Anyone who has been reading this blog lately knows that I’ve wandering around town lately as a calmer, happier version of myself. My low-level anxiety (I keep it handily tucked in a back pocket where it can be hauled out at a moment’s notice) hasn’t been quite as on-call. I’ve been leaning towards the it’ll-probably-be-ok side of things lately, trusting in the universe while enjoying the company of books and out-of-town friends.
But I gotta say: I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up. Though Thanksgiving weekend was fun and social (though I didn’t make it home), I didn’t get quite as much accomplished on the productivity front as I might have liked. “Relax, Meredith!” I can hear you saying. “It was Thanksgiving! Take a break!” True enough.
But the problem with long weekends is that they make for short weeks. That can be a great thing when you are paid a salary and are merely ticking off the days between Sunday and Saturday. When you’re running your own schedule, and your to-do list yawns ahead of you, however, it can be a little panic inducing. I’ve got stuff to do, and it waits for no graduate student — holidays-be-damned!
It seems fitting, for example, that I opened up my email this morning to find a note from the head of the Cultural Studies department (sent to all 2nd year M.A students) reminding us that we are supposed to be setting up Proposal Approval Meetings with the department, as well as submitting annotated bibliographies (with 25-30 entries) in the very near future. (Wanna ask me if I’ve started mine? Wanna? Yeah?). Hello, beginning-of-the-week stress! gah.
And so, the week begins with a slow jog that is quickly becoming a clippity-cloppety gallop. There’s a good chance that by the end of the week it’ll be a full-on, heart-pounding run — but only time will tell. I am going to have to bring out all my best time-management techniques this week: strategies to delay procrastination, break tasks into more manageable chunks, and acknowledge the things that I do accomplish, even if the ‘work done’ list seems eternally (and frustratingly) short in comparison to the ‘work to-do’ list.
Of course, we’ve been having some beautiful days in this crazy, college town — it would likely do us all some good to make sure we get out into the sunshine a little while it’s out there to be had.