13 January 2011

loss of momentum.

My life follows the rhythms of the academic calendar. When semesters end I can usually carry the energy I feel for a solid week, shot out of a cannon into the air of no constraints. I devour a prodigious number of books and concoct great plans for my free time. Then, with travel or weather or the passage of time, I settle into a relaxed life of steady beer and media consumption interspersed with cooking projects and the occasional working of an academic book to appease my guilt. Then depression sets in-- the vacation is nearly over! I have not accomplished what I set out to do!-- indeed, a stack of books acquired for the break has been neglected entirely.  A frenzy of activity follows as I try to redeem myself, and then school starts. For a few weeks I verge on and dabble in anxiety attacks as I put in twelve and fifteen hour days, forget to eat, and log countless bike miles commuting needlessly to the office or library on days off. And then I settle into the blissful hum of steady productivity for the next ten weeks, taking luxurious days off to go to Target and clean my house and host parties, and then I am dumped out at another vacation with the resolve not to waste it.

I appreciate that with my comprehensive exams, dissertation, and teaching my own classes, these rhythms stand to be disrupted as I transition from student and course-taker to researcher and teacher.  Thank god. There's only so much filing left to do do, and I've got all these books left to read, and I keep scheduling meetings to give myself the illusion of productivity. 


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