks, Zandria!) do. But talking to loads of other people, I know that most people easily have the same amount of stuff on their plate as me and many others have far more things to do. Take for example my sister: she’s moving apartments, has become the Comments Editor for the school paper, works as a waitress, works as a receptionist, is taking a bunch of seminar courses at university, and somehow she manages to also have an awesome social life. And she organizes her time and money to accomplish all of this so she maintains high grades and can go traveling when she chooses.

What I’m really trying to get at is that you can do it. It might get to the point where you really believe that you are unable to do what you want to do, but with proper time management and a really careful look at what you want to prioritize, your options are endless, you can exceed your own expectations and go beyond your limitations.

The other thing I’m trying to get at? Be grateful that you aren’t as overloaded as other people! There’s always going to be someone who has more things to do than you, and they are able to do it. Therefore, you can do it too! I find people like my sister to be inspiring (and I swear I’m not just saying that to butter her up so that she’ll help me move boxes).

By the way- remember that confusing 2 lbs loss I was telling you about? Well, I weighed myself again today and I’m back up those 2 lbs. Considering that I have steadily been this weight since about April, I’m pretty sure that this is my body’s way of saying “This is the weight we like, and this is where you are staying”. Which is just fine with me. The body is so incredibly smart like that!

10 comments

  1. Another great post :). It made me think of a quote that my 5th grade elementary teacher had on the wal of her classrooml… “I can and I will.” So very true and inspiring. The hardest part is believing in ourselves, but once we do, even the “impossible” becomes possible, even second nature. It’s going to be busy, it’s not always going to be easy but you can do it, and so can I. Thanks for the reminder!


  2. Yay for adopting “I will!” I love it. And that’s awesome about your dad going back to school pretty much immediately after retiring. Good for him! (And what a great role model for you.) 🙂


  3. Back in the day, all I could take in school was reedin, righten, and rithmatic! Of course I did take, “Metaphysical Problems,” but then it was years after graduation before I ever figured out what that meant 🙂


  4. VERY interesting. I know when I was in school I always used to think people were crazy who’d say they couldn’t handle going back to university, it was soo much work. But now that i’m out that’s how I feel!

    I really liked your point that it’s all limits we put on ourselves by thinking that’s it’s more than we can handle. We can handle how ever much we believe we can.


  5. I liked this post. I agree with you – we can fit it all in if we try.


  6. Danielle- Grade 5 teachers are so smart. And I really agree with the hard part being believing in ourselves.

    Zandria- I love it too:)

    Dr. J- isn’t that always the way it goes!

    Randi- exactly. So essentially we set our own limits and restrictions. And that leaves a world of possibilities for us to play with!

    Running Knitter- and actually DOING it can be tough, but its definitely worth the effort.


  7. GREAT post – very inspiring!! Best of luck to you with the new school year!!


  8. I agree 100%! We can do all the things we want if we take the time to prioritize. I’m a big fan of scheduling out my whole day. This way I know I can get everything done that needs to be, and have my evenings free to spend with GP or to go out with friends.

    It isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and sometimes we have to drop an activity. But by and large, priorities and time management can take care of us!

    That’s great that your Dad is going back too!


  9. Great post, Sagan!
    You are correct when you say we all set our own limitations, and it’s wonderful to read that you have such a terrific mindset. The sky really is the only limit!
    And kudos to your dad for going back to university! Admirable.
    The Bag Lady should take some on-line courses or something. Or get a job. She’s so lazy……


  10. Veggiegirl- same to you!

    Gena- I like the scheduling too. Today I made 3 nice long lists of things to accomplish etc. My problem? I think my list- which is my life at present- is in my jeans pocket. Which is in the wash. Oh dear.

    Bag Lady- hehehe. The idea of you being lazy is hilarious. Trade you- I’ll come and do your outdoorsy stuff and you can come and do my class stuff. Deal?



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