Study-life balance, eventually

Breaks in law school are few and far between, and they come with lofty goals and (in my experience) a mix of disappointment and re-energizing. This long weekend, for the Thanksgiving break, my first priority was relaxing with family. We drove out to see my husband’s family on Thursday morning, and my in-laws visited our house Friday and Saturday.

Unfortunately, our visit was tinged with a sense of urgency on my part that did not mix well with relaxation or casual, touristy fun. Thursday, I dedicated myself fully to focusing on family (that 30 minute interlude staring at Evidence notes totally doesn’t count). Friday, I made myself forget for a few hours that I was supposed to be at home hard at work, and we visited the Freedom Trail and Paul Revere house, and I even had a beer at a pub with them. But by the time we got back to our place late Friday afternoon, my guilt had overcome me. While they heckled the nightly network news and belly-laughed through something on Netflix, I sat with my headphones on, at my desk, reading the last 50 or so pages of the semester for my Family Law course.

It was the same story again on Saturday. My husband led his folks around Cambridge and Downtown Boston, and I plugged away on my note and outlines. I snuck in a 30-minute break to make 6 pounds of garlic mashed potatoes, but otherwise it was work, work, work. Of course, once the in-laws came back with stories of beautiful artwork at the Harvard Art Museum and awe at the Boston Public Library, I tried my best not to sound jealous. Then, it was time for a rushed goodbye and yet another Thanksgiving gathering. The party, hosted and attended by law students, was a nice reminder that I’m not alone, as well as the first time I’ve sat and chatted with some of my friends in weeks.

Sunday was a vacation from the vacation — no parties, gatherings, visitors or errands, just me instructing my husband to take care of everything we needed done, and sitting at my desk or on my couch, laptop in front of me, from 9 a.m. to midnight. I managed to make some delicious eggplant curry, if you call directing my husband to get up and stir it every 10 minutes “making” something. More importantly, I managed to finish my Evidence outline and get everything else 95% in order, including the start of a journal note I’m actually proud of. In other words, I shoved a four-day weekend into one frantic study day. I might even be caught up, except that by about 8 p.m., it became quite clear that some well-meaning family member’s welcoming hug had passed along a funky bug. Our household will be investing in DayQuil stock this week.

Onward to finals, tissues raised!

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