Tuesday, December 22, 2015


A little sigh of relief.

Today was the first day of my winter break.  I was out from 11am to 6pm, so it wasn't a lazing-around-the-house kind of day, but it was still a good one.

Last week did me in.  I had developed a cold the week before, and that just didn't help.  It wasn't bad at first, but by the middle of last week, my voice was shot, and it  still isn't right.

Most of that is on me.  I was supposed to finish up my paper over the weekend  and it just didn't happen.  Too much Christmas, family, school stuff happening.  Too much feeling overwhelmed by all of it this year.  Too much feeling this huge emptiness where Mom should be.

Which is not to say things didn't get done.  For example, I found and printed the photos to put into the photo frame ornaments I bought for my siblings.  I did some Christmas shopping.  And food shopping.  And laundry.  And cooking...  I really should not go to the farmer's market if I am not on vacation.

Things got done but not the paper, which was due on Wednesday.  I stayed up incredibly late several nights running getitng it together.  It was supposed to be only 15 pages with at least 10 references but it just got out of hand. (22 pages [not counting the title page and abstract, mind you], 4 pages of references) I should explain, this is not just "a paper," it's the literature review for my non-thesis project.  Having never done a literature review before, I was cheerfully naive about what they entailed before taking this last course.  The entire purpose of said course was to teach how to read and write a literature review, and then to help us write them for our theses or non-thesis projects.  My non-thesis project is kind of a monster, and so the lit review is, too.

Anyway, on Tuesday I realized it wasn't going to be done on Wednesday and begged for an extension, which of course my professor gave me.  I finished it about 1AM Thursday night (early Friday morning) or maybe even later.   Of course I still had to work every day.  I think Monday-Thursday I got about 12 hours of sleep total.  It was not good, and it made me even sicker.

But, I wrote an awesome paper which my professor called "excellent" and she said that I am very close to being done with it, which is pretty huge.  She's totally amazing because she graded it by Saturday, which was about a 24-hour turn-around.   Plus I have an A for the class which is affirming.  I worked very hard over an incredibly difficult period but managed to stay on top of everything.  (This sounds stupid but I'm writing it anyway --) I think my Mom would be proud of me for going on with it, even though I could've dropped when things went sideways early in the fall.

So, school's out until January, grad class is over, kids are done with recitals and piano for 2 weeks.  Christmas shopping is done (unless I decide to get that one last thing for the boys), and some of it is even wrapped.  The fridge is stuffed with food and I don't have to go out again if I don't want to...

Except tomorrow morning, when we're seeing Star Wars: TFA at the odd hour of 10AM.  I'm spoiler-free and looking forward to it.  I'm working on resting and recovering.

Right, back to today's massive outing; a good part of that was an appointment with Dr. O, whom I have not seen in quite a while.  First off, the cold has morphed into a disgusting infection (confirmed when he scoped me), so I'm on anitbiotics plus Mucinex to keep the mucus thin and draining.  (That should help my voice.)  I went chiefly about my right ear tinnitus and the weird pain I get from under my jaw line where those glands are swollen.  I thought they felt weird and so did he, so he's sending me for an ultrasound and possible FNA if it's something suspicious.  He thinks the tinnitus is a vascular side effect of the nodes, which makes sense to me.  Oh, and he confirmed that the lumpy-throat feeling is because of my reflux, it's got my esophagus irritated again. I suppose I should not be eating sriracha potato chips if I'm having reflux.  I'll do as best I can to get the reflux settled but over the holidays it's really hard to stick to a good diet.  Lately I've been living chiefly on Starbucks soy milk peppermint mochas and various Christmas candy given to me by my students.

Astoundingly generous, they were, this year.  Of course I still have nearly 200, so that partly explains the huge haul of stuff I got.

After Star Wars, perhaps I will grade some of those (many, many) papers?  I tell myself I'll have hours in the car to & from California (Disneyland!) that can be used for that, but I don't want to have it hanging over my head.  All the cards and presents have been sent, all the shopping is done, now I can just sit home, relax, and get some grading done... after DD and I finish watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.  We only have a half-dozen or so episodes to go, and we are thoroughly enjoying the fantastic characters, beautiful art direction, and occasional silliness, but best of all, the most coherent magical world-building of any story we (collectively) know.  Tolkien's magic is impenetrable, Harry Potter's is secret (which, as much as I love it all,  is stupid), and everyone else's is just ... weak, or perhaps opaque or just too incompletely revealed to be as engaging.  At least, that's what we decided in our conversation this evening!

1 comment:

nina said...

This was a post of great hope and much relief. Oh, do you deserve a break! And yes, your Mom would have been proud.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!