Things have been pretty crazy on this end, even for a person who calls herself "Dr. Crazy." In part it's the work craziness. I've got a lot I'm trying to manage right now in terms of work. The grading is totally overwhelming; I've had student advising (and, because being good at something ultimately results in more work, I've added five advisees to my roster because students requested me specially, and flattery will get a person everywhere with me); I've got the book; I've begun on the MLA paper (which reminds me that I really need to register for MLA and get my plane ticket; it also reminds me that those of you who will be attending MLA should drop a note in the comments so that we can begin figuring out a potential meet-up, and yes, I know it's early, but as I look forward to my MLA I realize that I'd better get the meet-up talks going now or I'll be organizing a meet-up that I won't be able to attend because already the calendar is filling up). So yes, all of that is stressful, and overwhelming, and it makes me for a lame blogger because I really have been focused on work as opposed to doing work and using the blog as a valve through which to let off steam or to satisfy the necessary impulse to procrastinate.
Things have also been kind of crazy personally, in ways that are totally... surprising... and also overwhelming in their own (positive, I think) way. I don't know how to talk about this portion of things on the blog, and I'm not sure I'd want to with any kind of specificity even if I were sure of how to do so. I suppose I gesture in the direction of talking about it because I've been thinking a lot about lately is that I've been struggling so hard for months and years to feel balance between my personal shit and my professional shit, and I've never been able to manage it. I would give short shrift to one or the other; I'd be involved in personal life nonsense that was ultimately easy to contain and had little chance of ever interfering with the professional, or I'd throw myself over to an infatuation that would take me away from work for a brief period, only to flame out as quickly as it began, thus returning me to the work. What is happening now... well, neither of those patterns seems to be in play. That's not to say that there isn't some infatuation involved, nor is it to say that everything is just perfect and I've finally figured out the recipe. No, not at all. Indeed, you may find me posting here next week and telling you, "Woops! It was the whole infatuation thing after all! My bad!" But, for whatever constellation of reasons, this doesn't seem to be the direction in which I'm heading this time, and I'm certainly not heading in the direction of the carefully contained thing.
I suppose the thing I'm thinking about is this: to what extent is finding balance not a matter of what we choose or decide, but rather something much more ephemeral, something that depends as much on chance and timing as it does on plans and actions intended to put one in a certain position? To what extent is "balance" not something we will someday "find" or that we "achieve," but rather something that just happens? And if that's true, perhaps there's no point in stressing out about it. Because at least for the past couple of weeks, I've been pretty much in balance. And through no fault of my own.
6 years ago