Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rather Indulgent

I decided to stay in town this weekend and plan to drive north on Tuesday morning. I wanted to get some work done, make sure the house is clean, take my time packing for the long weekend at home. It's been - in all honesty - an absolutely delightful weekend so far.

I went to sleep early on Friday night just because I was tired. Instead of forcing myself through work, I shuffled off to bed around 7 and woke near midnight to get a different batch of data processing. I moved files to the computer in my office since the laptop is very slow right now, working its way through thousands of files and turning them into progressively more useful versions of themselves. I had an impressive stack of papers by the couch, a highlighter resting on top until Sprout decided to play with it and I had to hunt the pink marker down when I was ready to use it. They've slowly migrated to the office as I read and mark the important points I want to include in my paper. I finished off data that has perplexed me for months and made figures that are simply exquisite in terms of the story I want to tell. I had an idea of an outline and the paper has effortlessly come together as I perch in the office chair I rarely use. After numerous breaks from this particular dataset, it's suddenly wonderful and useful and I'm getting slight delusions of grandeur when thinking about journals who might like it.

I've napped when I'm tired, rarely sleeping more than 5 hours at a time. I wake at odd hours during the night, but it's helpful as the batch processing I'm using takes about that much time before I can start something else. So the laptop hums along productively while I do some cleaning or run garbage to the dump or fix something for a snack. I gave myself a manicure yesterday afternoon and showered and washed my hair in the middle of the night just because it sounded appealing. I cuddled under a heavy flannel comforter as the temperatures dipped delightfully, Chienne on one side and Sprout on the other. The former snuffles and snores a bit when she sleeps and the latter emits a rather pleasing purr. And just before I fell asleep yesterday afternoon, I realized I was completely content. I felt productive and relaxed and sighed with happiness that not a single person intruded upon my time.

I do get lonely. I very much want children and a husband. There are times I wish I mentored students and was more involved in the department. But there's an undeniable flip side too. I wrote 6,000 words in my book last night, smiling eagerly as I watched the story take turns and tension build. I wrote to Guy on Friday night because I wanted to - I have time and I like the way he thinks and writes. I left football on in the background for most of the day because it's noise, but fails to distract me from whatever holds my attention at the moment. I put another package of books together and found one I wanted to read again. I finished it this morning while curled under a blanket on the couch while my canine curled around my feet.

Today, I'm going to clean then go for a walk. I have a bit of laundry and 2 more papers to read. I want to write a bit more and predict I'll finish the draft of my paper today. I can then write the abstract for my interview talk and send that off. Carrie's project should wrap up tomorrow, though if there's more to do, I'll take it home with me and finish there. Perhaps I'll order pizza later or find something in the freezer to prepare. It may be a bit lonely overall, but this weekend my life feels perfectly easy. I'm pondering the next chapters in my novel as it comes to me in bursts, but I have time to let it percolate. Today that seems more of a pro than a con.


Anonymous said...

so glad your weekend has been so nice! i know what you mean about being lonely. i feel that way too, and then think of the flip side and wonder how it could work... anyway, have a wonderful thanksgiving week!

Alethea said...

Sounds good. Very good. It's just human nature to want what you don't have. Kids and husband are a very rich experience but they're not the only rich experiences out there to appreciate! And they are quite absorbing - yet it's nice to be selfish, too, and realize your potential... so, allow your current life to be a model of an acceptable way of life for a woman, and don't be impatient. When you really want things, you consciously or not will put yourself in a situation where they will happen.

By the way, you ARE a mentor - to Marlie - even if you never have another encounter with her again. You offered her a listening ear and support when she needed it and that may well have been a turning point for her. You never really know.

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