Wednesday, November 09, 2005

With time comes perspective

Thanks again to all of you who have responded, in the comments and by email, to my last post. It was a rough few days, and as I mentioned I think the breakdown was the result of a bunch of little things gone wrong over the course of a week or two, and the registration numbers were just the trigger. At least this time I didn't cry in front of my chair (only did that once, was blindsided by something I didn't expect to come up in our meeting, don't really recommend it as a good strategy to follow in general). But I really appreciated hearing from everyone---I love the blogosphere!---and it did help me start to feel better about the situation, and my chances for passing my review.

One thing the breakdown did do for me was make me realize that I *really* needed a break. I've been working hard and nonstop for several weeks now, and it finally started to take its toll. So I took the weekend off, spent some time hanging out with Mr. Jane and some girlfriends, didn't even turn on my computer (!), and tried not to think about school. And I've been trying to take it easy this week too---only doing the bare minimum of work (luckily, this is a pretty light week for me---most of my prep is done and I just finished my grading!) and catching up on "life" tasks. I even found some time to work on some musical stuff---a hobby that I've neglected for much of the year due to lack of time. It was so nice to get back into that, so much so that I plan to make time for it more regularly in the future. It's good for the soul.

But what really helped was getting together with the girlfriends. This particular group is made up of strong, amazing women from various departments in my institution. They are funny and genuine---I feel so supported and comfortable among them. And they really helped me gain perspective about everything, and realize that the environment that I work in doesn't *have* to be the way it is. It was just what I needed at that particular moment.

So right now, I'm feeling....okay. I'm back to thinking that I'll probably pass my review, and I will use this experience to figure out what to do differently during the years between the review and tenure. Most importantly, this experience has reminded me of the importance of support systems (and girlfriends!), and I will make sure to continue to nurture those (and seek them out sooner!).

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