Saturday, November 10, 2012

Breezy, (Should Be) Easy Saturday

I woke up to the sounds of wind rattling the blinds and papers flying off the desk.  It seems crazy, but it's the 10th of November and we can sleep with the windows open.  Here in the middle of the country we should be starting to take winter coats out of storage and buying new hats and gloves for the season.  Instead, it feels like spring - except it doesn't look like a season of renewal - many of the trees are bare and any remaining leaves are orange and brown. 


 H. and I found the weather disorienting and not prime for having a productive day.  We had hoped to spend a cozy day at the coffee shop getting work done and then a cozy night at home with a warm meal and a nice movie.  Instead the coffee shops were packed, and with no place to sit inside with our joe, we tried to enjoy the park on this balmy day, but the wind threatened to blow our cups off the table and put grit in our eyes.

As I sit inside now, with my tea to my side and the wind howling at the dark window, I want to open my arms to the wind and let it pick me up and take me across the ocean.  I want to leave behind the work and deadlines that stifle our weekends and gnaw on our consciences and just hit the road.  This time of year in the academic calendar it feels like we all are just trying to get by and get it over with.  Just keep afloat a couple more weeks and then we can all be rewarded in our own way with a few weeks of peace (there will still be work, but there at least is peace). 

This should be an easy Saturday for me - I have no impending deadlines, no test to study for, and no paper to write.  In fact, I am already half checked out.  I no longer can inspire myself to get much research done.  I keep thinking of that glorious day in December when I will get on a plane and wake up 12 hours later in Turkey.   I hope that a month of vacation in Turkey will be what I need to come back renewed and ready to work.

I also hope that some time away will give me more clarity.  Lately, I wonder about the usefulness of spending so many years in school.  Yes, I love classes and I would love to teach at the college level (or so I think), but is all of this worth it?

I remember those days when I felt so inspired to work and I felt that what I was doing was important and that I could make a difference in this world.  That feeling is fleeting.  Now I realize that even though my research could be important, most likely it will not make a difference.  The people that should be filling me with inspiring words and pumping me up are instead making this all seems like a game of "publish or perish", like that's all that matters.  

Trust me, I'm not feeling sorry for myself - these are my choices and I take full responsibility for them.  I'm just practical - I don't want to waste precious time and effort.

Perhaps this intense wind that seemed to change the season in the span of a day is causing me to think of the seasons changing within myself.  Spring has passed and I am moving into the "summer" phase of my life when decisions are made, families are created, and careers begin.  It's exciting, but daunting at times to be standing at the edge of your life looking out into the unknown.  Yet, if there is one thing we all know, just as we cannot stop the wind from blowing, we cannot stop the march of time.  Decisions will have to be made - right or wrong - life will go on.  All I can hope for tomorrow is that the winds outside (and in my soul) will quiet for a while and allow me to move forward with a little less resistance. 


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