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.


Anonymous said...

Ok, first of all, yay for being in a house whether half unpacked or not. Yay for Tot being in Montressori, which too young or not will be good for an active little guy like him. And yay for being where you can have summer teaching, and remember that you teach during the summer so that you don't have to drag yourself out of bed in the cold, dark, somber snowy winter mornings (for half the winter at least, right?), like the rest of us. When you get to stay in and have some tea and watch the snow and not have to venture out, remember the rest of us suckers. :)

OK, here's the rest of it. So what that you're only half unpacked. We still have plenty of stuff in boxes in Fancy Town 2 years later (which makes some of this move a bit easier though). Shoot, we still have stuff all packed in Home City from when I moved from Grad City and all that jazz. That's no big deal. Don't sweat it. It'll get unpacked as you need things in the boxes and as you have time.

RE: Writing. Why do you have to write for an hour a day? why not start at first carving out 15-30 minutes? I have found that when I do that, a) I produce more; b) I can sustain the mental energy of writing over many many days and weeks than if I'm trying to write for an hour at a time. And why not get up 30 minutes earlier before everyone else? Brew some tea, write for 20 minutes, carve a moment out to yourself. (Sheesh, I sound like a freaking Dove chocolate commercial! Gross, but it's true). And then as you can, or maybe on the weekends, give yourself that hour. Just a thought.

I like the idea of protection beads and protection rings.

Since you have a break when the rest of us don't (winter/spring) you should come down to visit me in my new place during that time because it will be warm (like 30-70s on any given day). Bring the Tot. We can go to the giant park, the peach orchard, and other things I will investigate that are kid friendly. Plus I'll be a little lonely because it looks like the J's job goes through like Feb or so, so there ya go. And we should have another bed to put in one of the rooms by then, so you have a winter blues escape plan if you so desire. :) Just a thought as you bemoan summer vacay, which, I've not accomplished a damn thing hardly, and I would not refer to this summer as relaxing by any stretch of the word, so you're not alone in feeling like you've been cheated out of summer.

Sorry for the long comment. I probably should have just emailed you. :)

Tiger Mom PhD said...

It is so nice to hear from you.

That is great that you all are in the house even if you aren't unpacked yet. It always takes us forever to unpack and we've never done it with a kid...should be interesting the next time we move.

Also, it is exhausting having a toddler. I am always tired and sometimes I feel like I need to be doing school stuff but instead I get an extra hour of sleep or rest and feel better in the morning. You aren't alone.

I agree with lostinacademe - Montessori will be good for Tot even if he is too young and the 15-20 minutes a day is a great idea. Plus, it might turn into more some days.

Sending you hugs. You have a lot going on right now - get through the move - take a deep breath and then figure out the rest one step at a time.

Anonymous said...

1. He is also testing boundaries all the time and making ample use of his favorite word "no." = Totally get it. And it's so exhausting. Hugs.

2. What Amanda Cross are you (not) reading? Love that series. But I understand the wanting to watch Practical Magic over and over again, too. I also like Stepford Wives (remake) and Miss Congeniality when I'm in that mood, for some reason.

3. Congrats on the unpacking! Hang in there.

4. I would give anything to be at a beach right now, too.

5. It makes sense that the lots going on in the mind occurs when there is lots going on in one's life. Upheaval/transition is hard! Take care and know that everything will be untangled with time, gradually. It will, promise.


Kindle Fire Mom said...

I've been lurking here forever so I'm thrilled at your update, even if you have no idea who I am.

Also. Have you looked in to Eastern Orthodox Christianity? I found it took all of my favorite elements from Jewish mysticism, combined them with a ritualistic and sacramental practice of the Christian faith and had a connection to history not found in other churches. My grandfather is Romanian, but I grew up Protestant and we now attend a Greek Church. Just a thought!

Earnest English said...

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the comments to this rambly post. I appreciate it.

Actually, Nola, fall is going to be when I don't have to drag myself into work. (I do have to get myself out of bed because of Tot.) But I love the idea of coming to visit anyway -- fall or winter. But now it sounds like the J isn't going to have an away job? I'm confused about that. You do have a great idea about a whole hour though. Why not 15 minutes or 30 minutes. That's helpful. Though I realize now that there is just no way that I can work on anything in the morning, even if I wake up early because I am just dead in the morning. Dead. And it's time I accepted that instead of fighting it all the time and trying to become someone else -- you know, like a person who can run at 8am. Wink wink.

Inky, I just read Death in a Tenured Position and after that I just can't make myself read another Amanda Cross. I was very disappointed with that one, I'm afraid. But a big part of it is just that I don't want to read anything so left-brained. I bought myself an Alice Hoffman book (Probable Future), but I haven't so much as cracked it yet though I bought it early in the week -- because that is how my life is. I nearly bought myself another Poets and Writers magazine recently, then I realized I've had the last one I bought in my bag for a long time and have never had the time or inclination to read it. So. . .

Tiger Mom: toddlers. Yes. Oy. Hugs to both of us.

Calee: welcome! I've never looked into eastern Orthodox Christianity. I'll have to look into that. Though I confess that right now I'm really longing for witchy things and wish I had all those books I'd collected over the years and mostly got rid of in some kind of left-brained intellectual hissy fit. Poo.

Anonymous said...

Now that you mention it, I do have to be in the right mood for AC. Have you read Joanne Dobson? She's cool (and more contemporary). Just in case you get a hankering for another academic mystery.

Or for more, um, supernaturality (a la Practical Magic), you might like Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series (though if you dip your toe in there, be sure to start with the first one...I didn't and should have). I wish I could read them again for the first time. I don't know what it is about them, exactly...they're just kind of charming and funny and mysterious and supernatural, all at once. But mostly charming.

And I feel you on the magazine front. Just went through a finally admitted that I wasn't going to get around to the stack that had been building up around here so recycled them. Of course, now I have a hankering to read a magazine. *sigh*

Interested in how Probable Future is...will await your review (no pressure).

In any case, hope you can get some relaxation in very, very soon! And hope Tot is liking the new adventures!

undine said...

What you're dealing with is exhausting! Montessori will be good for Tot (stimulating and a place for his energy), and those boxes? We still have some in the garage moved from previous city that have never been unpacked. Eventually it'll get done.