I’ve been having a lot of trouble preparing a blog post for this week. There have been some interesting things happening in the news, but I haven’t found anything that really struck me as fascinating or blog worthy. Nothing has happened that intersects with my work or research or hobbies. And I’m finding this irritating–shouldn’t there be something I can contribute?
However, I realize that this Monday marks exactly two weeks until the start of the Fall 2016 semester, and, as always, I just don’t feel ready. And I think I’m feeling a bit intellectually frazzled, so generating a brilliant blog post just isn’t happening for me.
It’s been a pretty good summer, and a fairly productive one for me. Of course, I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped–I never do–but I got some material out to editors, taught two online courses, revised an online course for the fall and received grant money for it, and prepped new class materials. I wrote a rec letter for a student and one for a colleague. I helped two colleagues, including a brand new one to our department, move.
I managed to take a short trip to South Carolina to see my sister and go kayaking (with rapids!). I went running in local parks with my dog. I rested and watched a lot of streaming television: Hannibal, Penny Dreadful, Orange is the New Black, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I listened to a lot of podcasts and finally donated money to my favorite podcast network, Maximum Fun. I am in the process of getting specs together for a new laptop, something I haven’t had since well before I wrote my dissertation.
And yet, I can feel the stress creeping up on me that this was not nearly enough and I should have been busier. I should have worked harder, I should have had less fun. It’s a harsh thing to face, but I face this same mindset every August. What have I really accomplished, and why weren’t you a better steward of your time?
Therefore, I am dedicating this blog post to the above lists. While perhaps it’s true that there’s always more one could have done, this is what I actually did. And it needs to be enough for now. If there is room for improvement, then I will build on this foundation next summer. For now, I will spend the last two weeks of vacation as best I can, and wish the same for all of you, dear readers!