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Not so bad

January 24, 2012

I’m taking a 15-minute break from Very Important Paper Writing with more writing. (Though is blogging really writing? I find it thoroughly relaxing most of the time.)

I found myself surrounded by piles of paper – articles, copied book chapters, student assignments which are begging to be graded – constantly in danger of avalanching (this is too a verb) and burying me alive (I thrive on hyperbole). Sometimes, it all seems a little too much, and when that feeling abates, I wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life. On my left I see a book shelf packed with travel books about places I’ve visited or hope to visit some day and with cookbooks I hardly ever get to use any more. On my right are piles of DVDs I never get to watch and CDs I can listen to only sporadically (for ever and always “sporadically” will make me think of Clueless and Brittany Murphy, and then I get sad).

In front of me I see a wide row of Word documents and PDFs which would stare back at me judgingly if they had eyes. “Are you blogging again? Stop that. You’re supposed to be working with us, not with WordPress.”

But if I look a little harder, I can see so much more. I’m surrounded by books I love. I get to work with these books if not for a living, then at least in a way that will hopefully one day lead to a career. I have a career! Those piles of grading I still need to work through and the students whose work they are, are my career. These assignments contain things that are smarter than anything I could have written when I was 19, things that show hard work and engagement and diligence, things that sometimes make me giggle – but never in a mean way. I can cook fantastic meals because I have access to great recipes and great grocery stores. As I’m writing this, I’m surrounded by music from an artist I adore (even though she has her faults) and will get to see perform live in just a few months. When I’m not doing any of my imminent responsibilities, like papers and grading and syllabuses and lesson plans, I’m doing research for my thesis and am falling more in love with my topic with every thing I read.

So yes, maybe I’m becoming an old lady who currently has to share her lodgings with a large family of mice (they’re friendly though, and will be dead soon – sadly) and who is stared at by her neighbor because she dared to have a mini dance break earlier with her curtains open (I got them moves like Eleven) and who hasn’t gotten enough sleep since October and who has not used her gym membership since then, either. It’s possible I’ll even get to see my friends again some time. Several exciting academic opportunities are just around the corner, waiting for me to tackle them and make them mine. I have a personality which is blessed and cursed with its inability to understand the verb “to quit” (please note that I originally wrote that as “to quite” and yes, obviously my personality would not understand that, because it is not a verb). I may be able to start wearing the running gear I bought last August for the first time next week. I have the ability to write pretty much the same post over and over without giving a damn.

So perhaps things are not so bad. Perhaps they are even quite good. Perhaps I just need to stop procrastinating, finish this paper, and 

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