When will it begin?

Amid finals and all the craziness that follows, I’m very aware of how much I dislike not having a schedule and expectations for myself, and honestly, for Patrick too. During finals, there is no “I’ll be home at 5.” or  the dogs can be walked at X time. There’s just no reasonable way to do that. I am so looking forward to the day when I know I’ll be home at 6, I’ll walk the dogs in the morning, I’ll have dinner done earlier than 10 pm. But, right now, that’s not life.

My new life challenge

I love challenges. I get bored easily if I don’t feel like I’m being challenged. It’s part of the reason I like law school. With school slowing down (in general, not right now), I need a new challenge. I’m married, I have pets, no real bank is going to give us a loan to buy a house, so what else do I have? My new challenge in life is figuring out how to effectively run a household.

Growing up, there never seemed to be a rhyme or reason to when or how things were done at my house. Somehow, we had clean clothes, groceries were bought, and bills were paid but I have no idea how my parents logistically did it. Now that I’m out on my own and mostly independent of my parents, I want to learn how to have a system in place to make sure my bills get paid, that we’re not wasting money on food we won’t eat, and we get everyone to appointments at the right times, etc. Being able to balance everything that you need to in order to run a house intrigues me, mostly because I have absolutely no experience with it.

I rely a lot on my planner and Google calendar to make sure I’m on task and getting things done when I need to. I have a monthly calendar of meals printed on our fridge. I have a list of bills that get marked off as soon as they are paid. Somehow, I don’t think this is the most efficient way of doing things but hey, it works for me. I have, what, 40 years to figure out how to run a household effectively and at least a few more before I have other people relying on me to have a system in place. Granted, I hope it doesn’t take me 40 years to figure it out, but for now, I’m really glad I have the time to mess around with a system and learn what works best for the Quinns.

What a difference a few years makes

I still remember the first time I visited my law school. I had already decided to go to law school and knew I would only be applying to one school. If it was horrible or I didn’t get in, I would wait to start law school until Patrick was done with college.

I woke up early to get ready for prospective student day. I was staying at Patrick’s apartment and he had been up late the night before. I woke him up and made him walk me all the way across campus to the law building and he was NOT happy about it. I remember walking into the building and immediately thinking how beautiful it was. Dark wood, a huge staircase, a big open lobby with tons of windows. It was perfect. I took a tour of the school and immediately fell in love. I loved the school, the students I met, the faculty, everything. I was sold.

After I was accepted, my journey started and I began this blog. I think back to that first day I saw my school and can’t believe I can look around here and say “I go here”. It’s such an honor to be in law school and for me, I am so grateful for my school. We may not be in the top schools in the country category but everything the school has to offer more than balances out. I’m still as much in love with this school as I was the first time I saw it. Law school has been more difficult than I could ever imagine but never in a million years did I think I would find myself sitting in a beautiful building, surrounded by some of the greatest friends I could imagine, learning something I love.

Lazy girl fitness

I will be the first to admit, I’m lazy. I hate the gym, salads make me sad, and the thought of having to give up chocolate is depressing. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t take little steps to make sure I’m being fit and taking care of myself while I’m in law school. Sometimes, law school is busy and there is just not time to go to the gym or spend time cooking a meal. It’s overwhelming to try to fit those things in so I’ve developed what I call “Lazy Girl Fitness”.  Lazy Girl Fitness includes simple ways you can make positive changes in your life and being healthier. It’s definitely not going to help you lose weight or gain muscle or anything like that, but it’s little changes that can help you be healthier overall without much effort. Here’s how I incorporate Lazy Girl Fitness into my life:

1. Park as far away as you can

Our parking lot is HUGE. It’s meant to hold all the commuters so I park all the way at the end of it so I have to walk the longest possible distance. It’s easy in the morning to be motivated to park far and walk far but motivation can be lost throughout the day. If your car is at the end of the parking lot, you have to walk that distance to get back to it whether you want to or not. I do have exceptions to this though: if I’m wearing heels, running late, it’s raining, or I need to make a quick escape to go somewhere right after class. Unless it’s one of those 4 exceptions, I’m walking as far as possible.

