Thursday, July 28, 2011

Unexpected Day Off

So we're having a terrible storm that has robbed Tot's Montessori of power, which means though I have a complete day of teaching along with a department meeting nestled between my two classes today, I'm home with Tot. So many things are power struggles with him lately that I'm not as overjoyed for the unexpected day with him as I wish I were and, of course, feel a bit bad about that. (Lest y'all think that we're terribly traditional in the Absurdist Household, Absurdist Lover did offer to stay home, but he's got this huge deadline at work tomorrow, and I'd rather that he just go and deal with the mountain of work he's got rather than let the stress mount even more. For me, getting behind in my classes by cancelling today is just an annoying and unwelcome wrinkle.)

(Another power struggle over whether putting one's feet on playing cards one has just dropped is a good idea. We do a lot of threatening time in his playpen these days. It's easy to feel like a terrible parent. I lose my temper often.)

But the upshot is that I can blog. Unfortunately, I feel like I have little to say. I'm teaching, doing service work (wow: it would be great if I could make some headway on this report I meant to start but didn't yesterday), and trying to work on the major revision for Article Slightly Outside My Field. For that article, I've been putting some very odd things together, but I knew before that there were some Australian researchers putting them together too. Now I see they have a book due out next year. I can't figure out whether I feel bad about being scooped or relieved to know that I'll be able to simply gesture to them as evidence that putting these things together does make sense. I wish the book were out now. But as much as I went nuts researching and ILL-ing articles that I could find from these researchers, this aspect of things is a small part of the overall argument. (That is, this is theory while the main thrust is application.) Why is it so easy to get all obsessed about one difficult part of one's argument rather than focusing on that which is going to get the most pages? Of course, there's lack of self-esteem and imposter syndrome in the mix, but is it also, in this case, that I'm more interested in delineating that theoretical argument than the main thrust of the chapter, which includes both application (which is okay) but also a specific kind of analysis that I'm not really thrilled about doing?

It's foolish to think I'm really going to get a lot done today, when keeping Tot out of trouble is already a major never-ending project. If anyone has great ideas about specific indoor activities to do with an extremely active tot of 2-3/4 years, please let me know.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where Am I?

I am in a new house which is still only half-unpacked, but liveable enough, and I'm too exhausted to care that many things are still in boxes. Tomorrow begins my second week of summer teaching. I also have a couple reports to write and a really strong revision to do. Tomorrow, Tot begins his third week of Montessori, which he may be a little young for at this point. He is also testing boundaries all the time and making ample use of his favorite word "no." He lies down and refuses to budge in all sorts of places, and we have to threaten him with his playpen all the time. Taking care of Tot is really exhausting. And on top of everything, I feel, as is usual when I teach in the summer, completely separate and alien from the academic world that very wisely has packed up its ivy-covered ivory towers and gone to the beach. I want to be at the beach too (but only metaphorically). I can't make myself read the Amanda Cross mystery I have because it's too academic and sardonic and feels too much like work. I'm teaching a class and engaged in some activities that require me to be very active and forthright, to push myself out there, to advocate, to be present and articulate. All I want to do at this point is read something mysterious and magical and watery where things can be understood yet remain unsaid. I want to watch Practical Magic over and over again. I want to investigate the divine feminine principle, amid all this assertive masculine doing energy. I want a vacation where my only duty is to vegetative life. I'm thinking a lot about religion, about how Judaism tugs at me, though my life would be so much easier if I became a Christian, but I don't feel it the same, how I don't know why Judaism should be so important to me since I'm not Jewish by Jewish law and the family nostalgia shouldn't work on me because 1) they weren't that Jewish in terms of religion, except when my mother converted; 2) whatever good points my family of origin had, I don't have nostalgia for them. How my first religion really was astrology and wicca, coral rings of protection, and that calls to me too. (Maybe it's just ritual that is tugging at me?)

In short, I have a lot going on and a lot of other stuff going on in my head, but it's a blur, a whirlwind, a summer thunderstorm threatening hail. I want to back to writing creatively, discover a new way of being a writer in this very busy life. Do I wake up an hour early like so many dedicated women writers? The danger with this is that I get so little sleep as it is. My schedule is somewhat flexible, surely I should be able to sneak in some writing? But then I get ambitious. If I can get some writing published, it might count for tenure. Just like with crochet: it's not enough to just enjoy the doing of it, suddenly I have to crochet all my Christmas presents. Chanukah presents. Solstice presents. (Solstice is the one that really makes more sense to me, though Christmas makes more sense to me now that I have a child.)

I'm rambling. I'm also dozing off. I just wanted to say to hi to y'all. I'm enjoying reading y'all's blogs during the few minutes I have between activities. I hope things will balance out soon, and I can write a blogpost that makes sense. Have enough alone time so that the talk in my head makes sense to me.