I would teach from nine to four, sleep an hour, and write from six until midnight, night after night.—Marguerite Young
I wish I was this motivated.
I should be. There is no reason I am not.
But, I am not.
So, instead, I teach from 8AM to 3PM—or 4 or 5 if I have a meeting—everyday, coming home to walk dogs, eat dinner, grade, then couch. Instead of writing, I fondle the remote control, waiting for some titillating piece of cinematic prowess to stimulate my mind into wanting to write or read or do anything productive. What I do instead of doing anything remotely academic or intellectual is I fall asleep watching Jeopardy before 8PM. Then I get up at an ungodly hour in the morning to grade or to read or to plan my day. It’s sad, really.
I thought this weekend would be different. I thought I had a no-fail plan for catching up on all those things I should have done during the weekends when I was otherwise engaged, be my engagement in conferences or traveling or whatnot (side note: I cannot believe whatnot is in the computer dictionary, and that there is no little red line telling me it’s spelled wrong or not really a word.). I thought this would be the work weekend to end all work weekends, but my neighbors and their dog had another plan.
As I slept peacefully on the couch downstairs where I had fallen asleep watching Bones, I heard a loud commotion outside. I discovered that much like every other weekend since they moved in, my neighbors were having a drunken conversation on their front porch. This conversation was taking place in that I’m-trying-to-be-quiet-but-since-I’m-drunk-I’m-really-being-louder-than-usual radio newscaster’s voice. All monotone and spacey.
They were talking about the beers they were drinking; at least they’re drunken beer snobs, so I get to hear all about different, good beeers, instead of then pontificating about the ins-and-outs of beer pong or Asshole. At any rate, the dog must have had to go pee, because they let her out. Normally, she stays in their yard, does her business, and then goes back inside. But, I am sure, since she’s a smart dog, that she recognized the fortuitous twist of fate, the fact that they were so drunk they didn’t realize they hadn’t put her back in the house, and decided to come over into our yard for a bit. Which wouldn’t have been a bad idea if she would have simply stayed quiet and in the front yard.
However, she decided that it might be nice to go to the back and start snooping around, sniffing by the garage door, and nosing around in our back yard. This one, seemingly miniscule, action resulted in my being up from around 115AM when they awakened me with their revelry until about 5AM when they finally got their dog back in the house, and I finally calmed mine down for the third time. Yes, there were three cycles of Jane (their dog) barking and carrying on, which incited Sydney, who got Celie all riled up, who then got Lily all howly, and then I would come thumping down the stairs to quiet them down. On round number two, I took our dogs outside to pee so they could see that it was just Jane who was in their space. They didn’t really care. They didn’t want anyone in their space at 2AM.
Finally, after this second round, after I startled one of the neighbors while he was peeing in a bush, and after he decided to get Jane into the house, I stayed downstairs, sleeping on the couch until the third round of barking which must have been inadvertently stimulated by a squirrel or something in the backyard. Once those dogs get wacky, there’s almost no calming them down! I fell asleep watching Criminal Minds around 5AM. I should have used the time to write or read, but as per usual, I couched and remoted. I woke up about an hour-and-a-half later and went back upstairs to bed. I got up at 815ishAM. Needless to say, I am worthless today, so I am going to try to read the rest of the books I need to read. It’s about all I’m good for.
I finally went to the doctor for my ankle, and I have to wear heel cups, do stretches, and massage it with ice frozen in Dixie cups. I am going to start running again on Tuesday, but I have decided to move my runs to the afternoon, just when I get home from school and after I walk the dogs. I am going to start at the very beginning, so I don’t re-injure my ankle. My hope in running in the evening is that I will be able to run out the stress of the day and run in some energy to read and write for the evening. I figure if I can get to the point where I can get home, walk the dogs, and run by 530PM, I will have an hour for a nap/leisure time before Bec gets home. (I may have to reverse the order of the nap and the run.) Then, I will be more energized. Also, I am going to try to avoid the TV and the Internet between 630PM and 930PM or 10PM. Maybe this will help me get more focused as well.
One thing I will also have to work on is the way I eat. I have been eating like crap lately: lots of cookies, candy, animal products, and soda. I am not sure why I do this to myself, because I feel much healthier when I don’t eat these things. I love grape soda, so I am not sure I want to cut it completely, and a couple of Oreos won’t hurt either. I just need to stop eating ten or twelve Oreos and a couple of sodas each day. On top of regular food! It’s silly, really. And, I will need to stop the caffeine intake, too. No more Americanos that aren’t decaf.
Not only will I need to change what I eat, but when I eat. Seemingly, it would work better to eat more for an early breakfast when I first get up , hopefully by 430 each morning. Then by eating more for lunch, too, I will be able to run five hours later and skip dinner, having popcorn and an apple for a light snack before bed.
So here I go again setting goals I may not keep. The goal date for the following is July 22, 2011, my birthday:
- Finish a marathon.
- Stop shaving my head. Let it grow for Locks-of-Love.
- Spend at least half an hour reading the Bible, praying, and contemplating God each day.
- Have 75% of my students grow one academic year’s growth.
- Finish two chapters of my dissertation.
- Run 1000 miles.
- Stay vegan.
- Learn to say only what is necessary. Listen more than talk.
- Read one new book and one magazine from cover to cover each week. Follow the news.
- Finish painting the outside of the house.
as always, i’m cheering you on!
(and also, i’m really, really glad you got that ankle looked at.)
Me, too. I can’t wait to start running. 🙂
I don’t understand why work ruins everything. Everything! It seems like work takes the best out of me, leaving the crappy, yucky-feeling Alex behind. Of course, you say all of this so much better! 😛
I think that’s what work is designed to do: hollow us out and make us shells of people.