'Tis the Season of Squelched Optimism

It is amazing how good you feel about 24 hours after being sick, simply because you aren't sick anymore. Good health sure is underrated, isn't it?

That was the beginning of last week. A. and I came down with some gross 24-hour virus thing but thankfully none of the urchins we live with came down with it too, and now we're better and we can return to the business of, well, you know -- busyness.

It was around this time that I was attempting to reinstate some past habits/behaviors simply to help me get through the end of the semester -- scheduling blocks of time for grading and avoiding all other commitments, doing quick and brief journaling in the mornings just to get my head wrapped around what I needed to accomplish for the day -- and then boom, sick, and a lot of my motivation deflated. I'm going to try and get back into it, though, because for as much as I kind of loathe the gimmicks and jargon of the Productivity world (read: market), a lot of their tips and tricks are really useful when it comes to tackling end-of-the-semester grading.

Today I'm going to tackle papers that need to be graded by, well, this afternoon and tomorrow, even though students will glance at them only for the grade and won't really spend time reading any comments. At this point, I feel like we're all kind of done with each other -- give or take one or two of my classes and a handful of my students --  but we're contractually obligated to live and work with one another for three more weeks, so we get through it as best we can. 

It hasn't been a great semester.

I'm really feeling the need to go into Hibernation Mode during January -- avoiding everyone and everything in favor of class prep and sleep and exercise and eating well. I am so burned out -- I have no idea how I'm really going to get through next year if I don't get this sabbatical I applied for. 

There are a handful of writer's residencies that I'm going to apply for, too, despite being thoroughly discouraged with my writing and the publishing world in general. In the hopes that I do get the sabbatical, a writer's residency somewhere would be an ideal way to jumpstart my work, or at least do some in-depth exploration of it. This Friday (hopefully) I will take a few hours away from grading to focus on applications that are due by the end of the month.

One of my fav SNL skits: Sean Connery heckles Alex Trebek.
Also on Friday we're going to host our first party in a gazillion years, in celebration of my best friend since middle school, L.M., who realized a long-held dream to be a contestant on the game show Jeopardy! this summer.  The episode airs on Friday, so we're gathering a few friends to watch it and marvel at L.'s wonderful smartypantsness.

In related news, I spent all day yesterday cleaning the exterior of my kitchen cabinets while fighting with my children (about fighting with each other), which is depressing for so many reasons. I think I just achieved some kind of kharmic level of banality by reporting that. Happy Monday, ya'll!


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