I wrote an email to a friend/former colleague this morning, and along with the obligatory “I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond” statement, I included, what I thought at the time was a funny, albeit melodramatic line:
Summer is slipping through my desperate grasp!
After I wrote it I sat and stared at it for far too long. I realized it was not so much funny as just sort of true.
At the end of the spring semester my interim library director and I agreed that I would work from home on Fridays. It would be a chance for me to work on writing projects, do some much needed reading and research, think about teaching and pedagogy in a deeper way, and begin work on my tenure file. It worked exceedingly well in June. Coffee in hand every day, I managed to submit a chapter proposal, write some blog posts, devour Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction (which is amazing, btw), and finally take the time to actually read all the critlib writings I’ve been wanting to read.
Then July happened.
I took a vacation. I fell behind on my writing. New projects started to pile up, and suddenly the things I wanted to do–the things that helped me recharge–were no longer the most pressing. I started letting others add Friday meetings to my schedule. In short, I stopped protecting my time.
Now it’s August 2 and I am living in a mild state of paralyzing panic. I know what needs to get done and I know I will get it done, but I also know that what I love–the research, the writing, the reading and connecting with others–is taking a backseat at the moment.
How do I bring it to the forefront again? How do you do it?
My new library director is certainly an ally in my efforts to make time for meaningful work, but I struggle to find that time for myself. I know I will not wake up at 4am to exercise or write. I know I will not work on research or interesting library projects after I do dishes and put my son to sleep and take a shower in the evening. How then, can I find space for personally meaningful work in my existing day? How can I recharge and bring the same excitement I had at the beginning of the summer to the start of the fall semester?
Answers are welcome, as always!