Jan 16, 2010

Home alone

Hubby is off to Toronto for a night so I'm home alone. It's kind of nice, to have the place all to myself - a rare sort of luxury in which I can do anything I want without disturbing my partner. It's also more difficult to manage the household this way, what with cats and dogs to feed and walk. I already feel guilty for only taking my dog out for 10 minutes at the time. But my cold is still bad enough that I struggle being outdoors any longer than that; I just get tired, cold and cranky. Today is not that cold, but particularly windy, which has an adverse affect on my sinus function, so after a short 10 minutes, I turned around and came home. The dog was looking at me quizzically, as she's used to much longer walks, but she trotted along happily enough. I gave her some extra attention at home in the form of combing out a few knots that are starting to form in her long hair. She let me do it for about 15 minutes, and then decided the hell with that and moved on to more interesting (and less painful) things to do.

I did a bit of work this morning, to catch up on the days I lost with my cold this week. I made a major decision as well: I'm not taking on any additional projects at the moment.

It's easy, as an academic, to slip into a dangerous downward slope of doing reviews, favors, organizing talks and seminars, sitting in on meetings, and gods know what else. All of it takes more time than you think. And none if it really helps you do your research. As a non-teaching semester this term is supposed to give me time to do research. And we are now in the middle of January and I have little to show for it. So, my mind is made up. No more stupid little articles, administrative favors, etc. What I have on my plate is more than enough, and I need space to read and write. 

I hope that this decision helps to make me feel a bit more in control and stable. Without that, I have no hope in hell to write anything successfully. And write I should, and will. In the meantime, I'm trying not to think of how distracting the next couple of weeks will be: hubby will be getting his eye surgery, my brother is arriving for fun on the slopes, and a friend will visit to go shopping and no doubt, to get drunk. All of it fun, of course. But as ever, I feel the added pressure of the pile of work awaiting me.

Saw a fantastic video on TED today, on the creative process. And also saw Nine yesterday. Both have made me think a lot about what type of job I'm in and how it affects the state of mind, my relationships and my life. Wow. In a word. I suddenly realize that I must be quite difficult to live with. But perhaps all this will make me more comfortable with the creative process and just allowing it to be what it is.

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