Who gets a cold in a heat wave? That’s right – only yours truly. I have a sore throat. I feel achy. And steer clear, folks, ’cause I may be whiney.
So, thinking I would nip it in the bud by taking good care of myself and getting lots of sleep, I spent a quiet night in. I skipped the tequila party and brewed up a soothing ginger-honey-lemon concoction instead. I set aside my fears and stresses and read a non-academic book on my balcony for a little while. I got into bed early and decided to sleep it off.
But my body – and the heat – conspired against me.
That’s right. From 10:30pm til 3:30am, I hovered in and out of consciousness. Every thought I’d ever had in my life came and did high kicks on my forehead. I started worrying about things I hadn’t worried about in ages – things I hadn’t even thought to worry about before! And yes, fellow grad students, I started having MAJOR THESIS PROJECT PANIC. Now let me tell you – the VERY WORST time to have MAJOR THESIS PROJECT PANIC is the middle of the night when you have a sore throat and want nothing more than to be fast asleep, letting your body do the work of fighting off a cold virus.
But no: instead I was lying in a sweaty, heat-wavey muddle of sheets trying not to FREAK OUT. I don’t know what it is about the night, but issues that seem daunting-but-surmountable during the day morph into the ridiculously impossible I-should-just-quit-now at night. Because I am going to be working on a very personal video project in the next few months, my night stress involved everything from worrying about screwing up the technical aspects of the project, to worrying about the tiny stuff, like getting my initial proposal and my GREB (ethics review board) paperwork together.
And I know I can sometimes been the Queen of Helpful Hints on this little blog, spitting out bits of info I’ve gleaned on managing your time, keeping things in perspective, and cutting yourself some slack. But oh baby – night (especially night when you are DESPERATE to sleep!) is not the time when your logical brain kicks in and smooths it all out for you. Nope. Night is the time when small problems become M.A.- defeating monsters. Night is when every little worry you’ve ever had in your whole entire life is allowed to come out and perform for you on the edge of the bed.
Fortunately, the sun is shining today and I’m feeling a little more capable of keeping things in perspective. I still have a nasty sore throat, and I’m sniffly and generally kind of pathetic, but I’m keeping the panic at bay. For now. I’ll keep you posted.