2. Know your habits and use them to your advantage

I get bored in class (don’t we all). One of the things I realized when I started bringing coffee to class is that I would absent mindedly drink a whole coffee throughout class and not realize I was doing it. One day, I focused more on what I was doing and figured out when I’m bored, I drink (coffee or water, not alcohol!). I have a stock pile of plastic cups with straws I started filling with water and always make sure I have a full cup ready for each class. Inevitably, it doesn’t matter if it’s 12 ounces or 30, it will be gone at the end of class. If you aren’t a water person, get some Mio or drink packets that are low in sugar.

3. Prep on the weekend

Meals are difficult to make during law school and if you don’t have someone to help on occasion, it sucks even more. I love fruit and will eat it readily if it’s available but there is something about having to cut up fruit or make a lunch or dinner that is draining. When I get home from the grocery store, everything gets prepped immediately. I cut up the fruits and veggies, I put together lunches and leave them in the fridge, I divide up meat, everything. For example, last week we went grocery shopping and came home with a bunch of fruit and meat and salad stuff. I made 4 salads varying in size and pre-measured dressing for them. I baked 2 potatoes to divide up for lunches for the week. I cut up apples and put them in tupperware with peanut butter. I divided up meat into servings for meals. I divided up berries into serving sizes. I haven’t bought lunch all week and it’s been healthy for the most part.

4. Take the stairs

My law school is 4 stories tall, plus a basement. I’ve never been a person to take an elevator one floor but if I’m going from the basement to 2, yep, elevator. Stop that! Taking the stairs is so much quicker and healthier and really doesn’t take much more work. I still use the elevator to go from 1 to 4 or so but otherwise, take the stairs.

5. Walk a lap

I realized how little I walk when I got a new phone. It automatically counts the steps you take when you have your phone on you. It’s a great program. Changing how much you walk is really beneficial to your health. For every class you sit through, talk a lap around your building. I don’t mean go outside and walk around the building literally (I’m not Amelia Bedelia) but walk around the floor you’re on. Walk over to the classmate you need to talk to instead of emailing or yelling across the room. Little walks every hour or so probably don’t impact your health a ton, but it’s better than never doing it, right?

6. Stretch

Every morning when you get up, take 5 minutes and stretch. Do it laying in bed, as long as you won’t fall back asleep. I get up and stretch, maybe throw in a few yoga poses, and go on my merry way. It’s quick, easy, and adds to overall health.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

This week was fall break. Patrick and I took a road trip to Virginia to see his moms family. His family is awesome and I had never met them before. His great grandma is 99 but is the sweetest woman.

So for the announcement. Because of his grandma’s age and mobility problems, she may not be able to make it to our June wedding. We decided while we were there to get everything set up and have a small ceremony. I’m officially married!

It was a simple, beautiful ceremony and I’m so glad we were able to have his grandma there. I still hope she can come to our June ceremony and see us be “Catholic married” but no matter the outcome I’m glad she was able to see her first grandson get married.

Intern wrap up

Well, my internship is over. 😦 I’m really sad to be done and not have a structured schedule anymore. 

My internship taught me a lot. I grew as a writer and researcher, I took in lessons from older students, and learned just how ridiculous Illinois government can really be. I was lucky enough to have an internship where there wasn’t a “daily grind” and things were more laid back. I worked on projects about gambling, parking, lobbying, and libraries among many other projects. I never would have had an opportunity to do projects like this or learn about these topics anywhere else. I love that my internship was so diverse I learned a little about a lot and still learned more about me. 

I’m open to the idea of working for a non-profit or even in municipal law; something I never would have thought of before. I now realize that it is my job to be involved in the community and know what is going on with local, state, and federal governments. I’m so grateful for the volunteers and staff here who taught me so much about being a good citizen and being involved in the community. I hope to be able to come back to my internship and volunteer later so I can continue to help them do the good work they do all the time. 

No regret here!

When I initially took my summer job, I got some weird looks. I work for a legal non-profit (not a PD) and it’s not exactly a “traditional” summer placement. A lot of people thought it was a mistake because it isn’t writing motions and going to court. At all. Since I want to be a prosecutor, people got the idea that I would regret my decision to work here instead of at a firm.

