Well, what everyone said about feeling up and down is certainly true. I feel as though I’ve been fed an overdose of female hormones…
Yesterday was a pretty good day. It was the first day of the semester, and I’d been eyeing it with some apprehension for some time in any case. I did know from past experience that it’s normally a day that brings relief and pleasure from getting back into something I enjoy and that everyone seems to think I’m good at. This time round, though, I wasn’t sure to what extent the other stuff going on in my life might affect me adversely. But everything was fine. I only had one class, which was a relief, and it wasn’t until the afternoon, so I forced myself to be just a little bit more leisurely in the morning and walked round town a bit, bought a card for a friend, paid an overdue bill immediately after receiving the reminder (I was quite impressed by this!) and just enjoyed being out in the fresh air, savouring the feeling that I had overridden my normal compulsion to go straight to work. It was only a small gesture, but I felt that I had done something for myself, and the feeling was good.
The class went really well, too. A lively and interested bunch of students, and everyone was happy to engage in the activities I’d planned for their first session. Slipping into my classroom persona (always cheerful, chatty, encouraging, witty (either that or people are easily amused…)) offered such a total break from worrying or feeling sad about something, and the adrenalin kept me “up” for the rest of the day. Then coming home in the evening and find some more lovely blog comments and some other messages extended the feeling further.
Today, by contrast, started with me feeling the world’s burdens on my shoulders. Every e-mail from a student pleading to be let into an overcrowded class, following all of our efforts last week to make class sizes fair, almost sent me into apoplexy (hence my wondering aloud on Twitter what Sisyphean task was going to greet me next), and I was really quite snappy for much of the morning. This continued to the beginning of my first class, where, you guessed it, I was greeted by several forlorn looking students at the door begging to be admitted. I told them quite loudly, in front of the others, that their addition would mean my attention would be spread out even more thinly among everyone, but I did acquiesce and let them in. And once we actually started the class, everything was OK and the extra people proved to be active, cheerful participants.
The afternoon class also went well, although I was a bit disorganized about getting the equipment set up (laptop, projector, loudspeakers – the university can lavish money on 550-year jubilees and rebuilding the library, but classrooms are generally badly equipped and you have to take technical stuff along yourself), I had to swap rooms as there wasn’t enough space (luckily an amenable colleague was in the larger room opposite), and then I probably talked too much. Oh well.
Positive points: I’m having a girlie video evening on Thursday (going to watch “Truly, Madly, Deeply”, which I love but will cause me to cry buckets – friend has been forewarned and will most likely share tissues!), celebrating a colleague’s permanent contract on Friday, going to look what’s on offer in the university’s extra-mural section, and planning to arrange a meeting with a friend I haven’t seen for a while on Sunday.
Life goes on, and I now feel a lot better for having written all this down.