It’s been a very tiring couple of months. The scorecard since September:
One month with Mom in the hospital.
One hellish week getting her situated in a new part of her assisted living facility.
An average of three exhausting phone calls a day…every day…from my dad, most of them repetitions of earlier calls (or worse, repetitions within the same call.)
One friend and coworker dead after a three-month illness.
Three big HR issues.
One two-month delay in a major aspect of my grant project.
One fun but not very restful road trip.
And, oh yeah. One reappointment package (the first baby step toward tenure) due in December, which is not quite as labor-intensive as a thesis but is pretty damned close.
I’ve decided that if I can get all my paperwork done before Christmas (and if I still have my sanity) I’m going to do something terribly out of character the week after. I’m going to take an actual relaxing vacation. One where I sit in a nice oceanfront room by a freezing cold beach and just watch TV and read all those books I brought back from Canada. One where I feel no compulsion to cover lots of exciting new ground nor take lots of pictures of old supermarkets. And one where I will accept phone calls and email on my own terms.
I’ll probably hate it, but I will at least have tried it once.
Not that I really needed any justification for this sentiment, but I heard my first Christmas music of the year in Barnes & Noble the campus bookstore this afternoon. What song was it? That stupid bloody “buy my dying mama shoes in case she meets Jesus on Christmas Eve” bilge, followed by some horrifically depressing and funereal organ performance of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” that nearly had the whole store in tears.
If I’d had any Christmas spirit to begin with, I surely would have lost it right then and there.
In case you care, photos from the Toronto-Montreal trip a few weeks back are now posted. I know I sort of fell down on the job when it came to the narrative. Blame it on an exceedingly busy month. I’ll try to rectify that soon.
As with “Nowhere Girl”, there’s no legitimate video. This clip from a 2006 reunion tour was the best I could do. Or you could just listen here. Coincidentally, it popped up in the shuffle today, too. Maybe the iPhone knows what day it is…