Monday, January 30, 2017

Up and down

The good:

* I can still move faster than my students in the field, despite being 20+ years older than most of them (I can't quite say I'm heavier than all of them, not in this class - there are a couple of biggish guys in there)

* Picked up my W-2 today, so I suppose I need to make an appointment with Jackson-Hewitt and start the process of getting my taxes done.

* I think I can count my walking out in the field today can count for today's exercise; it was at least a mile of fast walking over rough terrain (probably more than that, I estimated about 3/4 mile to one side of the site and then we walked across and back). And I walked up and down the three flights to pick up my W-2 from HR.

* Apparently my proofreading work was appreciated; I got a nice note back from the editor of the journal. That kind of thing pleases me. I'm good at that kind of detail work and I do tend to prefer to do those little, behind-the-scenes things I can do on my own time.

The not-so-good:

* Just news of the world. People seem just to be so angry and full of hatred and I don't know. I used to say "I am going to try to do good to cancel out some of the bad" but more and more I look at things like terrorist attacks and go "There's no good I can do that can have any effect; there is no balancing." I mean, I still try to do good because I cannot do otherwise, God help me. But there's just a creeping feeling of despair.

And I know, I know. But it's hard not to lose hope. What I can do is so small.

* Our campus is having to start a "food closet" for students who have income/financial insecurity and can't afford some meals. (They are also taking toiletries, and I think I'm going to ask the nurse if feminine hygiene products are something needed or if there's another way they're supplied, because I can imagine that being an issue - it is for homeless women - and they are kind of expensive. And I'm getting to the end (hopefully) of ever needing them myself). I mean, I guess it's a chance for me to do a little benefit to others but it makes me sad that we have to have that.

* Some contradictory dicta coming from On High - sometimes it seems like they say "don't do that" one semester, and then the next, "Why aren't you doing that." I don't deal well with that kind of thing.

* I still have a lot to get done. I didn't write anything on the manuscript today with running around getting stuff ready for lab this afternoon. (And Faculty Meeting. And typing an exam. And, and, and)

* My mom is still hurting, a month after her fall. She called her doctor today and he told her to stop using ibuprofen but he would call in a Maloxicam prescription for her. And she called me to see if I knew anything about it. I don't, really, but she was concerned about the "black box" warnings on there about heart stuff (she has never had heart or circulation issues and is in really very good health for an 80 year old). I reassured her the best I could and then looked it up online and called her back with more information (the biggest one: don't consume alcohol with it. Not that she probably would, but once in a while my parents will split a beer or have a glass of wine).

But you know? I think of a comic I saw a while back, I can't remember which one it was, but the parent-figure was reassuring the scared child that the world really was very safe, the child was safe, everything would be okay....and the child thanked them and happily went off to bed. And the parent wound up lying awake staring at the ceiling thinking of all the bad things.

Who will reassure the reassurers?

(I won't relax 100% until I speak to her again in a few days and find out there were no bad side effects)

The I-don't-know:

* I think I need to find some light entertainment for this evening and go wash my hair first and make the spaghetti bolognese I have ground meat for and then figure out something to rest my brain and heart a little.

* I suspect "cocooning" (remember that?) is gonna come back big time. I think it already kind of has with "hygge" being seemingly EVERYWHERE. But for someone like me, who's an introvert and doesn't have a lot of friends who go out in the evenings, true "hygge" isn't possible, because it requires having other people around.

(Confession: I am a little sick of all the "hygge" talk. It does seem our culture latches on to a concept and then either markets it to death or talks it to death.)

* Blanket-forting. Maybe that's what's next. And I know, much comic/political hay has been made of the whole "safe spaces" thing - but you know? When the world is dark and there are people who act in ugly ways in it, I think it's good sometimes to just retreat. You can't engage with the world all the time, or at least I can't, because it burns me out and makes me sad and makes me less able to treat others with kindness and grace.

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