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. 


Blogger Don said...

Similarly, I am not engaged. But I cannot hold on for just three years. I would be best off holding on for another eight, and then after Intel's mandatory retirement age of 65, go look somewhere else.

I understand why people believe in gods. The decisions I've made and the path they've put me on only make sense if I see them as part of a larger journey given me by higher powers. If the purpose of life is just to take care of yourself and your children, have a good time, hurt no one, and generally just cruise along as happily as you can, then I've rather blown it. I'm still enthralled with S and she with me but it only makes sense for me to have decimated my own finances to support them when you know why they were destitute in the first place, and then throw in the caretaker gene I grew when I knew Susan, and my particularly Leonine passion against injustice. When I look at the sometimes unbelievable chances and resonances that put us where we are I can't help but hear the chuckling and the betting taking place on Olympus. Meanwhile it's a hell of a love story, but I can't imagine paying any bills by telling it ... or making the time to tell any other stories.

Wah wah wah. Meanwhile when some hard-working youngster with a bureaucratic issue comes knocking and sees your face clamp down around a suppressed "What the f--!" be sure to toss another suction-dart at one of your travel posters to the south seas while they're talking to you.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Of all the people I know, you most oughta make time for telling stories . . . in print. What the hey hey.

If I were forced to work another 7 or 8 years, I would go completely around the bend. I have toiled at that flailing ship of fools for 32 years and change, and I am tired of it in the extreme. I have decided that I must have small moments of meditation of some kind amid the madness. I will always work out hard, but along the way I've decided that tai chi and qi gong are necessary or I am will leave work everyday in a foul frame of mind. Simply foullllll. It's gotten to that point. I gotta close my door and go into the horse stance and go somewhere else for a while. It keeps me able to prevent myself from biting the head off someone like my boss. That might be bad. Inner peace is the only way. Hey, maybe I should show up one day looking and talking like Kwai Change Caine from Kung Fu. I could wander around annoying the shit outta people by noodling without melody on w bamboo flute, and bowing a lot. Ayeee!

10:20 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

Best of luck to you! I went through a similar time when my mind left work a few years before my body did. You cope, invent mechanisms, develop a more finely tuned sense of humor. You'll do fine.

6:21 AM  

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