Right now I don’t need the old “Easy” button from the commercials years ago. I need the reset button.
It’s been a hard few weeks, and it’s not that it’s one BIG thing. It’s just a bunch of things piling up and that feeling like I can’t dig out from under them. It’s feeling like I can never catch up, that this summer is wasted, that the fall semester will be here before I know it, and that I will never get where I want to go in life.
It’s not a fun feeling. And I hate being in this gloom-and-doom funk. I truly, truly hate it. I know that it comes, periodically, when one works in academia, and when one’s success is driven (at least in part) by others’ decisions and actions. By their decisions to offer you funding (or not). By accepting a manuscript for publication (or not). By voting to give you tenure (or not).
And this time, I’m not sure how to get out of it. Thanks to the pandemic and spiking cases here in my area, I really can’t GO anywhere. I can’t even see the one kind-of-family member who lives near here, as I don’t know what they have been doing, or to whom (or what) they’ve been exposed. I’m still at home most of the time, and it’s starting to feel like I’ll never get out of here. I know a lot of people are going through the same things, and I have no right to complain. I’m safe, I have a job, and food, and health insurance. But some days, when the little things pile up, it’s hard to look past the pile and see the good things. It can be hard to be grateful.
Usually I just push through these times by working hard, and eventually I find a path out of the canyon. Given the length of my to do list (ha) I’m hoping that the same approach works this time. That, and maybe a short trip for some frozen custard this weekend. The drive (and, let’s be real, the custard!) would probably go a long way to helping me mentally reset.