Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Excuses, Part II

In case you think my last post was totally mean, I get the excuses. I have used and continue to use all of these, except the "very young children" one, and this summer when I go help my sister out by babysitting her newborn, I will have a chance to give that one a try.  I weighed in today and I was up, and the excuse I'm going with was sodium in my food last night (pizza, Mich Ultra, and onion rings is not an ideal pre-weigh-in meal).   The excuse I had last night was "I have been eating healthy all day and I'm really hungry."

How do we get past excuses? Let me tell you a little story:

When I was taking a class designed to prepare me for writing my dissertation, I gave a string of excuses to the prof about why it was going to be really hard for me to get it done.  The biggest one was that I had a very demanding job and that I had a hard time writing when other people were at home.  He looked at me and said, "It's all about priorities, Jen," and then went on to the next topic.  At the time, I thought he was a heartless, clueless jerk.  But how did I eventually get the dissertation done and graduate? I made writing it my number-one priority.

Around the time of the conversation with my prof, I was talking to my husband about how he should take a class during the summer.  He said he was going to be teaching summer school (half days) and couldn't work and do a class at the same time.  I had been working full-time and taking classes at the same time for the last 5 years at this point, and every time we talked about me quitting my job and taking a graduate assistantship to pay for my tuition, he had said he didn't think we could afford it.  After that conversation, I realized that I had been stacking the deck against myself and made the decision to check into student loans and apply for an assistantship.  The job I was working at the time left me drained and frustrated every night, so a 20-hour-per-week assistantship was a breeze.  I expanded my horizons and got great experience that helped me get my next two jobs, including the one I have now. After the year was over, I was only about halfway done with my dissertation.  I was able to get a 10-hour-a-week assistantship for summer, enough to pay for the credit hour I had to register for to keep my dissertation going. I wrote every morning in my pajamas and got the dissertation done and graduated. I'm still paying on the loans, but they aren't that bad since I only took them out for one year. Once I got creative, I found a way to make things work.

I think when we get to the point where we really believe something is at the top of our priority list, nothing can stop us. We can find a way around any excuse. We don't need advice, we just need to realize our own power and make our own goals a priority, and then rearrange our lives accordingly. Simple, right?


  1. it is much easier to do it, when we finally make the list and put the one we one at the top. Everything else just kind of falls into place I think. Or we make it go there.. I'm pretty sure I made my life work.

  2. I remember when you were writing the diss that summer, when you clearly had a goal of when it would be completed and what you had to do to make it happen. You made it a huge priority and held on to that.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07