So, I had all these plans about what would happen during this break, and some of those plans have happened, and others of them, well, they have not. I was thrown a curve-ball by a nasty cold involving (this is gross, just skip to the next paragraph if you are a delicate flower) a great deal of mucus. Gross. And inconvenient.
I am a little concerned about the way that writing has fallen by the wayside, but it’s really hard to write when you’ve got a head-cold. Because, you know, writing involves needing your head to be in the right place. (You might want to note at this point that what I’m doing – in between blowing my nose and whining – right at this very moment is writing. But this isn’t real writing, in the sense of needing to think terribly hard. It’s just one long complaint. It seems that is all I can manage with a head-cold.)
So, while I’ve not been writing, I have been doing some other things that are worthwhile. I’ve gotten the letters of reference that I owed to students done, I’ve finished two books – the David Foster Wallace biography (not terribly illuminating, but I did enjoy reading about his friendship with Jonathan Franzen) and Gone Girl (FUN FUN FUN!!!!) – and I’m nearly done rereading and annotating The Marriage Plot, which I’ll be teaching for the first time this spring.
I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking about the shape of the book, and about how the whole thing works as a complete document, as opposed to thinking just about the parts of the book, and this is work that I’ve needed to do, and frankly it’s not work that is easy to do when you don’t have a big block of unstructured time. And so I’m trying to be kind to myself about the lack of words getting written, because I can definitely write words during the academic semester, but I can’t really do the kind of deep and wandering thinking that I’ve been doing (while in an over-the-counter-drug haze) when I’m also doing teaching and all the other day-to-day commitments of the semester.
And I also need to be grateful for the fact that I am not at MLA (even though I’m jealous of everybody who is at MLA) this year, because having all this time is a direct consequence of the fact that I’m not there. And also: how much would it suck to have this cold and to do MLA at the same time? Totally.
Another thing I’ve accomplished this week is that I made tons of appointments – doctors, dentist, vet, car. By the by: it seems this is a great time of year to make such appointments, as I’ve been able to get all of these scheduled for within the next two weeks, which I feel like is wonderful. Something I really hate is making appointments. I also hate having to go to them, but it’s the making of them that is really my biggest problem.
So, the plan for today is that I’m going to try to buckle down and do a good deal of writing, work out (as I am feeling a bit better and I can at least go for a walk or something), continue to rest up and take care of my evil cold, and do some laundry and stuff around the house. Will I be able to do all of those things? We shall see. I feel hopeful, given that I did wake up at 5:30 this morning with energy and have already accomplished more today than I’ve accomplished in the past two days.