Tuesday, January 31, 2017

And still trying

I wore my blue glitter ring this morning, in the thought that "even if you can't find anything very pretty and shiny about the world right now, maybe you can bring something pretty and shiny in to it."

I am somewhat sad and frustrated though:

* A student asked to be late to class as she was having to go to the nurse with "chest pain." I am hoping it's either asthma/allergies (allergens are BAD here; one of my colleagues was coughing yesterday and I was beginning to wonder if he had the flu or bronchitis, but he tells me it's allergies) or that maybe it's something more treatable like a panic attack. (I told her that she could make it up on a later day)

I admit these things always concern me because I remember the student who had a heart attack in the departmental office when my dad was a chairperson - she wound up being okay; it was a mild attack caused by some congenital issue and paramedics got there fast, but still - it could have been a very bad outcome, so I figure chest pain is not something you fool around with.

Also, I would hope if I had some kind of sudden health issue come up that would require me to cancel class, that people would be understanding about it.

* I found out someone lied to me about something fairly important and I cannot tell if I am more angry or more sad about it.

* I may have to draw some hard lines this afternoon in re: the AAUW scholarship and I'm not sure I have the force of character to keep saying "No" to what I'm being pressured to do, and I don't even know if I will be allowed to say "No" given the current administrative structure.

I really, really, really want to resign this job but I don't think I CAN: I am the only member of the branch who is still affiliated with campus (there are a few retirees, but....)

I just....I'm so tired. I think I've taken on so much in my mania to "prove" myself a "for-real adult" and also to "prove" that I'm kind of indispensable and am doing "enough" (post-tenure-review is next month, I'm already dreading what the letter will counsel me to do). Tired and sad and feeling like there's no way I can get out from under some of these things short a real medical emergency, and I'd rather not deal with a serious medical issue of some kind.

(I already groaned, last Elder's meeting, to my elders that I assumed I was Head Elder until I moved away, died, or the congregation folded. Actually, we lost two of our last three Head Elders to death, and the third one left the congregation, so....)

I just want not to be in charge of stuff like that. I was raised in the "servant leadership" model which means being in a position of authority takes a toll on you - I have never benefited from any "power" I had other than vague indirect things like being able to put being on this committee on my CV and the like. And it makes me kind of crazy if I look too closely at how governments operate, because there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of "servant leadership" out there, and it makes me wonder, "Are they wrong, or am I just a chump?"

* I try so hard. And yet it seems a lot of the good I try to do winds up being thwarted or subsumed and I'm just kind of hitting a wall here right now. (I probably need to call April and ask the question - about fem. hygiene products - I was talking about yesterday, and then go buy some when I go out and pick up the crickets for tomorrow's lab; dropping those off will make me feel a little happier, like I did something kind of helpful for someone)

(No, it turns out as I suspected: Health Services will provide feminine-hygiene products if someone cannot afford her own. So maybe I get some single-serving meals and peanut butter instead)

I am not good at the going-out-and-protesting-stuff way of being, I am not good at a lot of things people are trying to do to change things. But I can buy jars of peanut butter so someone who can't afford it can have some food and maybe that does some good, I don't know.

And yeah, yeah, I know: I need to stop whining. 99% of humanity lives and dies with their lives making no impact on the world around them so why should I want anything different? I suppose part of it is not having had kids and that feeling that five years after I've left this earth, no one will ever know I was here, and that makes me kind of sad.


Edited to add: I packed a lunch today because I had to give a  make-up test to a student and the only time they could come in today was at noon. Well, then they couldn't come in. So I am faced with the choice of leaving my lunch here for tomorrow and going home (and then going to run errands - I have to try to get crickets for lab tomorrow) or eating my Sad Desk Lunch (every lunch at work is, pretty much by definition, a Sad Desk Lunch) and maybe getting a bit more done.

But it's stuff like this that gets to me. It's not really anyone's *fault* and by being flexible for this student I can maybe ease their pain a little (they just recently lost a close family member, and yes, I have documentation) but it's just one of those things that makes me sad and tired because it reminds me of how I'm always arranging my life for other people, because I'm the Spinster Who Has Nothing Better To Do. I guess part of it is I'm afraid of taking up "too much space" in people's lives, so I try to take up as little as possible, and periodically I just get like this - kind of sad and off in a corner.

Part of it is, it's kind of like having the emotional version of a cold - you know how sometimes when you get a cold, you get all kinds of crud afterwards, bronchitis and strep and who knows what else? And you go to the doctor and her or she shakes their head and goes, "It's because your resistance was down."

Well, right now my resistance is down. I'm tired, I'm trying to spin too many plates and not have them all come crashing down and so little stuff gets to me. Oh, I can keep up a gracious front but inside I'm a little frustrated about how I rearrange my life and then it turns out I didn't need to, or I keep re-rearranging.

I really genuinely don't know if I have taken on too much and am having a hard time dealing with it because of that, or if I've taken on a normal amount and I'm just hopeless at dealing with it all. I've had a few discussions with people of late that seem to suggest to me that maybe I'm just not as good at juggling stuff - they seem to say they are all doing way more than I am, and yet, their lives seem less like hopeless messes. I don't know.

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