Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time Marches On

I could start this blog by apologizing about how I haven't written in so long, but I was never a consistent bloggger. And no one reads this anyway!

It's the end of spring break, although there is snow on the ground. We didn't go anywhere this year because it's too stressful with three dogs that don't get along and we're trying to save money for all our trips to weddings this summer. I spent a good deal of time over the last few weeks looking up trips to exotic destinations and imagining that we could just pick up and go and spend hours on a beach somewhere reading books. I knew we weren't actually going to go, but I enjoyed the distraction, the research. I love looking at options, even if there is nothing to show for it at the end.

The dust is settling in Iowa. I feel more comfortable in my life here and in my job as a professor. I have more friends. And a routine. Things are more familiar and comfortable. I have different pockets of people I know from circles in my life I become a part of. And that feels good. But, this winter was hard on me. Christmas break wasn't much of a break and involved way too much traveling and stressful experiences. I came back feeling unrefreshed and uninspired. And then winter settled in and sucked the life and energy out of me. I've been working late on campus every night and coming home exhausted. I usually love cooking and haven't even stepped foot in a grocery store in months, let alone cooked anything. But, I'm trying to look ahead...and remember that every winter sort of feels like this. And things get better and the days get longer and you start to have things to be excited about again.

I really had a fun time this past week having a break from teaching. I have managed to stay away from the office and we had a few warm days, so I built a raised garden bed. Broke two drill bits in the process, but I was still proud of myself for building it! I figured out how to unclog a drain and cleaned out the garage. I organized a closet and had people over for a clothing swap. I went shopping and to the dog park. So, now that it's Saturday and I have 50 papers to grade and classes start again on Monday...I'm sad again. Hopefully, I can hold on to some of the momentum I've gained in the past week and keep my spirits up through the rest of the semester.

It's funny how when you're a professor, your life ebbs and flows around the university's calendar. The beginning of the semester brings a new routine and new students and those weeks where you're still getting adjusted. And then a lull where you feel like you've gotten a handle on things. Then, stress with grading and deadlines. Then a mid-semester break and a sprint to the end.

I'm still learning a lot about myself these days...trying to figure out how to balance the things and people that are important to me, how to keep myself productive and moving forward, how to be a good friend and a good wife. And learning a lot about what it means to get older and make decisions about the trajectory of your life and where it's headed. I'm only a few years away from 30...and that scares me!

Anyway, I really don't have much else to say...except maybe I should get back to grading and try to keep putting one foot in front of the other.