It’s been a phenomenally busy week – the beginning of a new semester always brings with it a lot of extra (often unexpected) work and long days, no matter how well you’ve tried to prepare in advance. Almost every class presents a sea of new faces, and apart from the psyching myself up I feel I need to do before going in there to stand in front of them and make a halfways competent impression, and the concentration needed to brief all the people whose names appear on the magically computer-generated course lists, there are always the problem cases to deal with, the last-minute changed minds, and the chaotic paralysis of system overloads caused by everyone trying to access everything at once.
Today, Sunday, is a total contrast. Not that I lay abed for an age in a stubborn attempt to claw back some of the “me doing nothing” time denied to me over the last ten days or so – I wanted to get up, was raring to go, and the reason? I have NO commitments today, NO appointments, NO deadlines, NO annoying chores that absolutely have to be done, and I even have the prospect of NO one to talk to for a good few hours, which, believe me, is all a real luxury just at this particular point in time and after such a peopled-out week. And what am I doing? I opened up the windows and blinds to air the flat, had a leisurely breakfast while reading the paper, have done two loads of washing, tended some of the plants, sorted clean laundry, tidied some stuff on the computer, drunk tea, reorganized the fridge and have a list of smaller tasks to keep me occupied for a couple of hours more. The place is bright, smells fresh, has a ton of healthy-looking greenery, and I’m feeling fresh and well tended myself. Oh, and it looks as though I have now almost written this week’s blog entry, too….
All this might well strike anyone else as a pretty mundane if not boring listing of activities that most people feel are not even worth mentioning (except perhaps on Twitter ), but what I’ve managed to get done entirely voluntarily today and how it’s making me feel is quite significant to me. During the university vacation I have a clear (though mostly undramatic to the outside observer) tendency to collapse in a little heap of unmotivated misery if faced with such an unstructured day devoid of obligations, and if I’m not careful this can result in a chronic lack of productivity that creates a sense of dissatisfaction (aaaand repeat, in ever decreasing circles…). I’m writing about how good I feel today and how much I’m getting done – and for ME, not because I HAVE to do it for anyone else or any other reason – just so that maybe it will help if I can look back at it another time when I’m struggling to find the motivation.
It is, indeed, a perfect day.
Note: the image accompanying this blog entry was originally used for this post.