I've been up for about an hour, after being awakened by some thunder that accompanied the snowstorm that has finally arrived in central Seattle, after three days of waiting and one proactive snowless snow day. It's been a long time since I've made a lazy pre-dawn post, but I've got a fresh cup of Folger's on the table and NPR in the background, so here we go.
So, I'm sort of in the middle of winter break here, and this was going to be a time for imposing little order - or at least the illusion of order - on aspects of my life. My professional life runs on its own rhythm - the tenure process engine is clanking along, still going pocketa-pocketa-pocketa with a full head of steam in the boiler, and the quarters turn in their inexorable path. There's a dire budget crisis looming, with some severe cuts up ahead, but I think I'll come out of it okay personally. It's not the professional life that needs attending, it's my personal productivity.
I've had a bit of a setback physically. After a summer of getting to know the three-mile path around Green Lake, and a vigorous fall of regular running, I pulled up sorta lame few weeks ago. I have been giving my right leg a bit of a rest, trying to allow a mysteriously weakened knee to recover, but this aging anatomy doesn't seem to be quite as resilient as it did some time ago, and people are still noticing a little wobble in my gait. I'm going to give it the ol' community college try again today, but I may have to overcome my reluctance to go to a doctor and actually get this checked out. The early-morning RCAF calisthenics have not been affected, thank goodness, so that regimen is moving into its second year.
Of more concern than my exercise program are my intellectual endeavors, such as they are. Nu, for an English teacher, I sure don't read much! During the quarter, I am so piled with student papers that I find it hard to squeeze in personal reading, and if I do get time to read, I feel like I should be reading the professional literature instead of pleasure stuff. Of course, I usually wind up reading neither. And my writing is languishing as well - this blog hasn't seen any essay for quite a while, my academic "articles" don't seem to advance past bibliographies and outlines, and my fiction has yet to resurrect itself. It's not a compete wasteland - I have been reading articles and pursuing some smaller writing projects - but I have produced nothing substantive to set upon the mantle.
This break was supposed to be a time to get control of those processes, to make some particular headway and perhaps establish some habits that I could take forward. It hasn't seemed to work that way. Right out of the gate, a week ago, I got wrapped up in Otis's art show project. It was wildly successful - check it out - but also consumed a lot of break time right away for preparation, execution, and recovery. The remaining time between then and now has been filled a bit with decompression from the quarter and a bit with plain old indolence. Maybe there's time in the twenty-four days left to the break to slide some accomplishments in with the lesson-planning and portfolio-writing that have to be done.
Gee, this got more ruminative than I thought it would. The cat just came back in, complaining about the cold. The snow seems to have stopped. Let's make something of the day.