Saturday, September 7, 2013

Projects

I don't know what's happening, but I have become so busy, it isn't even funny.  The good thing is, it's all great career-stuff, so this year is turning out to be pretty solid for me in terms of my professor-gig.

And I only have myself to blame for the fact that I'm overbooked, of course.  I tend to see an interesting project or idea and I think, "sign me up!"  And I go and sign me-self up.

Case in point.  I just finished writing up a research proposal and got awesome feedback, so I made the changes I needed.  This means it's done a month ahead of time. Yes.  This should put me ahead of the game.  Give me all kinds of free time now.

And it would have, except that I had no sooner clicked the little x to close that file, when I opened my email and there was an invitation to contribute a research proposal for another, different project.  To take place next spring.  Due in a month.

So of course, I had to do it.  So much for that "ahead-of-the-game" thing I had going a few seconds ago.

Scroll to the next message in my email.  An editor for a journal in the UK wants to know if I'd be willing to work as one of their book reviewers.

Well, of course I would.  If you're going to send me books and then ask me to write about them and publish what I write, there's no way I can say no to that.  Plus the review wouldn't be due until next June, so that's totally no problem.

(Let's ignore the fact that I have now agreed to submit a review for publication immediately on the heels of finishing the research seminar I've just signed myself up for, moments earlier.)

And since we can't have it be all writing all day, we have to throw some presentations in there.  Change it up.  Because teaching and holding office hours for 12 hrs a week isn't enough public-speaking for a card-carrying introvert, now, is it?

Last spring, I agreed to do 2 additional public presentations.  Just two, little, day-long seminars.  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of total strangers.  Let's book those on Thursdays, when I don't teach.

And then, I thought, well,  gosh, that can't possibly be enough, so I signed myself up for another.  Just a nice, hour-long presentation.  On a Thursday again.

All the while that I'm doing this, of course, I totally know that I have already agreed to chair an important committee, which means I'll be running those meetings every two weeks.

And now, hey, lookit this here in my next email.  A request to do an hour-long presentation.  This one's on a Monday, though, so that will totally fit.  I mean, I already know my Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are booked until December, but no one's gotten ahold of one of my Mondays yet.

Sign me up!

After all, I'm only serving on two other committees that have a lot of work scheduled for the next two months.  Those don't get cranking until next week.  No problem.

That's why, when the third email in the inbox was about a project I had agreed to work on last spring, I blithely reassured the sender that I was going to get working on it "any minute now."  Just waiting for that "minute" to open up.

Meanwhile, for Labor Day weekend this year, we had non-stop thunderstorms for 3 days.  The term "wash-out" didn't even begin to cover it.  And yet, I went to 2 perfectly wonderful parties and had a great time.  Clearly, it's not the climate that makes a party, it's the company.

Nevertheless, it was a bit bizarre: I didn't think thunderstorms were allowed to schedule themselves at 4:00 a.m., but they did.

When I went to the basement to unplug my dehumidifier at 4:00 a.m. during one of them, I heard a dripping sound.  After panicked prayers of "please, not the septic!" and "please, not the plumbing in general!"  I heaved a sign of relief. 

It's only the roof.  A leak around the plumbing vent.

So all I need to do is schedule a roofer to come do the work.  Sometime in the next week or so.  No problem.  What are Fridays for, after all?

Another project.  No problem.  It's not like I'm going to have to budget time to stack two cords of firewood and cover the garden with chicken wire anytime soon.  Oh, wait.  That's right... winter's coming.  Hunh.

As I stared at my calendar last night, I began to feel a slight--oh, ever so slight--feeling of despair.  I'll admit, I softly whispered the words, "What have I done?" to an indifferent universe comprised of meager, 24-hour days.

There may not be enough of them, as it turns out.  I appear to have been budgeting for 36-hr days and operating on the assumption that there are typically 36 days in a month. 

So I've decided I'm going to do what any intelligent, sensible woman would do in such a situation.  I'm going raspberry picking.  And when I finish that, I'm going apple-picking.  And then I'm going to get a nice bushel basket of tomatoes, so I can do some canning.  I'll stop by the farm store and get some fresh eggs, and then I'll maybe make a carrot cake with the carrots from my garden.  After all, I made eggplant parmesan from the eggplant in my garden last night, so tonight, it can be carrot-based carbs.

And then maybe I'll go for a swim or a bike ride.  Denial is clearly the order of the day, under such circumstances. 

Projects be damned.  I'll do all that and then some.  Just you wait and see.  (Gulp.)



Later that morning...

All the ingredients for a PERFECT Saturday!
 

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."