I’ve talked about rewards before, but they’re on my mind again right now and so I’m talking about it again… but first, I need to tell you something….

I’m stressed out at work.

It may be the understatement of the century.  This new, two credit class I’m teaching might just be the death of me.  I didn’t get all of my materials until the day before school started and I am most certainly paying the price.  I’ve only gone through and created lecture notes through October and those are quickly running out.  We need to spend 25% of our time in the lab and every lab requires prep work which has never been done before and so I’m deciphering procedures and gathering materials, running to various shops to purchase hard to find items, cutting out various props, mixing solutions and a million other things I don’t want to list.  That’s just for the one class.  I still have 100 other students who have just taken tests, written lab reports, created their first graph using the graphing rubric I require them to adhere to… all of which need comments and careful grading.

Add to all this that I’m arriving to work later than normal due to my morning work out routine and when I’ve tried switching that to afternoons, like this week, I find my after work meetings have droned on and on until I’m barely able to make it to Curves before they close and I certainly don’t have the energy to give it my all.

I’ve always been an arrive very early and leave right on time kind of girl and now that I am finding it necessary to stay later and later just to get the job done I feel the old naggings begin.  Before I started my journey I would have bought myself a nice little food treat, an indulgence for my hard work, something to make the extra couple hours at work a bit more bearable.  When running to the grocery store to buy the teddy grahams I forgot for the teddy graham genetics lab the other day, I would have bought myself bags of snacks to store in my office… all the better to snack on later.  I’d have bought myself the chocolate I’ve been craving all week long along with something salty to help make it the ultimate treat.

So yeah, I haven’t caved in on any of that.  My mindset is that I simply don’t do those things any more.  But again, I find myself wondering what exactly it is I do now.  How do I treat myself?  A massage?  Those cost money and while I seemed all too willing to pay $5 here and $5 there for snacks, I cannot bear to fork over $50 for a massage.  A nice relaxing bath?  I don’t really have the time, I’d end up grading papers in the bath tub… which is just plain awkward.  For this very same reason, giving myself an hour to read a book is also out.

I’m not exactly feeling ripped off…….. yet.  But I have years worth of treating and rewarding myself behind me and I’m not sure if I’ve changed enough to just knuckle down this year and get through it all.  I mean, just now while I was working out at Curves, I caught myself thinking “I could just go home, down some freaking junk food and get healthy NEXT  year.”

Hmmm… fat for one more year….. I don’t think so.