Sunday, April 10, 2011
Chemistry and Procrastination
My apologies for not having done this yet this year. I had to try to remember how to get here so I could actually write. Anyway, as the title implies, my biggest excuse is the chemistry class I have had to take in order to be able to apply to the nurse practitioner's program. Turns out, I cannot apply until next spring anyway, but I digress. This chemistry class has taken up so much of my time--and so much of the space my brain allots to worrying--that when I found out I couldn't apply to the NP program until next year, I was tempted to drop it. But the only thing worse than continuing to struggle along with it would be having to start it all over again, so here I am. It's not that I don't enjoy it. I have a wonderful, wonderful professor whom I am so grateful to have met. It never fails to amaze me how far people have traveled to teach me chemistry--my high school chemistry teacher emigrated from Greece as a young man; this gentleman emigrated from Lebanon. The least I can do is be grateful, and do my best. But, for those of you over 40--do you remember when you had to get reading glasses? And then, for some reason, you can't find your glasses, and you have to try to make out some small print anyway? How you can almost feel the lenses of your eyes creaking, trying desperately to stretch so you can make sense out of the blurry letters in front of you? Well, that is how my brain feels, trying to stretch itself to do the algebra involved in chemical equations after all these years. Also, when I study for a test, I review everything, do the sample problems, and feel as though I understand everything. But when I get to the test, aside from the anxiety factor, I feel as though my brain can only hold so many formulas at once. Some problems I will do just fine with, and some I will stare at, recognize I've successfully worked something exactly like it the night before, but be completely blank on the subject of how to do it again. One problem I've managed to hold onto, and the other has just completely spilled out. Then, of course, there's the fact that I'd rather be thinking about P, or wondering what Lisa's going to want for dinner, or dreading a certain doctor at work, etc. It really isn't that our minds deteriorate so much in middle age. It's just that we are juggling so much more, not only because of our life situations, but because of the complexity of the modern world in which we live. Nevertheless, I was feeling a lot less intelligent than I used to be--like I was doing worse than anyone else in the class--until I started talking to some of my fellow classmates and found that they shared many of my perceptions. At least I am now feeling like I am on the downhill slope, and not only will I soon be finished, but I'll at least pass, if not get a B. As for procrastination, I came to the realization this week that this basic personality trait of mine is what is sabotaging my efforts at weight loss. I have this tendency to think, "I can stick to my diet and exercise tomorrow." Of course, when it comes to even more unpleasant things than diet and exercise, I have always tended to procrastinate with the thought, "I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. And if I do, at least I won't have had to do ______________." But with weight loss and other things, I have to constantly remind myself that the sooner I accomplish certain goals, the sooner I will be able to have everything I want.