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Midterm Reviews

I'm going to take this opportunity to review myself for the semester, but also to talk about what's on my mind. It's been a really difficult year and I think it's important to talk about it so I can remember what I'm going through later on and hopefully notice some sort of growth within myself reflected in this blog.

I spend a lot of time feeling like I'm not good enough. I'm too hard on myself. I don't think it is fair to compare my work to the work of my peers because my situation is completely different, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I am not able to keep up and I let it get to me in the worst sort of way. I have 18 credit hours this semester and I work about 15 hours per week. When I get home, it's dinner time. My children go to two different schools right now and they have their own individual lives with schedules and responsibilities that I have to keep up with. When you factor in that I also drive a little under 2 hours or so a day, there isn't a lot of time left. Being a single parent makes time seem like it's flying by twice as fast. My children and my domestic responsibilities come first. I have to maintain their happiness. I have to try to find time to consider my own.

This semester I have fully realized that I am not a "live to work" type of person. I have unhealthily neglected my personal happiness. I know I said at junior reviews that I was going to try to let go of my situation, but I have tried and it's just not possible. It's my reality and it's something that I have to treat very carefully. An imbalance of priorities could deeply affect the well-being of my children and their security with me as a parent and that is unacceptable. School is important to me but nothing is more important than they are.

I love design. I love how it makes me feel and the challenges it brings. I love being able to learn something new with each project. I enjoy being at school. I feel at home here. The amount of self-discipline and structure I have gleaned since I have started school here again has been unbelievable. Design principles carry over to every aspect of my life and I will be forever appreciative of that. I don't know where I'd be without design because it has helped me discover my creative place in this world. But with all of this information comes a lot of pressure, and I'm still trying to learn how to cope with that.

Part of the pressure I induce upon myself has to do with the fact that if I don't do well at school, it impacts more than just my grades. I want the best for my children and I want to make sure they always do their best as well. When I got divorced five years ago, it was unexpected, it was awful, it was devastating. I thought I had my life figured out. I never thought I'd have to find a way to support a 3 month old and a 3 year old on my own. It took some time, but I am so glad I was able to make it back to school here.

I have to be very sensitive to the fact that Mallina, Roman and I simply don't get enough time together and this needs to be remedied in alternative ways. Today they wanted to play outside, so we did. I took my computer outside and worked as they played. I don't want to take away from the joys of their childhood just because I have to work all of the time. They are only little once.

I work non stop, and it is frustrating when it appears as though I'm not keeping up with deadlines when I know how constant my workflow is. I have sacrificed a lot of time away from them to accomplish my goals, so that time has to be worth it. When I feel behind I try to do even more to keep up. I have done things to improve my time management and I have plenty of self-discipline. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day and I need to learn to be okay with that.

As far as design goes, I have streamlined my process to try to make efficient decisions to allow time for revisions. I am trying to have more fun with design in general and be a little less serious. Sometimes it is easy to slip into tunnel vision and forget how much better the big picture of my situation will turn out to be because of my hard work. When I think of that, I always feel re-inspired.

I am making it my prerogative to be more understanding with myself. That is my goal for the rest of the semester. I know without a doubt that I will have everything finished. I just need to be more sensitive to my situation and give myself more encouragement rather than criticism. Also, I'd like to stop worrying so much about what other people think. I didn't used to do that, I'm not sure what's changed but I'm ready to be free of the burden. It's important to be aware but it's not okay to worry over it like I do. I'm also trying to work on being more confident. I like to think everything can always be improved.

I always try to do the best that I can.