Saturday, March 24, 2007

True Confessions

I didn't write today.

Sure, I looked at some things, made a couple of changes to the manuscript, read some stuff. This may have taken an hour.

But I didn't write today.

I didn't grade today.

I didn't prep today.

I didn't read in any substantial way today.

I didn't really talk on the phone today (at least not until after 5 PM).

I didn't email.

I didn't surf around on the internet.

I didn't work on stuff for MLA.

I didn't get out and enjoy the approximately 80 degree and sunny weather (because, of course, I wasn't "allowed" because I was supposed to be "working").

I didn't clean up around the house.

I did do laundry for five hours.

I also watched some ridiculous television and ridiculous movies on television (with commercials). I also petted the Man-Kitty and chatted it up with him a bit. (Incidentally, the Man-Kitty figured out how to open the sliding screen door, and so ventured out onto the balcony. He was very quiet about this, so who knows how long he was out there. Smart kitty, but also, bad kitty! You are an inside cat, Man-Kitty, and don't you forget it! The big wide world is dangerous!) I also made myself a very nice salad for dinner.

This does not make me a bad person. This does not mean that I'm behind. This does not mean that I'm a fuck-up.

Real people take time out to do things like laundry, and watch bad tv (E! True Hollywood story of Jennifer Lopez, anyone?), to hang with their pets, and to make nice salads for themselves. Real people don't work seven days a week. All I was today was a real person.

So I won't be going out with Trans Am tomorrow, because I pissed away my day today. And that's ok, too. I'd told him originally this weekend wouldn't work for me, and, well, this weekend won't. In part because it wasn't important enough to make it work. That isn't lost on me.

So now I need to fold the last load of laundry, and I need to put the folded clothes away, and I need to put the clean sheets on my bed. It's ok that this is what I'm doing, rather than writing, rather than being out, rather than preparing to go out with a guy.

I refuse to be guilty for needing a fucking break. Except for that I do feel guilty, and like a loser, and like I'm sabotaging myself in myriad ways, and that is so incredibly fucked up that I don't even know how to begin to talk about it.

So I'm not going to talk about it. I'm just going to keep reminding myself that, sometimes, a lazy Saturday happens to the best of us, even when it's not convenient. This doesn't mean I suck. It really, truly doesn't.


Earnest English said...

What a strange life we in the academy lead that we feel guilty about being human and needing some balance in our lives. Lazy Saturdays should be weekly events to luxuriate in. Laundry has to get done. New sheets need to be put on the bed. Cats need love and attention. E! specials need to be watched.

We MUST deprogram ourselves from the pervasive myth that we should be working all the frigging time. We MUST! Working all the time leads to burnout! Thinking we should be working all the time leads to guilt, feeling like a failure, and burnout! We need to lead the charge for balance! How can we help the future leaders of America and elsewhere if we don't model some balance!

I guess I should write something about this on my own damn blog. But I think we should start a Deprogramming Mission or something.

negativecapability said...

Heh...I watched the J.Lo story, too.

undine said...

Why do we feel guilty about taking a break? You're right--real people don't work seven days a week.

Anonymous said...

congrats on being a real person today!

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

You aren't lazy, and you aren't a fuckup. I find it completely impossible to keep up with a 7 day a week work schedule. I have to take at least one weekend day off every week to do normal person things. Otherwise I start going a little insane and dreaming about work.

Psycgirl said...

Sigh. I was hoping I'd grow out of this as I left grad school and got a "real" job in academia, but looks like its going to stick.... hope things picked up.

Andrea said...

This is so why I escaped from academia. There is life out here! Nowadays I never feel guilty when I'm doing the laundry or the cleaning or tidying the yard or **add chore here**. In fact, I can even do nothing at all and not feel guilty! I hate to say it but there is something about the combination of female-guilt and academic-guilt that combine to do Very Bad Things and drive female academics crazy.

I know no men in academia who feel this way, nor women in other fields. Weird, huh?