Thursday, September 10, 2020

nearly missed it

 I'm trying to post at least something daily, and maybe once on the weekend, but today nearly eluded me. This week has just been long and difficult, even if I had Labor Day "off" (I did not, actually, have it off - spent nearly the whole day prepping for this week). 

Still no updates on road resurfacing, so I just have to hope that they will warn us

I had to get my garage door opener replaced on Wednesday. And now the monkeyfighter won't close all the way, it goes down 3/4 of the way and then pops back up. It's not a matter of something being in the way; either the track needs to be greased or it got bent a little (?) when the guy was working on it. And the light doesn't come on. So in irritation, I had to call the place BACK today - I hate that, I hate having to be "assertive" in that particular way. Told the guy. Told him several times, in fact, because the phone he was talking on might well have actually been a potato. I kept having to repeat myself. Anyway, the guy is supposed to come BACK tomorrow and I'm hoping the answer is not him shrugging and go "you need new tracks for the door" because the stupid opener was $489. And also I apparently need a light bulb to go in it. (If I had time I'd run to Lowe's and get a can of the grease you use on it, and also one  of the "light bulbs for high-vibration situations - though maybe if I look, I still have one from the last time I changed it in the old opener)

But yeah - do not recommend this place even if they are the only one in town. I suppose maybe Lowe's sells the things and I could have got installation through them; maybe I should have done that. (I do not thing I would be handy enough to do it myself EVEN IF it weren't a pandemic and I could get someone to come and help me). 

And the new lab didn't go very well, at one point I had a student bordering on yelling at me because (a) I had made a mistake that I almost immediately corrected and (b) they didn't understand. And yeah, I mostly kept my cool, I get that people are stressed out now, but the thing is - everyone is stressed out. People don't recognize this but I have literally been alone since March, the only human contact I've had really where someone touched me was the dentist appointment and a doctor's appointment and I have taken to putting the tv on to hear human voices. Throughout the summer, some weeks the only person I really talked to was my mother on the phone. And yeah, I maybe did lose my cool a tiny bit, I said "I am doing my best in this, I know it's not very good, and I'm sorry" but....yeah. 

Several other things I've noticed:

- because teaching is so different this fall, it is like prepping everything new again and it's exhausting.

- things just take longer than you expect. It took multiple hours to figure out how to do an exam with different forms online so different people get different forms. 

- I know I'm not doing a particularly good job and I also know I have to try to be content with that and it's kind of killing me.

- I'm not knitting or sewing much and that's probably bad for me. Trying to force myself to do at least a half hour of piano a day so I don't totally lose my chops at it, but that's not really enough to progress. Everything about my life feels kind of stuck right now and I would like for things to get un-stuck.

Also having no weekend plans to look forward to beyond maybe getting caught up on grading and maybe cleaning house a little is bad. A person needs things to look forward to and....there's just not much right now. I tell myself this won't be forever, that eventually things will get better, and while my head believes that, my heart doesn't, and it's just hard.

Church starts back up in person Sunday. We are doing our best to be safe and at this point, you know? If the safety precautions aren't enough and I get sick, then I get sick. I'm not going to be an idiot and go lick doorknobs or go to bars or refuse to wear a mask, but...what I am doing now is not living. Better to go out carefully and figure "Well, if I die, it was my time, better than never seeing another human for five years" or whatever. 

I'm just...I feel flattened. I'm tired all the time, I never feel caught up with work. Once again I feel like I should give away at least half of my yarn and fabric, I am never going to use it, I barely knit a few rounds in a day now. 

I know part of this is covid-depression. Not much I can do about it right now other than hang on and white-knuckle through and if things get a little better later on look into getting my head fixed. Another part of it though is just all the WORK. All the extra stuff - dealing with lots more e-mails, and the effort of streaming AND recording the classes and then posting them later because enough people have dodgy connections that they can't always tune in, and figuring out how to keep labs safe, and also the extra time spent washing hands and cleaning surfaces, and all of it, all of it is stuff I don't WANT to be doing, but I must. 

The thing is, if someone asked me, "What would make you happy?" - well, I can't think of anything any human being can give me. There's nothing I could buy that would make things better. There's nothing anyone could really give me, other than maybe someone offering to "bubble up" with me (I can't ask, it seems too forward, I am a C-list friend at best) and like, maybe once in a while get together for a meal or to just watch television together or some dumb thing like that. 

More sleep, maybe, that would help too. Most nights I'm managing maybe five hours if I don't wake up for too long in the middle of the night. 

A little help with the work at school would be appreciated, but everyone is overstretched and we don't have any extra TAs to help - so my choice is to keep on like I am and hope it gets easier, or start dropping balls, which frankly would be worse for my state of mind than always-working would be. 

(Also a little recognition from the Powers That Be - I mean, genuine recognition, not a "we know times are hard, here go watch this video we had made on how to do yoga" thing. Either some kind of flex time or a little more money or....I don't know, something. because I'm at the point here of thinking "if I got offered early retirement, I'd take it in a heartbeat, even if it would screw my department over a little" I don't love teaching any more, and I am telling myself that's because I'm doing it under bad circumstances and things will get better, but my heart cries out WHEN?)

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