Thursday, April 2, 2009

work, overwhelm, moan

Thanks, everyone, for both your help and encouragement with diapers/nappies as well as your lovely support re: comments from others...

Unfortunately this is not a terribly upbeat blog, either. May cannot come fast enough. Feel free to bypass the following whinge:

I'm not a happy camper this week. I don't know if it's being pregnant - and more tired than usual, combined with ongoing sickness, which I am really, really sick off now (no pun intended) - but I am feeling thoroughly overwhelmed with work. I almost wish that I would come down with something so that I could stay at home and hibernate, or, in the very least, so I could catch up. AS it is I'm in the midst of putting together a power point for a guest lecture I'm giving tomorrow morning. As I do it I'm looking at the stack of long LONG exam essays I have to grade this weekend (50, to be exact), as well as the notes and grades I have to write up for another class... and, oh, four letters of reference.

I am of course not alone with all this work. It's a busy time of year in academia. But I am really well and truly overwhelmed by it all. I don't want to do any of it. The thought of driving to campus tomorrow morning for this lecture just makes me want to cry. I could quite easily give up work and be a stay at home mama... at least for a bit, anyway. As I snuck in a walk late this afternoon, I thought about how wonderful it would be to focus on one thing (i.e. parenting) as opposed to a trillion different things that one has to contend with at work. I am feeling very lucky that classes end soon... though did I mention that I am teaching two summer classes... hopefully they'll finish before the baby comes :)

I've also found myself whimsically wishing that we lived close by to family.. or, in the very least, that we lived someplace where one of us had grown up, a place with childhood friends and easy connections which are familiar and easy. I've a little envious, even, of people who live close to their extended kin, who have their relatives popping over, offering to help! I think the poppet is bringing into sharp relief the fact that Rich and I are really not from here, and whilst we love it (and, goodness, our friends are just so wonderful) I do feel the melancholy of feeling as though I (we?) don't have the depth of belonging that I might like.

Well, this is cheery :)

I have some more positive blogs brewing... I promise!


  1. i know exactly what you mean. i lived in nyc for 9 years and loved the city and had many wonderful friends there (still do), but never felt completely settled - not without family or childhood friends around. i have to admit that i've enjoyed parenting so much more now i'm back in my hometown surrounded by family and old school & university friends (sorry, you probably don't want to know that). i hope that you find the depth of belonging that you seek... you might actually find it easier once you have children and integrate more and more into the community in which you live (which happens once you start using the local library/school/park/gym etc.)


  2. Your oldest friend is always here for you no matter what, no matter where you live

    Love as always

    Sam xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Aw, Em, it would be so wonderful if you were nearby. I can completely understand why you'd feel comforted home in Australia. I was explaining to someone today how the depth of belonging and the oldness and familiarity are difficult to cultivate... that there's an easiness in the familiar which makes the connections less effortful. I really do think you're right about having children, and how that might possibly lead to more integration.. Fancy a move to Maine, Em? xoxo

    Aw, Sam, how lovely that you're with me here, too. It means a lot that you are. Wow, it's been a long time that we've known one another! Those days of watching Grease 2 and Weird Science... and, oh, the Karen Carpenter Story whilst eating homemade pizza and those yummy shales. I have been REALLY craving one of those chocolate shakes.. I need you to come and make me one. Hopefully we'll see one another in october!!!


  4. Hi Alex,

    A quick note to say here's a BIG HUG and will write more when I can.

    Glad the guest lecture is now behind you.


  5. never say never (i've still got the travelling bug ... expect i always will!)


  6. "how wonderful it would be to focus on one thing (i.e. parenting) as opposed to a trillion different things that one has to contend with at work."

    Amen to that! I SO remember that feeling.

    Alex, I'm so sorry about all of this. I hope you're planning to write NO COMMENTS on all of those papers. If they want to know why they got the grade they did, they can come talk to you in person. As Cally Gurley said to me recently, "small children will not be injured" by your not doing more than that! ;-)

    Hang in there, love.

    Jen (logged on as David)

  7. Don't forget, I'm your TA and babysitter from afar! :) I'd help in a pinch!
    Hang in there...May really is very close.

    Sarah Hope

  8. Thanks, Jen! I hope the conference paper went well :)

    I took your advice re: comments. Since they're exams I feel as though I can get away with it a bit more. And it was there final exam! I haven't finished them yet but hope to tomorrow. And then, well, I had some presentation grades to return, and I wrote up extensive feedback on my computer and Kiltie, the naughty boy, managed to step on the extension cord off button and I LOST everything. Yikes.

    But it all feels a bit more manageable with a chunk of work out the way.

    Thanks, Jen. xoxo

    Aw, Sarah-Hope, thank you!!! I will be sending final papers your way. Alas, there will be none in stats :) And you're right. May is very close. Hurry up May!

    Although the Dean emailed me to ask if I'd do something on Dean's Day (mid May) and since everyone else who was asked said 'oh course, love to', I felt compelled to do the same. Sheesh!!

    Love, A