Monday, November 24, 2008

Nail Polish and the Art of Zen

Can one person seriously be cold-called to start class two class days in a row? Seriously?

Apparently you can if you're me.

Don't know if Professor Lipson forgot that he's called on me, or if I blew the last cold-call worse than I thought. But today, it went fine. The main difference between this week and last week being that I had a nice (very!) quiet weekend at home. Spent the time catching up on readings that I had glossed over, and really concentrating on the week ahead. So this time, I was ready.

It was really nice to have some time to myself. That's one piece of advice I wish I had been given back at the beginning of the year, so I'll emphasize it here now: make sure to make room for "me time." Sometimes, at least for me, I need to back away from being social or trying to accomplish everything at once, and just spend some time alone to re-center myself; whether that's cooking, reading non-case stuff, or doing my nails.

In the midst of all the craziness of schoolwoork, homework, and all the other kinds of work, sitting down to paint my nails has almost a zen-like calming effect on me.

Maybe it's because it involves sitting down, with no distractions, putting my hands on the table, painting each nail meticulously and waiting for everything to dry. And that's ten minutes that I'm not forced to think about anyone or anything else, worry about what I have left to do, or when I'm going to sleep.

And perhaps that's the key - maybe sometimes you just need to shut it all out, only to return a short while later.

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