You’d think after being a student…for a long, long time…and then teaching for 8 years, I’d be used to end of semester stress. I’m not. I know when it comes, how long it lasts, and what it entails, but I still haven’t learned how to deal with it.
As a student, I would eat candy while I wrote my papers. My favorite was peanut M&M’s because, well, at least it had peanuts, and peanuts mean protein. I’d eat and eat candy, drink soda, write my brilliant papers, and survive the end of the semester.
As a teacher, the end of semester may not mean writing papers, but I certainly have to read and grade a lot of them. A TON of them. So many papers that I often consider using them to build a fort. I haven’t grown out of my crap eating habits, though. At the end of each semester, I make sure that I have candy, cookies, and cupcakes, and I eat my way through grading. I’ve tried eating carrots, grapes, and other healthy things, thinking that it was simply the act of snacking on something, but I always found my way back to the sweets.
This past week, I’ve been eating healthy meals, but my snacking while grading has been out of control. What’s making it worse this year is having two small children who just want to play with their Mama. The guilt over not being able to cuddle or play when they want to has made the eating worse. I bought several boxes of Tastykakes at Wegmans, raided what’s left of the Easter candy, have been drinking way too much soda, and…well, you get the picture. I feel like crap. But I continue to eat these horrible, unhealthy foods.
And I’m giving myself permission to do it until the grading is over. I’m hoping to be finished with everything by next Friday. That’s 9 more days of crap, folks.
I just feel like I can’t deal with the life stress, work stress, and kid stress AND try to stay on track with Weight Watchers and eating healthy. That makes me feel incredibly weak. I should be able to balance everything and take care of myself. I shouldn’t turn to candy & other sweets. I should find healthy alternatives. It’s not that difficult.
I think what’s making all of this worse is that I’m having major doubts about my career right now. I’ve been teaching part-time for 8 years. If I didn’t have my husband, I couldn’t live on what I make, and that scares me. I could go back to a corporate life, make a good salary, have benefits, and not have to bring any work home with me. I keep telling myself that I’ll give it one more year, and then a year passes without any hope of a full-time gig, and I fall into the academic cycle again.
I don’t know what the answer is, or how to fix anything right now. I’m just trying to survive the end of the semester.
Thanks for reading.