Out of the office message

I’m going on an actual real vacation: somewhere warm, with sun, ocean, tropical plants, and margaritas. I plan to blog more regularly when I come back.

That is, if I don’t decide to stay and be a beach bum.

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Theme for 2009

Following Profgrrrrl, I’m picking a theme for this year rather than making resolutions.

(Re)creation.

I’m in the English department; I get to do cutesy things with punctuation in my titles.

There are things I need to create (articles and other writing); I also need more time for recreation. Basically, I’d like to spend my time either doing useful things or enjoying myself. What I want to avoid is pointless procrastination and uses of time that don’t yield either pleasure or achievement: for example, reading the newspaper when I’m not that interested in it just because it’s there, or because I need to supervise the cats’ meals and can read the paper with one eye. Unless I really want to read the paper, it would be better to read something scholarly, or do some handwork, or stretch a bit, or even dust the bookshelves.

I’m going to start by re-creating my study as a tidy, welcoming space. Then I’ll work on syllabi. I have the spring term off, but for the next ten days I’m going to pretend I don’t, and try to get the fall syllabi done by the time spring classes start. After all, they have to be done sometime, and right now I feel like I can think about classes more easily than the deep thoughts required for research.

In a deeper and more long-term sense, I’ll be re-creating myself as someone who no longer needs to be her mother’s daughter. I don’t want to say a lot about that relationship, but I now have a lot of time and attention that I used to have to give her. My current self was formed partly in opposition to what my mother wanted for me, as I said here. So along with grief comes the opportunity for re-creation or re-discovery.

(Re)creation sounds in some ways a lot like Profgrrrrl’s theme for last year, becoming, and look where that got her! It’s a little scary. But that’s probably a good thing, because when I thought about Bittersweet Girl’s New Year’s meme, I couldn’t think of anything I’d done last year that required courage. (Endurance, yes, but not courage as I define it.) So this year maybe I’ll get out of my comfort zone.

And even if I don’t, I’ll be sure to enjoy being comfortable.