Procrastinating

How many times have I used that as a post title or mentioned the word in a post now? Three? Four? A dozen? I don’t know and I don’t think I want to, but I’m going to do it again.

I have about thirteen weeks until the test, and since most pre-made schedules are for twelve weeks, bad reasoning says I have a week of “LSAT vacation.” I know it’s bad reasoning and really just flat-out stupid, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m not going to take the whole week, just today.

Yesterday I took my husband for his Birthmas (Christmas+Birthday) present, which was him getting to fly a small plane. As an added bonus, the instructor let me ride along for free in the back seat of the tiny plane. The husband is a great pilot and the instructor was incredible, but it was still a lot of work for me to be personally responsible for willing the plane to stay in the air.

We had intended to go to dinner and then some Christmas shopping afterword and not be home til late, but what really happened was a little dinner, walking around a mall that it turns out closed at about six thirty, sharing a small ice cream, and being home by around seven. We said thanks to the babysitters (the husband’s parents), put the kids to bed, started a TV show, and I was out cold by 9:30. I barely woke up at six this morning.

So I’m still tired. Both kids are teething, with something like ten teeth coming in between the two of them. They’re also both potty training, though the older one used to be fully trained, but has had some trouble in the last few months. It was a long day. So tonight I achieve nothing that involves much brainpower. I have two work projects due by Wednesday, but they can get done tomorrow. I also really should study since we have a friend coming to stay with us for Thursday through Saturday.

I’m not going to do any of that grown up responsible stuff. I’m going to pretend to run and watch some Supernatural, then when the kids go to bed I’ll try to watch a show with the husband again and probably be asleep by 930. It’ll be ok.

No. It’ll be great.

Going Home

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Last week my husband was out of town for work, so I took the kids to visit my parents for a couple days. There’s more to this story, but this site is about the journey to law school (I hope) so I’ll leave out most of those pieces. I’ll just say that we stayed busy the whole time, with over nine hours of the two-day trip spent in the car. By the time we got back late Wednesday night, my whole body was sore, most of all my tailbone.

I brought a notebook of notes from my book with me, but was only able to look at it for about ten minutes while we were at my parents’ place. Thursday I was still alone with the kids all day and was still so exhausted from traveling that I didn’t get any studying done after they went to bed. Friday I spent with my husband since he’d been gone for four days, then fell asleep almost as soon as the kids were asleep.

Saturday I was feeling better so I went to the library to get some studying done and learned the hard way that I can’t take five days off of studying. I did a little review, read some new material, then did a practice “game” set and got every single question wrong. I’d forgotten so much that I felt like I was guessing. I kind of remembered some things, but it turns out I haven’t drilled this stuff enough yet to have it deeply enough ingrained to overcome gaps in studying.

Now we know. So this morning I got some more studying done, read ahead, then took the kids to the museum (1). Tonight after dinner, I’m planning to get a little more studying in, with the idea that I’ll finish the book tonight or tomorrow and take another full practice test after work tomorrow to get a new score. Hopefully I’ll improve from my initial 156.

(1) I cannot recommend the museum enough! Our kids are two years old and will-be-one-next-week and it was fabulous. There’s a lot of NO TOUCHING, but enough “pwitty!” things to keep them distracted.

Challenges

I love this Paper House Luminary by Just Something I Made (click for source)

I knew when I started this project that there would be some challenges. Learning the LSAT is and will continue to be difficult. The law school application process, if the LSAT goes well enough, will be difficult. Actually doing law school if both those things go well will be a challenge probably like none I have had to tackle before.

One challenge I anticipated but didn’t fully realize the weight of is studying at home with two kids. I do most of my studying in the evenings when my husband is home to watch the kids. I have an office in our basement with a table and a folding chair and I sit down here and wade through my book slowly but surely. My husband and kids play upstairs or in the playroom in our basement.

I knew there would be some issues with the noise of the children playing and getting upset, but I didn’t realize just how unable I am to tune those out. I don’t know if that’s a natural maternal thing or if it’s just my anxious and nosy nature, but it is what it is. I cannot seem to concentrate well enough here, and trying to concentrate on learning to tune out certain sounds while trying to concentrate on trying to learn difficult material is just too much for me.

We live less than two blocks from the public library and I’d love to go there every night, but my husband doesn’t get home until 5 and we’re not done with dinner until after 6. The library closes at 6 Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, so on those days, studying must be done at home. I know I get less done and have to repeat things far more when this is the case.

Monday and Wednesday they’re open until 8, but for most of winter it’s just way too cold to walk outside (since the library is so close,┬ádriving is ridiculous) after dark unless there’s no alternative. It’s just not worth the pain of the cold hurting any exposed skin. Now that it’s starting to get nicer out, the library is a real option for me and I’m excited to see how much more quickly I’ll learn when I can focus for longer periods of time and am not distracted by constant unintentional scanning for sounds of distress.

So, while the studying is going well and I definitely feel like I’m doing better and learning something, it’s going slower than I thought. Spring will be great for my LSAT score, which is something I did not anticipate.

I should also┬ámention that there is no way I could do this without my husband to take care of the kids while I study, especially with the risk that it may all be for nothing (if the LSAT does not go well enough). He’s totally supportive of my efforts and does whatever needs to be done to help me try to meet my goals. This is why my studying only occurs from the time he gets home until the kids go to bed. The time between the kids going to bed and us going to bed (~8p-1030p) is reserved for us to spend time together. Not only is this something we enjoy, we have learned in nearly a decade together (with over four years of that time long-distance) that it is something we need, both as a couple and individuals.

With all these restrictions and conditions this is starting to sound like one of those awful logic “games,” but I think it’s worth the work to make it work. More than anything, now that I’ve sat down to think it all out, I am grateful to be in a situation where I can even take on these challenges. To be able to devote this time and energy to studying and trying to pursue a career while being a mother to two small children and working (extremely) part-time is a privilege I do not intend to abuse.