I’m glad to say they are all SO wrong! I absolutely love my job. It’s difficult at times but it’s incredibly rewarding. My co-workers are great and it isn’t nearly as high pressure as firms are (or so I hear). I’ve been here a few weeks and already I’ve finished two projects completely and am working on another. People can say what they want, I love my job and it’s giving me a different look at law than most people get. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn all I can and see a different part of law I had never considered before.

Let it go

I’ve always been such a control freak about everything. I hate group project, I hate coordinating with other people, I hate letting other people have control over really anything. Now, sometimes that serves me very well: things get done on time, they are typically good quality, and I’m able to stress less once I know things are done. However, it’s also a very bad thing too. Sometimes it’s impossible to do everything on your own and trying to just makes you crazy.

I remember in high school we had to do a project. We were learning about how African countries’ borders were more or less arbitrarily drawn and were supposed to redraw the borders taking into account resources, religion, etc. My teacher was absolutely terrible at explaining the project and my group did it completely wrong. When it came time to present the project, one of our group members had redone the whole project without telling anyone and had only done half the required work for it. So basically we all got a very bad grade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that she caught our mistake but like I tend to do, she took on the whole project herself and only got it half done. Then there was a whole lot of fighting with the teacher, lying to cover people’s ass, etc. but that’s a different story for a different time. The point is, sometimes it’s impossible to do it all or to force people to help you do things so you just have to let it go and leave it in the hands of other capable people.

Take my fiance for example. We’re starting to get wedding things set to go and along with a million other things he needs his baptism certificate and I need the address of his family to start addressing our Save the Dates. Sure I could call up his parents and ask for addresses or where he got baptized but that isn’t my job! I have my baptism certificates and family addresses. I’ve reminded him numerous times to get this together because it can take time. Has he done it? Not really. Does it bother me? oh, hell yes! But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out of my way and take on the stress to do it myself. I know he will get it done; not when I want him to, but he will. Part of the reason I asked him to do it so early is because I know he will take FOREVER just go get it done.

As much as I would love to be able to control everything around me, I just can’t. Some things are just out of my control and I have to find a way to let it go. It’s a struggle and some days I do better than others but I know that in order to be happy and not burn the candle at both ends, it’s something I need to do.

Discouraged

Yup, that basically sums up my life right now. If it wasn’t for this hazelnut frap, I would be curled up in a ball in my bed ignoring the world. 

My first writing assignment for the semester is to write a memo in support of a motion for summary judgment. It’s awful. I have no idea what I’m doing and am so overwhelmed by the number of cases and depositions we were given to go off of. I feel like I now know how a kindergartner feels when they learn to write or add.

It’s incredibly frustrating having no idea what you’re doing or if you’re doing something correct. I know writing memos and motions is a big deal for a lawyer and I very confident that over time I will be able to develop the skill it takes, but as of right now, I severely lack that skill. The worse part about this whole thing is we’re writing about injuries resulting from a hockey fight! HOCKEY! My favorite sport and it’s making me want to cry because I have no idea what I’m doing.

Today is just one giant BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO moment.  

1 is the loneliest number

Since the beginning of the semester, I’ve felt completely alone in this whole law school thing. Sure I have friends but I don’t have any good friends. I don’t have a friend I text or hang out with on a regular basis. I don’t have a friend I can go to about anything. I know as I get older making friends is going to get harder and I don’t need this huge social circle that is always busy doing things.

What I really want is one friend that I can talk to about my problems, life, etc. I want one friend that will make an attempt to hang out with me or will hang out with me when I make an attempt. So far, none of those. I know people have their own lives and I’m not wanting anyone to drop everything for me. Maybe my life is just boring in comparison to theirs and that’s why I’m lonely. Who knows?

Despite being lonely, I’m still happy. I still get excited for stupid things like my Cheerios with bananas in the morning. I still talk to plenty of people and socialize; I’m not isolating myself. Regardless, I hate feeling alone even when I’m not. I’m proud of myself for admitting there is something wrong and I need to change something. Admitting there is a problem is the first step to fixing it right? I just wish I knew what I could fix.