At around 5:00 pm yesterday, I looked at the clock and the work I still had before me to complete. I knew that even if I went out and got a gallon of hot coffee and stayed up for the next 14 hours, not only would I still not complete the assignment, I would also be too tired to function during what is arguably the most important week of the year at my job. So I made a decision: I would call my professor in the morning, tell her that I gave up on completing the assignment on time, and I would take the penalty for being late.
I feel good about this decision. I’m proud of myself for not chipping away at my health for the “A,” and for accepting my limitations. I’m not so proud that I easily could have prevented this if I had taken the assignment in small chunks instead of in a Goliath I tried to defeat in one weekend. Setting a daily goal of just two written pages would have gotten me to completion.
I’m slowly learning that although I’m a deadline-driven person, a scary deadline looming over me doesn’t always produce the best work. Judging by how I spent my week, I’m learning what my priorities are, too. I’m an employee first, a writer second, a woman trying to maintain a healthy back third, a student fourth, and somewhere down the line I’m a daughter and a friend. I think this makes me a terrible student at life, but at least I’m learning.