Yes, another full day of workshops and symposia.
I got home last night and I just sat for a long time. I barely had the energy to force myself to do the remaining bit of piano practice I needed to do (Today, I was smart: I did 40 minutes before leaving the house, so even if I can only manage 10 more when I get home, I'm pretty well covered).
I don't know what's wrong, exactly. I tweeted last night that I felt "old, and sad, and tired" and it was true. I tried knitting for a bit and that didn't help. I sewed up the last block for the Post and Beam quilt and that helped a little, but not as much as I thought. I'm not sure what's causing this malaise, though it could be any one, or a combination of, three things:
1. Six hours of listening without much in the way of breaks. Including listening to one person I'd really rather not listen to because of the tone they use. And the chairs were not very comfortable: I'm not unusually tall nor do I have unusually long legs (inseam of 29"), but I was cramped and unable to find a really comfortable way to arrange my legs all day.
2. A lot of that six hours was devoted to what I call "Be More Gooder" talks - pep talks to motivate people to "suck it up and do more" (as one person put it). And the problem is, I'm really susceptible to feeling guilt over that kind of thing, like "I'm not doing enough" or "Even though I'm doing my best, it's not enough." EVEN though, as one of my colleagues noted at lunch: "We all already pretty much DO this stuff already." (One of the big things is a push for Writing Across the Curriculum and I require papers, and also have essay questions on exams, in ALL my classes). But still, I somehow walk out of those things feeling terribly inadequate. (That may have something to do with the fact that it seems like most other people can put the best face possible on their efforts, and build up small things to look large and innovative, while I am much more likely to downplay anything worthwhile that I do, or find fault with it)
3. I'm still getting over what increasingly seems to have been a mild case of viral bronchitis. (At the time I got it, I thought it was a bad cold. But several other people I know have had similar symptoms and wound up with a dx of bronchitis. And also, I coughed far more and far worse than I ever do with a cold). It often takes me a while to pop back from a virus - not so much physically (I managed a half-hour of a workout this morning, which is half what I normally do, but I do still notice some chest congestion) as mentally/emotionally. I don't know why viruses seem to throw me for such an emotional loop but they often do.
And of course mama nature is playing her usual tricks on me, giving me the "difficult" week out of the month right at a time when I'm not really equipped to deal with it.
I found myself last night thinking, "Is this really my life? Have I really done everything worthwhile that I'm ever going to do?" And while that's probably not true, and I recognize that on an intellectual level, the emotional level doesn't quite recognize it.
And I think part of my inability to do much of anything last night was related to the looming thought that I get to spend another six hours in symposia today. It's funny - I can go to meetings about the types of research I do and come away totally energized, but these kinds of meetings are just draining the life out of me. (Part of it is those other meetings are voluntary, they're usually in another city so I can feel like I'm on "vacation," and also I have the choice to ditch sessions and go for a walk or to one of the local museums or to the shopping district if there's nothing that captures my attention. And I usually build in at least half a day when I'm at meetings somewhere to do that, just in case there aren't any "boring" sessions I can skip)
But this is NOT a good headspace to be in right before classes start. I'm going to need to do something different this weekend to blow the cobwebs out and cheer myself up before classes start.