It felt like a busier week than it probably was, in part because I had unexpected appointments (and cancellations) that changed the way I thought it would unfold.
I’m done with letters and recommendations for the season, I’m pretty sure. But I kept meeting with grad students and undergrads. They are rewarding, no question, but I have to prepare for them.
I was supposed to be in town in part to participate in the campus visit of a distinguished professor of South Asian studies who would be giving public lectures and smaller presentations as well as lunching and dining with faculty and university officers. Alas, the giant storm that blew through the center of the country made it impossible for the Distinguished Visitor to visit. It was a big disappointment, not only because these visits are organized months in advance, but also because the talks and meetings promised to be particularly interesting. I hope it can be rescheduled.
I also had impromptu meetings about department issues that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. And yes, I’m supposed to be not meeting on this stuff, but that’s not always feasible. At least I’m out of town for this week’s slate of important stuff. Here’s hoping I won’t retrospectively wish I’d been there for them.
Writing, what is that? Oh yeah, I remember!
I finished the two books I talked about last week and they were just as good as I thought they’d be. I owe you reviews of them, and they’re coming, I promise! I paused for a bit, because when you finish two excellent reads it can be hard to pivot to something new. I burned time reading about the books on the BTBA longlist and tracking them down via Overdrive, Hoopla, and ebook vendors. I’m still not going to read them all! But there are some intriguing books on there and at least half of the longlist is available either on loan or at reasonable prices to buy.
I also realized I’d better start thinking about what to read for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge, which is due this Wednesday. The theme is Something Different, which makes Urban/Paranormal Fantasy an easy option. I have a bunch on the TBR, that’s for sure. I read a Nocture Bites short, but that doesn’t seem like quite enough, so I’m starting a full-length novel and hoping I’ll get it read in time to review both for Wednesday’s post.
My listening has been football (the roundball kind) podcasts and Brexitcast. Both are ramping up in a big way, between Champions League, the Premier League run-in, and the EU’s drop-dead dates. Unsurprisingly, only the sports deadlines are unchanging. As a Liverpool fan it’s serious nail-biting time. As a fan of the UK not blowing itself up politically and economically, ditto.
I’ve been making lists and keeping my Hobonichi out and open on the desk while I work. I also broke in my 12-hour-clock stamp and have been writing down the ways I spend the day. It’s helping. The Mostly Dumbphone is still my phone of choice and I’m getting faster at T9 texting. I’m checking my email much less frequently, which is not proving to be a hindrance in any way.
My other change this week is to consciously walk away from the computer and write with pen and ink and paper, or if I’m reading, do it via print or ereader. I’m not using internet- or site-blocking software or anything; having to check my email manually and turning off notifications is working well so far. The most important change for me is to avoid having the computer to hand when I’m sitting around or working but kind of stuck, because then I start surfing and the time slips away and the stuck thing doesn’t get unstuck. That change means that when I’m working, whether writing longhand or via computer typing, I wind up sitting and staring into space instead of clicking a tab and falling down an internet hole. Mentally it feels more relaxing and I’m more likely to overcome the obstacle, but it’s also kind of weird because I haven’t had that sensation in so long. Weird in a good way, though.
I’m away from the office again, so my time is almost all my own. I’m really looking forward to it.
The one activity I have to add back in is exercise. I promised my doctor that in exchange for getting off a medication that was giving me unpleasant side effects I’d continue to be more active and eat better. I’ve been doing pretty well, but I love the sedentary life and I have to make sure I’m active when I don’t have external reasons and contexts to provide it.