Being a minimalist during grad school is hard.
My goal for Tuesday last week was to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. I had a terrific plan filled with a bubble bath, hot tea, a good book, and a peaceful yoga routine. What I ended up with was an obnoxious musical, strong coffee, the template for a seating chart, and a sore back that stayed propped up by insufficient pillows till 3 a.m.
My goal for Wednesday was self-explanatory: no makeup. Heck, who has time anyway? Tangent: I used to be the kind of girl who had to wear makeup every day. My skin is blotchy. My eyelashes are nonexistent, as are my lips. My cheeks are ashen. Over the summer I never wore makeup. There was no point; I would have sweat it off within ten minutes anyway. Now I don’t have to wear makeup to walk out in public. And my face enjoys the break from stress, too.
On Thursday I just tried to be thankful. To be alive. To have coffee. To be gaining an education. To have a job. It was a chore. Because some days you don’t want to be thankful; you just want to cry. I wanted to cry when I went to the endocrinologist and sat there, alone, for two hours. I wanted to cry when she reminded me yet again that I’m not allowed to become pregnant. I wanted to cry when my land lady emailed me and told me that my curtains were ugly. I wanted to cry when I went to Short Story Writing and got a B on my truthful anecdote that my teacher told me was fabricated. But I chose gratitude.
On Friday I tried to narrow down my stress triggers: thinking about deadlines, thinking about my future, thinking about sleeping, thinking about eating, thinking about work, thinking about breathing. Get the picture? I am the equivalent of stress.
On Saturday I went to the Clay Color Cafe with my mom and painted a new mug. Turquoise and Green. Two of the happiest colors in the world. Two beautiful hours spent with my mother before charging full steam ahead with books in one hand and a chili mocha in the other.
Sunday was my day of no plans, which turned into “What time are you picking me up? What snack are we bringing? Whose text am I proofreading now? What dessert am I baking?”
On Monday I felt productive when I cleaned out my junk drawer. I never knew I had accumulated so many plastic shopping bags.
On Tuesday my goal was to let go of a goal. Try to figure that out. I dropped the goal of homework. I decided sleep was more important, or in my case, proofreading a dissertation chapter.
Yesterday, I tried to ignore all my students and turn off my cellphone notifications. I wish I had because one texting conversation I had late last night that continued into today may haunt me for the rest of my semester.
Today I evaluated how much money I’ve spent this month. Over $130 on groceries thus far. Apparently I haven’t mastered minimalism in my eating habits.
Next week I begin my celebration of fall: Pumpkin Spice Latte, here I come! I’m proud to be an American and a feminist, and I will boldly drink my PSL with the best of them!