the Mammal Chronicles: Weak End

when it comes right down to it, ya lactate or ya don't.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Weak End

Weekends are rough on me these days. During the week, I have to be "on" and there is comfort there, even in the 10 to 12 hour days. I have to admit I love being in an office environment. As much as I told myself this year I'd spend more time in my faculty office, I find myself more and more in my administrative office because I love the bustle of people and conversation around me. This is a time of my life when I do not need to be alone with my thoughts. Granted, I brought all this monumental change in my life on myself, but it is still damn scary.

So during the week, I have no problem: I roll out of bed, drive-through the Starbuck's (unless I miss the exit, in which case I decide, do I get back on the freeway and turn around or do I go to the one on the other end of campus and try to balance all my bags and my latte??), get in before anyone else does, and start on my to do list. I juggle tasks, emails, staff crises (lately at least one per day, god love 'em), meetings, and finally get to class at 5 pm and head home at 7 pm exhausted. That's Tuesdays and Thursdays. On other days, it's the same without the class, and on occasion lately the Administrative Coordinator and I ditch a bit early to hit a thrift store (While I need to pare down my life for the move, I justify this flurry of consumerism by telling myself I need a more professional, non-hippy wardrobe for my new job and that I'm really spending so little by thrifting).

On the weekend, however, I find myself struggling to get out of bed in the morning. When I finally do, I find myself overwhelmed by the prospect of tasks like grading or packing up my life to move and end up sitting on the couch with my laptop or iphone most of the day instead. Yesterday I was in such a funk, I couldn't even get myself to Target to look for a garment bag or to socialize with the friends who had invited us over to hang out. That's when I know my depression has really hit: when I can't bear the thought of socializing even with people I love.

My psychiatrist urged me to take Ritalin on the weekends too. "I thought it was for energy and focus," I told him, "So I only took it when I was at work." "No," he said, "it's for your mood too. And right now in your life you need it." Thing is, I did take one yesterday and still managed to stay depressed. This morning I made sure to start the day with a latte and Ritalin -- thus the energy to write this blog entry, but we'll see if it leads to anything more solidly productive than that.

Luckily, next week there will be no weekend. I'm headed to the Rockies for a conference and more meetings with my potential new employers. Six full days of it starting Friday. In the brief bit of downtime, I will look at apartments. I already have two appointments: one 3 bedroom 1911 duplex with a Starbuck's on the corner and a new 2 bedroom apartment with covered parking and all the amenities newer places provide. I mapped out all my prospective apartments according to the following criteria:

  • Proximity to work/public transportation
  • School District
  • Proximity to Whole Foods
  • Proximity to Vegetarian restaurants

The two I'm looking at so far fit well in all those categories. It'd probably be a stretch to walk to work, but they're maybe a 30 minute bus ride. I'd like to look at some that are walking distance to work too, but they would not be in a decent school district.

I love conferences. I love learning new things, getting ignited by other people's passion for a subject. I'm taking three intensive workshops in addition to the normal round of watching conference presentations; I can hardly believe I'm excited to take a four hour workshop on assessment of all things.

At the end of the conference, I start my round of meetings with people on campus. While there is already an offer on the table, I'm nervous because things still aren't finalized: will they or won't they give me tenure? Will something unforseen fall through? In a way, it's like another full day interview, but as I've established previously, I get a rush from interviews. It is like being in the office times ten.

Inevitably though, there will be the crash afterward. I will return home exhausted and still have to finish out the week at work. On the weekend, I will hope that the latte and Ritalin will do their job as well as I have when I'm "on."

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