Monday, January 19, 2009

Time out

I am trying desperately to be an optimist.

I am also trying desperately to be a morning person.

Neither of these feel especially natural at the moment.

The story is nothing particularly interesting. My cousin is visiting BigCity for the first time, and has taken up residence on our couch for a week now. My spare time is spent playing tour guide on jaunts in and out of town, which is fun in the moment, but means that I have to fit the same amount of work into compressed hours, especially considering that I am trying to get my first dissertation study up and running in a week's time.

I am feeling that very soon, I will need the luxury of being anti-social. This is a difficult thing to communicate to people, who always have the best of intentions when seeking to drag you out of the house. For instance, this upcoming weekend, several friends are going on a ski trip. Originally, we couldn't make it for a series of practical reasons, though we breathed a sigh of relief, as it was wedged in the midst of my cousin's visit, an out of town girl's weekend, and my week in the U.S. for a conference-- not to forget dissertation induced madness. However, my friends, bless their hearts, are determined, and are being graciously accommodating in their attempts to get us to join them. The idea of packing another overnight bag makes me sick right now, but I'm not sure how to communicate this non-offensively.

Him and I also need to focus on us, rather than everybody else. Part of the charm of grad student romances is intertwined periods of stress. It doesn't help that we are both gritting our teeth through massive family let downs. As tends to happen, we realized, with the aid of too much alcohol on Saturday night, that both of us have the ability to sting the other one more than we realize when we are sucked into these self-indulgent stress whirlwinds. Yesterday morning, when my cousin went to run some errands, we felt finally comfortable enough to speak frankly in tones above whispers without the fear of being overheard. As I laid my head on his chest, he said "We need to do something together to remind ourselves of how madly in love we are."

This is all, in part, why I feel the need to formally excuse myself a little from blogging over the next few weeks. Knowing me, I still will have these words swimming through my head. With my hour commute, staring out the window, you couldn't turn my brain off if you tried. So I will write, when the pressure of the words filling up my head becomes a little too much.

However, more than anything, I feel neurotically compelled to understand why I may be less present on your side of things. Between my visitor and the fact that I am now sharing my work office space, my free time alone in front of a computer is few and far between. When I do open my Reader, I am slapped across the face with some huge triple digit number. When I actually have time to give your words the time they deserve, it becomes more about reducing that number than really reading. This isn't fair to either of us-- to you all, because I am supposed to read your blogs because I enjoy what you have to say, and to me, because the last thing I need is my hobby framed as another quantitative homework project. I don't want this to become another demand on my time-- I want it to be something that gives me a break from these demands instead.

In the meanwhile, feel free to send me some serenity vibes. Or a gift certificate for more caffeine.

29 comments:

Mandy said...

Enjoy your break and I will be sending you positive thoughts for serenity and peacefulness.

Paula said...

Hope everything works out for you, and that you're back soon! We'll miss you! :)

Tristan | the almost right word said...

I understand, all too well, the cramped feeling of having a visitor, even when the visitor is actually a welcome friend.

I also understand how, when we're in a relationship, we can lose sight of how "madly in love we are." I feel that, often, in my own relationship. It's when we leave town, or have a nice dinner out, that I am reminded how amazing he is.

I'm starting my hour commute tomorrow (two days a week) and I have a similar feeling that I'll be thinking of all kinds of blog fodder. Still, grad school, and all that happens in life, will be endlessly distracting.

Take your time. But visit us whenever you feel inclined to do so!

Deutlich said...

I turn into such a cranky bear when I can't get "me" time and there's just soooooooo much to do.

Babs said...

visitors in town expecting you to show them around are the worst

have you tried chocolate covered expresso beans?! saviour.

sonrie said...

I totally understand...I have mandatory thesis writing time 2x a week, on top of practicum and work. Sometimes I tune out of family and friends (with the exception of my boyfriend) in order to get some things done and have a sense of alone time once in a while.

BTW, I have your interview questions up on my page, when you have a minute.

Good luck w/ your dissertation!

