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Thinking back on BLC 23

Monday, December 16, 2013

Well, the 23rd round of the BLC is almost over. It has been, for me, a really really hard round--not because of anything that my team (Azure Destinations) did, but because I was both retaking my comprehensive exams (I had timed out from when I had taken them the first time, so I had to redo them) AND massively revise my dissertation into a (hopefully, knock on wood) defensible draft, which I had to submit at the end of this past semester.

As a result, I've been working 10 hours a day at least 5 days a week, and most weekends as well, since March. I've had almost no social life other than weekly fencing practices, which I justified as a stress reliever. Since August, those hours bumped up to 12 hours a day and EVERY weekend. I haven't made a fencing practice since October. I had multiple stretches in there where I worked until 3 or 4 am, slept a little bit, and then woke up and continued working. I pulled more than one all nighter. I've been stressed, sleep deprived, and physically in pain (my carpal tunnel/pinched ulna nerve/tendinitis has flared up with a vengeance). I've not slept well when I did sleep because I'm so stressed. My headaches have gotten bad again. I'm struggling to remember to eat and when I do eat to not eat crap because it's easy. I've barely seen my husband some weeks because he's been going to bed before I emerge from my office.

My goals for this round were embarrassingly modest. I wanted to at least maintain my weight. I wanted to maintain my exercise streak--so minimum of 20 minutes of exercise 5 days a week (I need those 2 days of rest physically, but I often exercise quite a bit longer than 20 minutes normally). I wanted to drink tea instead of soft drinks for my morning caffeine. I wanted to eat breakfast every day, even if it's usually just a wedge of cheese. I wanted to meditate every day as a means of controlling stress. And I wanted to take at least a little bit of "me" time every day because I knew that I need that. I knew that stress was going to be my big enemy this semester and I knew I was going to be pushing myself VERY hard. And I wanted to pass my comprehensive exams and get my dissertation submitted.

How did I do? Well, as far as my health related goals, it was a bit of a mixed bag. I gained weight over the semester--not as much as I might otherwise have, but I gained. I maintained my streak, admittedly some days by the skin of my teeth, and my workouts have progressively gotten shorter as my time got tighter. But I finished the round as a streaker (or at least I will assuming I workout today or tomorrow) but it was... close. I mostly remembered to eat breakfast, though I wasn't perfect. Almost every morning started off with tea, and not pop, and I'm kind of proud of the fact that for my second exam and the last week on my dissertation, while I was up to 3 *pots* of tea a day to keep going, I didn't drink pop. I didn't even especially want it. I started out fairly strong on the meditating but then it slid and I finally gave up on that goal. I did however take at least 15 minutes of "me" time just about every day. And I passed my exams and submitted my draft, all without completely losing all of my healthy lifestyle goals--they've deteriorated, but I'm still holding onto them.

So I call the round I success, even if it wasn't a spectacular success.

As for Azure, I feel like I was often the anchor holding them down, which I am sad about. I wasn't as helpful/supportive/encouraging as I felt I should be... I was barely holding myself together. I didn't travel, I didn't post a lot on blogs and sparks pages, and I wasn't losing weight. My team, however, has been awesome, constantly full of support and encouragement and even being willing to sending me text reminders so I wouldn't forget to weigh in and go floater because I had that few brain cells left for anything that wasn't grad school (I even completely forgot about jury duty, and that's not like me at all. I realized it a month later and called them up to apologize--thankfully they were really nice about it and rescheduled so I'm now due for jury duty in early January). So my team has been extremely awesome and I'm very grateful to them.

I'm hoping that next round, while I still be busy with grad school (I have to defend and do any necessary rewrites) that I will be able to give more back to the team. And hopefully do better on the healthy lifestyle front and maybe even lose a little weight before graduation *grin*
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EILEEN828
    I'm so glad you made it through! That was tough and you should be very proud of what you've accomplished. I hope you get some sufficient rest and play time before you have to get back to it. Best of luck to you. You're doing it! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2778 days ago
    Zanna - I know this round was very stressful for you. I also know that your posts always made me look at how much one person can accomplish. While I felt bad for you in the sense that I knew you were overwhelmed, I also felt motivated to do more. I also saw everyone respond to you and I think it helped us all come together better as a team in that we were all pulling for you to complete your many requirements. And you did! It was a time of celebration for all of us. So very proud of you. emoticon
    2781 days ago
    I think you did awesome as well - even with your crazy busy schedule you participated, you showed up and checked in. I believe you have been more supportive than you realize - you always made an effort to be on the chat and have kept up with what everyone else is going through! I never thought of you as an anchor at all.

    And I was impressed with your foresight in keeping your goals simple and easy to manage. I think that was very smart!!
    2781 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    Zanna, you are one of the most awesomest of peoples. I think you did FANTASTIC this round with all you had going on irl. You didn't forget your goals and you weren't perfect... PHHHTTTT! I didn't have half your stuff to contend with and I felt a lot of the same "letting the team down" stuff.

    Congrats on getting through a tough semester with your healthy lifestyle still intact! I'm looking forward to next round with you!
    2782 days ago
    There are so many people who would have given up entirely on their goals, dealing with what you did (I might even have, thinking about it!), but you didn't. Just knowing that you stuck it out makes this round a success! You should be very proud of yourself for pushing through and making it to the end. Now get some rest!
    2782 days ago
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    2782 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8634484
    Kal has said it all, but I second it. emoticon emoticon
    2782 days ago
    Claim It! Now it's done, you will achieve your heart's desire. Praying for just that... emoticon
    2782 days ago
    You're right; you ARE an anchor...not an anchor weighing us down but rather an anchor that supports us as a team and the BLC no matter how stressed and overwhelmed you are. So many times you could have easily gone floater but you never have no matter HOW much you had on your mind you were there doing more than we could have expected under the circumstances Zanna. You never once took the easy way out. You stuck it out and THAT is the kind of anchor you are to Azure.

    2782 days ago
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