Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting ready for fall?

It’s hard to believe it’s already August 21.  Really hard to believe…  The summers always seem to go slowly at the beginning, while I figure out what I’m doing for the summer and really get started, and then go so quickly at the end. 

This year was a little bit different because of prelims.  I had a wonderful two weeks of writing and doing little else.  (The little else is what made it wonderful – I had totally blocked off that two weeks to work and discovered that when I’m not engaged with 12 million other tasks, I quite enjoy my work and some time off when it’s done.)  After that I realized just how fried I was after all of the grading and prelim prep of the winter semester, and spent a while trying to work but not accomplishing anything, and then another little while working on my various summer projects.  After I got my prelim rewrite I discovered the negative of having prepared for the whole semester leading up to it: I had absolutely zero desire to ever see the document again.  Having overcome that (but wasted a lot of time trying to work in the meantime), I finished the rewrite.  I was finally starting to get productive again when I was struck down with the flu (as I posted earlier).  Ironically (though unsurprisingly to everyone who knows me), this bug was actually exactly what I needed.  I slept, read complete novels and memoires in mere days, slept more, and drank lots of fluids.  Even though I was tired and physically ill, I felt great emotionally!  Once I was able to walk around again (and dropped that lovely hacking cough), I got back to work, but that was only a few weeks ago.  I’ve been getting things done since then, and can hardly believe how the summer seems to have flown.

I suppose, in retrospect, that this summer really is no different from previous ones.  The formula tends to be:

1. get totally burned out during winter semester
2. pretend not to be burned out and attempt to work at the beginning of the summer
3. recognize burnout and relax a bit, maybe even take a vacation
4. get ready for fall because it’s almost here

Someday I’ll learn, and maybe even avoid the burnout, but I doubt it…  It doesn’t seem to be in my nature.  

1 comment:

  1. interesting... so you propose that it is somehow possible to avoid that burnout?