17 February 2011

Still lame, in more ways than one

I've never been one of those multiple-posts-a-day bloggers, or even (except for short stretches), a once-a-day blogger, but really, what has happened to my blog-brain? I seem to be living IRL instead of online. That can't be right.

I feel like I'm just starting my day at sundown, not my usual schedule at all. The beginning of the week was intense, with my on-campus days running 11 hours each (plus the commute on either end). Because I was so tired, I stayed up too late last night (you know, just couldn't get myself to go to bed, too tired to make sensible decisions about how to use my time), slept late this morning, got up for breakfast and cat-wrangling, and then went back to bed for several hours. I feel vastly better for the sleep, but so much for all the things that were supposed to get done during daylight hours. I will still write tonight, though; and even if I don't put in a planned two hours on grading, I'm at least going to sort the papers into piles based on which topic their writers chose.

This is how I wind up working on weekends. If I had to show up at an office, obviously I'd have dragged myself through today; but since I spent the day asleep, the time will have to get made up somehow, and Saturday/Sunday are the obvious times to do that. Actually, I've started feeling a sense of relief when the weekend rolls around, because I can finally get my work done without interruption, sort of like wanting to get to the office early or stay late so you can do your job without people wanting things from you all the time, whether via e-mail, phone calls, or popping in "for just a minute."

I could just declare that my "weekend" is some non-standard set of days, like Thursday and Friday, and take Saturday and Sunday as working days. But of course e-mail still comes around from people on campus during the week; and Sir John works a more "normal" schedule; and the New York Times Sunday edition only comes out on Sunday. And people tend to schedule social events for Friday and Saturday nights, or Sunday afternoons. So some weekend stuff is still going to happen on the regular weekend.

But really, I like the non-standard, flexible, work-whenever schedule that academia makes possible. Sometimes it's good to have a day or two totally free of work, but a lot of what I do goes better if I do it every day. Writing, for instance. Grading, too, is better done either in large chunks or in very steady regular sessions, so that I can be reasonably sure I'm applying the same criteria to all the papers. Reading. Recently I tried reading fiction a chapter or so a day (well, okay, maybe 1/4 of a book per day, let's be honest: less than that is only possible if I really hate the book). I found that I forgot key plot elements and spent a lot of time paging around trying to find where they were. Binge-reading is much more satisfying. I don't read for a half-hour's enjoyment; I read to plunge totally into the world of the book. I don't want to come up for air. I follow the story better, notice more details, if I'm completely submerged.

So while I'm happy with the write-every-day habit (it's sticking; I really do feel twitchy till I get it done, and better afterward), I'm going to keep some of my other "bad" habits, like working on weekends and binge-reading when I discover a book or author I like.

As for the "more ways than one" part, remember my ankle problems? I would have sworn I had the damn thing totally rehabbed. I was on the cross-trainer for an hour at a time, even running a little bit (a mile or two at a time, on a treadmill). All was fine. And then a couple of weeks ago, I stood up to walk across the kitchen floor and suddenly the ankle hurt and felt weak. So I'm back to bracing it and trying to do just-enough exercise in the pool and on the exercise bike, until it's better again. I am annoyed. I have much more energy when I can exercise for longer periods.

Cat update: the Scot seems to have trouble with an eye again, so we'll be going to the vet tomorrow, second vet-trip in a week (different cats). He's been off-color since his last chemo dose, too. The Shakespearean Heroine is struggling with constipation again. TMI? She's an old lady, with old-lady problems. The other cats are well, knock on wood and all that.

4 comments:

nicoleandmaggie said...

*patpatpat* It sounds like you're doing great with your time in real life... you're even getting exercise in!

I hope the ankle and kitties get better soon!

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undine said...

May I just say that you inspired me with your "writing every day" habit? Are you writing at night?

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Undine: when I have to, yes. It's easier to write at night than to grade at night, though I prefer working in the morning.

Ink said...

Hope your ankle gets better soon!

Hope the cats get better soon!

Major huggage...