Finals week: The week that I was dreading. Of any week this month, this was the one that was going to break me and ruin the challenge. I say every semester that finals week is going to take me down. I say it mostly because there is some clause in Murphy’s Law that I did not read carefully before starting the grad school-work juggling act: If it is finals week, something all-consuming will be going on at work. I have been in school now for 8 semesters, and without fail, it happens every single time. This round was no different, save for the fact that now I was throwing a 6:30 am yoga class into the mix every day.
I won’t sugar coat it – yoga did not magically make this week more palatable. On a scale of one to miserable, I was still pretty freaking miserable. That said, it did force me to change up my finals week routine, which in the end is what I think allowed me to come out on the other side with any shred of sanity left. Because I had to wake up at 5 am, yoga forced me to give up on trying to cram more formulas and research study methodologies into my brain into the wee hours of the morning and actually get some sleep, which made a huge difference during very long days at work followed by three-hour exams. Second, this challenge forced me to not give up on getting exercise during finals week, which usually is the second thing (after sleep) to go out the window. Finally, this challenge ensured that for at least 60 minutes of my day, I could step on my mat and not think about all of the things I needed to be doing, or should have been doing, or wasn’t doing. My yoga mat became a bit like a magic carpet, and I admittedly dreaded the moment after shavasana when the teacher told me to start wiggling my hands and toes.
So, now that I’ve finished those exams, given the presentations, turned in that final paper, and hidden my econ textbook, so I’m not threatened to use it as firewood, a few moments of gratitude for the week: to the teachers at Epic and Georgetown Yoga, who worked with me over the course of this week; to my friends, who put up with me; and to the incredible people who put together the behavioral economics summit I attended on Friday–you recharged me and gave me renewed focus and energy to pursue new paths during what is currently a strange time in both my graduate studies and my career. Moreover, you gave me the energy I needed to get through the last push of finals.