Senses Working Overtime

Essay grading. Exam grading. Comment writing. Advisor letter writing. Curriculum mapping. Commencement. Week-long training workshop in another city. Starting a new summer job that will last for five weeks.

When just writing it out makes you start to feel panicked, you know you’ve got a case of the Overloads on your hands.

The end of the year is always a hectic time, of course, but this year I can’t look ahead to a stretch of time where I’ll get to decompress. Instead, I’ll be scrambling to make sure Lucy gets to all her ballet recital final rehearsals, and then halfway through her second show, I’ll be on a plane for some professional development. Once I return, I’ll be diving into my summer gig with the Center for Talented Youth, which will keep me busy Monday through Friday well into July. I had to forgo the Library of Congress workshop this year in order to take advantage of the closest possible CTY opening. As much as I hated to defer it, now that I think about the summer, I’m glad to only be shifting between two intense experiences, instead of three!

I’ve never given up this much of my summer before–yes, I hear all you office-bound professionals snickering–and I think knowing I won’t really be able to relax for about seven more weeks is contributing to me not dealing so well with my current stress levels. I’m not quite tearing my hair out, but I’m feeling much more anxious than I usually do in early June, and I know I’ve dropped a few balls lately as a result. I’ve missed the gym for the past few weeks after injuring my back, and I find my mind racing at bedtime, difficult to calm down. Throw in some tween moodiness and the usual dinner/laundry/housework cycle, and you’ve got quite a mess. Well, you might not, but I do.

I’m confronted once again with the fact that in times when we need self-care the most, it can often feel the most impossible to actually achieve. I’m headed back to the gym today, hoping for some afternoon pool time tomorrow, and step by step, moving forward into the sunlight.

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5 thoughts on “Senses Working Overtime

  1. I hear you — that’s the way my summers have shaped up for the last few years. This summer, for the first time in years, I actually have a pretty relaxed summer — one week of professional development, but no summer school teaching! I’m looking forward to the chance to decompress, something I’ve put off for far too long. I think maybe alternating between more and less intense summers is the way to go. Good luck in your upcoming intense one!

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    • Thanks for the good wishes–I know I will manage this juggle the way I have other work/life juggles, but I am having trouble letting go of my vision of the summertime I usually am lucky enough to have. I know I’ll be grateful for the money, but I’ll be thrilled when August rolls around!

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  2. Oooh, I like WN?’s idea of alternating between more and less intense summers. I too have been where you are right now, and it’s an amazing privilege to get to have an “other” professional life in the summers, although it’s also pretty wearing. I hope you do get some time to recharge and that your summer work and experiences are terrific!

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