Functional Dysfunction

Yesterday was one of those days where I was overwhelmed by life in general. I didn’t really do much of anything, which is disappointing and frustrating and I don’t really have much of an excuse except that I just couldn’t seem to handle the world. Days like come along occasionally, and I usually just let them happen and figure that things will be better once I’ve got it out of my system. Probably a lot of it was the inner toddler rearing her ugly head again and using her extensive veto power by putting her foot down with the emphatic “no!” when I suggested to myself that I do something productive or useful. I did run a few errands, grocery shopped, met with my therapist, bought a new desk for my office, and had a lovely lunch outside with Spousal Unit, so I probably wasn’t actually as dysfunctional as I felt. But, the three hours of internet junk surfing in bed in the afternoon was the true indicator of my mood. (I did learn that Jude Law is promising a $9 million dollar “I won’t cheat again” bond to Sienna Miller A bond — like, take away my money if I skip town and send a bounty hunter after me kind of thing. Didn’t know that there was such a thing for cheaters. Worth a lost afternoon of working time to learn? Probably not.)

Tuesday, though, was a pretty good day. I went to the New Office and unpacked a ton of books, and did other nice moving-in kinds of things like putting some interesting postcards etc. on my office door, putting some things in frames that I had never had framed, and organizing the books on the shelves. I never know whether to do that by subject or by chronology. So, I did kind of a mixed hodge podge of both. And, can I just say, the New Office looks great. I am really pleased with how it is shaping up. If I may be so bold, I will declare that I have a bit of a knack for nesting.

On another note, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a post that Jane put up a few days ago about fear as the primary motivating factor in graduate school. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but she is right — almost all of the motivation to work in graduate school comes from fear – fear of not getting a job, fear of the advisor, fear of losing your funding, etc. Jane asked then, how do you transition out of that fear-based mode and into the mode of a professor — where it is the love of the scholarship and the intellectual curiosity that drive you to work. I don’t really have an answer, since it is a problem I’m grappling with myself, but I thought it was really interesting to think about my work now from a fearless perspective. And maybe that shift will help me finish. Perhaps.

Off to work!

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5 responses to “Functional Dysfunction

  1. You are a fabulous nester! I wish you could work your miracles with my concrete block office/closet.

    This has to do with your liquid tomato post, but one thought I had about some home improvements… I think in honor of your new soon-to-be-more-hectic schedule, you should pay a handyperson to install a dishwasher. We have a kitchen like yours (old and non-standard in every way) but we managed to find a space, and while it certainly wasn’t cheap, it was well worth EVERY PENNY. I know I shouldn’t love material items so much, but gosh, do I love my Kenmore Quietguard 7 with stainless steel interior. Sigh. Makes living, entertaining, and mawwiage much easier. 🙂

  2. New Kid on the Hallway

    Not to sound depressing, but profs are motivated by fear, too: fear of not getting tenure! I suspect that once you actually get tenure, productivity is an ingrained habit.

    (I also think that if fear is the only motive, then you probably won’t make it through the whole process, but I may just be optimistic…)

  3. Hey, you’ve got to stop thinking of yourself as dysfunctional when you’ve done so many functional things…

  4. Your office sounds so lovely. I can’t wait to see it sometime!

    You’re doing great!!

    I watched detective shows for an unmentionable amount of hours Sunday evening. I did wake up Monday morning slightly more refreshed. I think sometimes that those times spent being less “active” are just as important as the times when you can clearly check things off your list. It’s like forced rest for your brain.

    Anyway, it sounds like you’re doing things every day.
    Keep it up!
    Love,
    Verdade

  5. Not being very religious anymore, at least by any tradition, I should be the last person to say this. But…

    I think the importance of Sabbath was that you were required to have one day of rest per seven. You would feel guilt– not for resting– but for any work done on the Sabbath.

    Honestly, doesn’t that seem quite sane? Hmmmmm, maybe I won’t work both days this weekend unpacking my office.

    Anyway, rest when you need with no regret. Work will patiently wait for you on the doorstep.

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