Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I Keep on Going

I've turned a corner, crossed a bridge, and left a thing behind; pick the platitude that works for you.  I had a week of stay-cation last summer during which we could not travel because Dr. Professor Wife's professional schedule.  I thought about saving the vacation time and returning to work, but I still needed time off.  I badly needed whatever tiny amount of rejuvenation I could get.

I had visions of lying in a pod surrounded by a soft blue light with no discernible origin while my cells were individually revitalized and my blood replaced like some kind of upscale high tech version of Keith Richards.  I settled for sipping coffee and watching my dogs sniff around the garden in back.  I read a lot of things printed on paper, swam when I wanted, walked around San Francisco; in essence enjoyed myself immensely.  I was fully rejuvenated.

The trouble was, and still is a little, that I could not snap back in at work.  I had so effectively removed myself from it that I could not fully engage with anything there.  This went on for nearly two months, and it was only just after Halloween that I finally was able to fully focus on any given task other than chatting with students (which is what I do best anyway).

I have retirement on the brain.  I want to launch into the world after the Big U and do whatever seizes my interest and refuses to let go.  I want, I want, I want . . . but I can't yet.  I need three more years of dealing with that badly run clip joint before I can sneak away during a summer when no one is around.

I am fully convinced that there is no going back.  I will never again be deeply interested in the details of administering the cogs and switches of high end graduate education.  I'll keep up in order to make sure I can deal with the changes, but only enough for that.  My interest in it is on impulse power.  I first noticed this change back when I wrote that my main reaction to people coming by for help was "What the fuck do YOU want?" instead of "How can I help you?"  It hasn't changed much.  I used to welcome visitors and now I just want a nice quiet day with minimal interruption.  That's a bad sign for a career people person.