Tough Girl 101 said...

your boy is quite a sweetheart, nd I think we all will excuse you too.

Surfergrrl said...

no worries. i sometimes only go away for a day and open up bloglines only to find so many blogs i haven't ready. The task becomes more daunting than enjoyable. I think people understand.

Crushed said...

You don't have to apologise- though to be fair I would do the same.

Hoping things ease up for you!

distractedspunk said...

I'm guessing you know I can relate super well. I'm here if you ever need a chat or vent or super random moments of absolutely nothing. ;)

DocElectron said...

We all need to take a time out and take care of ourselves. Enjoy your timeout, I hope you get the clarity and rest you need.

sequined said...

Having guests can be super stressful, especially when you have school or work pressing on you. But it'll go great and you'll get through it!

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

While I know grad students "get" each other....I can't see how it works. I mean, we are under a lot of stress, and there only seems to be a finite amount of compromise out there.

Ant said...

Unsought advice time:

1) I know you love to be loved but cut down your readership. Stop writing and stop commenting, those that are left after that are worth keeping. Contrary to what they all say, bloggers don't actually care that much.

2) Love each other by not feeling pressure to "do stuff" to remind each other of it. If I'm reading between the lines correctly the honeymoon period is drawing to a close. You've got something worth keeping there - enjoy it when you have time to later on, and it'll have proved its worth.

3) Get your real friends told that you've got a dissertation to write and be strong in the face of "oh but you need a break" replies. Finish the thesis then go on the holidays - this is also useful for distinguishing proper friends from rubbish ones (see point (1)).

Hope this helps you manage the stress, I'll go and pontificate somewhere else now...

Oh, and yes - have some serenity vibes! :-)

verybadcat said...

We'll miss you, but we understand and we love you anyway. I do, anyway. ;)

EF said...

I'm sending you a hall pass- come and go as freely as you like....I'll be here when you return!

Psychgrad said...

If the idea of doing something makes me want to vomit, I usually don't do it. Just say no to your friends! There isn't enough time in your schedule. They'll get over it.

Good luck with surviving everything.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

Are you guys doing that thing we do after training...as that can be REALLY stressful, as I'm living it.

Btw, I answered your 5 questions...so before you take a time out, take a look.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

At least you have work as an excuse to remove yourself. Me? I just need to remove myself. Instead of opening my mouth and sticking my foot in it (which seems to be the norm lately), I just need to be absent for a while. So, ummm, you go take that break. You deserve it. And we'll see you on the other side.

Princess Pointful said...

Step 1-- I officially told my friends no dice on the ski trip-- even if I had to send the email via phone while commuting.

And, TR, I'm doing that thing we do after training this next go 'round, fingers crossed. He is in a different field than me-- one without internships!

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

It pays to unplug for a while.

Z said...

I so hear you with all of this. Food luck!

Meghan said...

Enjoy your break, have a double shot latte on me, and good luck with everything :)

SMARTBuddy said...

Crikey - yeah, take some time off. Youre by far the most prolific blog i read, and i struggle to read everything and my reader only ever gets into tens. As you say, you should enjoy it - otherwise whats the point again?
Happy holidays!

t.k.foster said...

You anti-social? I think that must be seen to be believed.

the frog princess said...

I think that if you just tell your friends "I really do appreciate your trying to be accommodating, but the truth of the matter is that I have far too much on my plate right now and even if I did come along I doubt I would be much fun, so thank you, and I promise we'll do something when things calm down..." they really *should* understand. They are your friends, after all.

Sending lots of serenity and caffeine vibes your way! Hang in there!

brookem said...

oh honey... hang in there. sending you HEAPS of serenity vibes!

Jocelyn said...

Oh, good luck, darlin'. You are wonderfully self-aware and articulate about what blogging and blog reading can become.

Btw, the way you and your man interact assures me you're a Forever Thing.

benjibopper said...

oh man, i can so relate to all this. as my wife puts it, 'time is always peaking over my shoulder'. thus my own blogging has been severely cut back, no longer as much fun with so much to do.