Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don't know what to do with myself

I decided to take this week off (despite having a massive primary text editing project looming over my head), and have realized, to my utter horror, that I'm not very good at relaxing around the house. Now, I'm great at relaxing and doing nothing if I'm somewhere scenic -- on a beach or a river bank, or at an outdoor cafe or bar in a city, for example -- but I feel a little at loose ends here at home in Rust Belt. And given the mugginess of the weather, I have a little cabin fever, too.

Sure, I have books to read, and I pick one up every now and then, but none of them are really holding my interest at the moment. I think I need to order some new books (suggestions welcome!), because I think I've overdosed on the pulp genre fiction that I often spend my summers on. (Btw, can my peeps of the internets tell me: is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo going to be all financial crimes all the time? I don't think I can take 600 pages of that, to be honest.) So I find myself reading, then playing a game on my iPhone, then checking FB, then flipping through a magazine, and then going back to the novel again.

I think maybe because I was going non-stop for the entire school year until the end of NCS, I just don't have any more energy left for steady concentration -- at least not at the moment.

Has anyone else experienced this? Or is it just me? Or is it true that the web is making me stupider? Ack!

PS -- Was my last post too much about Me Me Me to elicit comment? Does no one else identify with the ups and downs of professional confidence?


Dr. Crazy said...

No, The Girl with the Dragon tattoo will not be all financial crimes all the time. I think it begins there in order to make us feel like Blomkvist is fighting the power and is totally Marxist and awesome. Or something.

Dr. Virago said...

OK, good to know!

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

About to depart for airport BUT (1) I think it's important to note that reading novels in a dilatory way, skimming FB, and general lounging constitutes bona fide R&R and is important. You're abnormal if you don't do it! AND (2) I loved the previous post and am glad you put it up. I could see this was a much better conference for you and now I know why. It was fun to hang out with you, btw!

Flavia said...

Totally not too "me me me." I really liked your previous post--glad you're at that place and hope all of us get there someday!

I do think, though, that reflective and especially self-reflective posts tend not to get many comments--mine sure don't! I like to believe this isn't because people dislike them/are tuning them out, just that there's not much space opened up for additional conversation.

Questions, now, or requests for help, or total snarky bitchiness--those draw the comments!

Dr. Virago said...

JJC -- But it's a kind of *agitated* dilation. I can't just simply *relax*.

Flavia -- Too true. Many times I've nodded silently along with your posts without commenting. I'll just assume that's happening here.

Sisyphus said...

You could always come over here and scrub my kitchen floor before I leave! It's even scenic here!!!

Maybe you need to go someplace with a nice view to relax and read? Are there any nice restaurants with a view or cafes or even the library? It like sitting in a comfy chair with a new and different pretty view when I'm reading and relaxing. Or I just go to the beach. (no more, though!)

undine said...

This sounds like a perfect blend of r & r to me, especially if the heat is keeping you in. I know what you mean about being restless, though.

I liked your earlier post, too, but didn't have anything to add (not that this comment is much to add!).

Anonymous said...

An undergrad professor of mine said "you can't be a walking cerebrum." :)

medieval woman said...

Read the "Girl" trilogy for sure - they're amazing books - I loved all of them!!

And I'm very happy that NCS was a better conference for you!

New Kid on the Hallway said...

If you keep in mind that the original Swedish title for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo means something like "Men Who Hate Women," it will give you a hint of what's coming. :-)

(The first two books both start slow but then draw you in. Haven't read the third yet because I'm too cheap to buy it in hardback.)

What Now? said...

I'm having exactly the same sort of week! Indeed, this inability to relax fully is one reason that I tend to keep busy in the summer; otherwise, I feel like the summer is over without my having had any fun or accomplished anything, so sometimes I choose accomplishment and let fun slide. But I decided this week (my first real free week, despite some page proofs to read) to schedule adventures for myself -- still not quite relaxing, but at least having fun.

Heo said...

I can't relax at home either; there's always something that needs to be done. Plus, I do so much of my work at home that I feel guilty if I'm home and not *doing* anything. I suspect that some of your twitchiness is coming from the feeling that you ought to be doing something else, something professorish.

Since I'm not in the research and write business anymore, I was at a loss when grades went in. The first week of the summer, I reorganized the bookshelves, painted the dining room, changed my pantry and diet to mostly organic (which involved learning to cook), assembled crafts for the bedroom and attempted to learn calculus (disaster). And all this because I had no lessons to plan or projects to grade.