Thursday, May 10, 2012


I tried to look at my feet like normal when I took this picture, and then realized that I have to lean waaaaay over to see them. Better get a pedicure while I can still appreciate it! 
Looking at the camera instead of pretending to look at my feet seemed like a better idea. 

Academia: I love my job. I love helping students. They bring me so much joy. But I've found over the past two years that one of the most important things I can do to stay good at my job is to set boundaries with the students; that is, not being 100% available 100% of the time. Little things like locking my office door while I eat lunch have a huge impact on how I'm feeling about the students, my job, and myself at the end of each day.

I mention this because today was one of those days when I was very glad to have boundaries. I had offered to meet a new student this morning to help him find housing, imagining it would take a couple of hours at most, but he and his family ended up needing so much more of my time. At 1:00, I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since breakfast, and didn't see any signs of my charges slowing down, so I fibbed. I told them I had an appointment at 2:00, wrapped things up, dropped them off, and got myself some lunch. Which I ate with my feet up.

I used to have a hard time making myself follow through on these kinds of boundaries. After all, if I didn't have anything else on my calendar, shouldn't I help students who needed me? So I helped, but I often ended up feeling resentful and overextended. Ironically, pregnancy, a time in my life when another person is drawing from my own resources 24/7, has helped me stick to the limits I set with everyone else and not feel guilty for doing so. My baby needs me to eat lunch at a reasonable hour, so I do. I only have three months of "just us" time left with my husband, so I leave work on time and don't answer after-hours emails until the next day. Unless it's an emergency (which obviously I don't ignore), the students will live, and I stay physically and mentally healthy.

Sartorial: During this pregnancy, I've come to set some style boundaries too; mainly, I don't put anything on my body that is even remotely hot or constricting. For example, I haven't worn a pair of heels in six months. I'm not really afraid of falling over in them and have no issues with other pregnant ladies wearing them; they just sound so massively uncomfortable to me that I can't bring myself to stick one toe in. My wardrobe right now is pretty much exclusively loose dresses, cotton tops, and sandals, and I feel great. This is one boundary that may not be permanent, but is making me very happy for the time being!

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