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Breathe In, Breathe Out…

A short break from grading to write a note here.  Then out in the garden for a bit of weeding and much needed exercise.  I am suddenly feeling so incredibly overwhelmed by how much I have to do that I am paralyzed.  Mostly I’m feeling deeply tired – typical for this time of day.  I’m sure there’s a reason that British tea is served at 4pm – it’s when one’s energy slumps and one is ready for a nap.  Or some caffein.  I try very hard not to use any kind of stimulants to get through my day as these push my endocrine system out of balance.  But the last few weeks I’ve had at least some green tea almost every day. Definitely less than ideal!

After 48 hours of rain and drizzle, the sun has come out.  My body aches from sitting still for days – weeks – on end and I think spending even 30 minutes in the garden will make a world of difference, even if that puts me even farther behind in my grading schedule.  At the rate I am going, I have 57 hours of marking to finish by tomorrow midnight.  That’s a physical impossibility.  I can probably push this by one more day, but still that means doing nothing but marking non-stop for the next two days.  No eating, no sleeping, no playing with the dogs.  Clearly not possible.  I guess it will be what it will be.  I was so looking forward to having a day off (Thursday) to just spend hanging out in the garden (and sleeping) but now it looks like that won’t happen. Friday I leave town at least until next Wednesday.  Thursday is a conference, then the following Friday I’m off again, until June 03.  I’m getting very frustrated and angry about all of this!  And, as I mentioned, deeply tired.

This is one of the days that I really wish I had a partner in life.  Someone who could help with some of the things that absolutely must be done in order to maintain a home and quality of existence.  I don’t need to have pets and I don’t need to garden.  I can just work, order take-out, and work some more.  Plenty of people exist this way.  But what’s the point?  That’s no way to live, even if our culture is pushing us more and more in that direction.

Enough whining.  Wallowing in self-pity is not making me feel any better.  I’m lucky to have work that I enjoy and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to earn a bit more money before the taps are shut off (i.e. on Wednesday).  I am glad I have this grading.  I just wish everything didn’t pile up like this until I can hardly breath from anxiety over having to do what is impossible.  From what I’ve observed, this seems to be typical of academic life, so I had best get used to it.  I subscribe to the Chinese (?) proverb: If you don’t enjoy the path you’re on, you won’t be happy with where it takes you.  For the most part, I enjoy this path.  Just not today!

Hopefully a few minutes in the garden and playing with the dogs in the sun will release my breath and restore harmony to my cluttered mind.  I’m off!

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