Saturday, December 19, 2009

End-of-semester report (part one)

It's finally happened: I'm getting sick.

After a full semester of avoiding swine flu, regular flu, and an upper-respiratory thing, all of which have been laying students, colleagues, and friends low, I came home tonight from a lovely holiday party, and suddenly began to feel a very bad sore throat, which is the usual first sign of a nasty cold. So I'm up late blogging when I should be in bed because I need ten minutes for this zinc lozenge I'm sucking on to dissolve. Seems like a good opportunity for a look back, and possibly forward.

In three days, I will be getting on a plane for Puddletown, to spend ten days with the family, increased by one since the last time I was there. There will be presents to buy, family dynamics to negotiate, and friends to see. Hopefully the grading will be done by then as well.

I will also be buying a fancy new camera for myself, so I hope to be adding more pictures to this blog in the first months of the year.

This holiday season is quieter than the last one. About a year ago, my life took an unexpected turn, as it often does, and things never really slowed down enough afterward for me to adjust and figure out which way was up.

No, actually, that's not quite right. What really happened was this: I lost something big and important, and slid into letting enormous amounts of work-related activity fill in the gap that was left behind. I've recently decided that this works well as a distraction, but not as a real fix. I'm hoping that the next few months will allow me time to finally address this. My medium-term goal is to restore some balance in my life, and get back to myself.

Good plan, no? I'll let you know how it goes as things progress. But for now, my zinc lozenge is almost gone, so it's time for sleep.


alan said...

Fancy new camera? That's definitely a fine plan.

I'm just now back on my feet after a nasty upper respiratory thing. Ugh, no fun. I hope you avoid the worst of all the wintertime bugs.

All the best with finding that important balance -- and happy holidays!

medieval woman said...

Hope you feel better soon!!

ER Doc said...

Also hope you're feeling better soon, and hope you can enjoy the trip home!

Anonymous said...

I really admire your attitude and wish you the best of luck finding balance (when you figure it out, please pass along some hints to the rest of us). Also, I have to say, while drowning yourself in work may not be a good long-term solution, it is an excellent short-term coping strategy. It dulls the pain and in the meantime also opens up a lot more possibilities than, say, spending a year watching TV and eating bon-bons would. When you're ready to face the rest of your life, you have an impressive list of accomplishments to feel good about.

Happy & healthy holidays.

--Ivy Climber

clio's disciple said...

I'll look forward to seeing more pictures. I hope you're not sick too badly or too long!

Susan said...

So sorry about you being sick. I hope you're better in time for your trip.

And I totally get how work is a distraction from things that are hard.

Coffee (or something stronger?) at the AHA?

Dr. S said...

Sickness: bah!

I continue to be glad that you're going to get the new camera. I think that you will love having a bigger, badder tool at your disposal.

And as for work-instead-of -- right there with you. I'm still sorry it's hard.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with it all and a good holiday also.

Bavardess said...

Please report back on your camera choice - I'm looking for a new one myself but am becoming overwhelmed by all the options. Hope the zinc works and the sickness doesn't hang around.

Digger said...

Feel better, and enjoy the holidays. And like others, I'd love to hear about the coping and balance.

The Bittersweet Girl said...

Achieving balance: ambitious and worthy goal. I hope it goes well -- but may I propose that you put the balance-seeking off until you get home? Maybe your family is more zen than mine, but I've always found the holidays & especially holiday home visits to be the source of much imbalance.