The Plugholes Are Now Sparkling….

….I have also done three loads of laundry, washed all the cushion covers, baked a banana and walnut loaf, cleaned the fridge, shredded a huge pile of paperwork and sorted out my kitchen cupboards.

Domestic diva? I wish. It appears I would rather pluck a bunch of yucky hairs from the plugholes with a wooden barbecue skewer than sit down and study.

I have one year left of a six-year part time degree course. I could have graduated last year, without honours, but I’m awkward like that. Or a masochist. University officially started on Saturday, but I didn’t. I tried. I laid out all the books, printed off loads of information, stocked up on post-it notes, new pens, a brand new folder.

I sit at my desk, scrolling through the online learning guides, thinking, ‘oh, how interesting’ for about 15 seconds, then click on to my Twitter feed instead. Yesterday I sat down to read the newspaper for five minutes and an hour later I had read it from cover to cover. Who knew the letters page and obituaries could be so fascinating?

I can blame MS for this, but only partly. At the end of the last academic year I was in the middle of a pretty major relapse, the steroids were keeping me up all night and my brain was in meltdown. It refused to remember one single fact, one theory. I struggled through and gleefully chucked the notes in the bin after the exam. Last July. Now, 7 months later, it’s hard to pick up the thread again.

The thought of planning and writing an essay fills me with dread. Researching, indexing, referencing all seem like scientific impossibilities. I have printed off our official Harvard reference guide (all 35 pages of it) and have only read up to page 8.

To prove I could do it, I pulled out all my essays from last year. Bad move. Who wrote these? They were pretty good and I was impressed until I realised I had written them. My standards were obviously a lot higher back then.

I will muddle through. I will play with the post-it notes and highlight noteworthy points in my books. I am hoping that if I read the same pages over and over again I will absorb the facts by osmosis. Until then, I have the vacuum cleaner filter to wash and lightbulbs to polish….

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12 thoughts on “The Plugholes Are Now Sparkling….

  1. Samantha Thompson says:

    Am I allowed to ask what you are studying?
    I am halfway through Counselling training. Need to do the 2 year Diploma but cannot afford it yet!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Sam!
      Sorry, should have said! It’s a BSc in Health and Social Care (with honours!). The grand plan was to then take an MA in Social Work, but I’ve looked in to the two year course and there is absolutely no way my energy levels can cope with it. It’s pretty demanding. I think that’s why I’m dragging my feet with this last year.
      Counselling training is fab – my mum did that. Lots of work though?

  2. It’s amazing how normally unpleasant tasks take on a sudden appeal when you have something even *more* unpleasant (e.g., studying) to do! I find sometimes it works if I say to myself: “Today I will read that book on ‘1,001 Complicated and Tedious Steps to Organizing Your Finances'” OR I will start on [insert pressing task you’ve been avoiding such as studying].” That sometimes works, since I choose the most hideous alternative task I can think of.

    Of course, there’s a good chance I’ll avoid BOTH items and take a lengthy nap followed by trashy TV instead…

    • stumbling in flats says:

      A nap is definitely the best answer! I also listen to Gardener’s Question Time, put my books into alphabetical order and check Bubble for fleas. ANYTHING but study, lol.

      • To prove I’m not all talk, here was my agenda for today:

        Work on my writing
        Work on some crafty stuff
        Do some research on where I can sell things once I actually make them
        Take a brisk walk

        What I did:
        Eat breakfast while watching the first half of Love Actually
        Eat lunch while watching the second half of L.A.
        Scoop litterbox
        Manually gather cat hair clumps that had collected on the stairs
        Feed the birds
        Get the mail
        Put away some dishes
        Clean the birdbaths
        Trim one of Squeaky’s nails (this is our first time; we’re moving slowly)
        Check email
        Read blogs

        And here I am! You can see that picking up bits of cat hair was hugely more important and interesting than tasks on my agenda.

        • stumbling in flats says:

          That sounds like an amazing day!! My kind of chilling out. I was supposed to read an 18 page report and highlight the significant points but have so far started my Christmas list instead.
          p.s Squeaky is such a brilliant name for a cat. Bubble is called Bubble after my favourite chocolate – Aero Bubble.
          p.p.s. Have you looked into Etsy for selling your crafty things and

        • stumbling in flats says:

          I can’t spell – meant to write

          • Thanks for the link. When I eventually DO the research, I’ll check it out. I am intimidated by Etsy, but that’s a good one to investigate, yes.

            It’s never too early for a Christmas list. Must add that to my agenda for tomorrow (thereby ensuring I don’t do it, of course).

            I remember Aero Bubble! I went to London w/ my parents many years ago and was enchanted by that candy bar. The sights I couldn’t have cared less about; the candy and the cute guys, on the other hand…

            Okay, off to begin making something scrummy for dinner so when my husband arrives I’m clattering away in the kitchen looking incredibly busy and productive.

  3. scot says:

    I think your doing the write thing , stay away from the books till your ready to give it your all . Other wise it’s only going to frustrate you , and you strike me as being a real go-getter , I’m sure you will complete your studies with full Vicor , when your ready , and in your on manner , I’m sure you will be really successful with your studies !!! But for now go ahead and just blame the MS,IT DESERVES TO TAKE THE BLAME EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE !!! ( Lol )
    P.S.- Your cat is absolutely.beautiful !!! <3 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Scot,
      You’re absolutely right – I totally and utterly blame MS, both for the cog fog and pushing me off my career path! I’ve got all the books open on my desk and am hoping to do a little bit here and there and not put myself under too much pressure.
      Thank you for the compliment about Bubble. She’s pretty cute really. Just a menace sometimes with the tripping up nonsense, lol. She is currently on the back of my sofa staring at me. Some things never change!

  4. scot says:

    Hi again I just saw the comment that your going to be a social worker , I think that’s great and a field that is in need of good people ( at least here in the states )…
    I’m a psychologist or at least I was , no scratch that I still am , I keep license active , even though I haven’t worked in a couple of yrs now , my area of specially was working with adolescence… that’s one of the reasons I enjoy your ” The Teenager ” blogs , I bet your going to be great at it !!! Don’t let the MS take away that great choice of careers from you . <3 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,
      I was going to be, but the course is way tooooo intense. I would have loved to. That’s brilliant that you’re a psychologist!!! Maybe you should talk to The Teenager?
      I have a few alternative career paths up my sleeve, definitely better than my last job – watch this space…

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