The past few days have been full of obligations, work, and fun, but I'm now paying the price---I'm fighting off what looks like a nasty cold. Great, just in time for the holidays! I'm guessing this is just my body's way of telling me to slow down a bit, before I totally burn out.
Resting days are perfect days in which to plan and make lists (in between naps, anyway). As I've rushed through these past few days, I've started keeping a mental list of things I must do---school-wise, research-wise, and life-wise---during December. I need to get these all on paper and start prioritizing. I enjoy some aspects of this, because it opens up possibilities. The tasks seem less overwhelming once I have them listed, and if there happen to be too many of them, then listing them helps me figure out which ones can be dropped. Listing research tasks helps me figure out where I am and where I want to be---what paper calls are coming up? where could and should I submit? can I get the work done by then? do I have time to explore this alternate path before that one deadline? I get excited about my work when I start thinking about where it can be published. And listing teaching tasks helps me think more creatively about what I'm doing in the classroom---did this really work the last time I taught the class? will this new activity really drive the point home as well?
I'm excited to take advantage of this "forced downtime" to reflect on and reevaluate my work, and to rejuvenate me for the tasks ahead. Even if it means I'm sniffling and coughing my way through it.