Getting reacquainted with work-life balance
Remember all my pretty little thoughts about how much I’d miss my fat baby when I went back to work, and how uninspired I’d be by my job, and blah blah blah? Well, the wrecking ball of hideous sickness came smashing through our household and pulverized all those fine notions. Rather than missing my Bunlet, I was eager to get the fuck away from the enormous pile of sick babies with all their endless rivers of mucous, and rather than feeling dispirited by my lack of career motivation, I was largely focused on not pissing myself every single time I had a coughing fit. (KEGEL RIGHT NOW, FRIENDS.) Oh, and Bunlet was refusing to take a bottle, and doing that anti-turtle thing all night where he’d roll onto his belly and then want off but be all helpless waaaaah.
So that was a nice distraction. Now we’re mainly better, though of course still not at all healthy or anything. Bunlet’s taking his bottle, and sleeping well again, and I haven’t pissed myself since Friday. And…I guess I’m getting the hang of having a job again.
I’ve been surprised at how NOT bad it is. The teaching is fine. I’m a little more forgetful and brain dead than is really appropriate, but professors have a reputation for being absent-minded so I’m just living up to the stereotype. But I’m even feeling okayish about research.
I had a meeting with a professional development coach my first week back. I mentioned I am taking part in a series for mid career faculty women? The workshop sessions have been a waste of time (OMG! Today we got the results of a survey our peers filled out about our leadership qualities and shit, and the amount of difficulty a bunch of PhDs had in interpreting some fucking data was a total embarrassment to me and I criiiiiiinged), but the coaching session was great. I only cried three times. She helped me with some good concrete action items, but my favorite part was where she said, You have two kids under two. You can coast. How long can I coast, I asked. As long as you need to, she replied. Sweet. She may be wrong, but I think for the moment I’m just going to take her word for it.
She was also like Get some fucking therapy for your self esteem issues, honey. And I was like I can’t bother a therapist with my silly old self esteem issues. And she was like, Yeah, see above.
So I’ll have to decide whether my lack of confidence is actually holding me back from becoming the beautiful blossoming butterfly flower I want to be.
I’ve also taken a leaf from Twangy‘s book (is it Ulysses? I bet it is.) and instituted Telly Ban Tuesday. Except mine is Monday. I’d been having free-floating anxiety because I never have time to do certain classes of thing, like writing letters or writing in my journal, or reading, or taking care of various odds and ends. And watch less TV has been on my new year’s resolution list for…uh…a decade, and yet it magically neeeeeeeever happens. But it turns out that one night a week I can totally do. I look forward to it. And then I look forward to watching TV again. So just having a little more time to myself has been very therapeutic.
SO! We’ll see how long this lasts, but heading into week three of the semester, I can firmly state that I am not dead.