Thursday, January 05, 2006

Feeling almost human again

Update: Gah, stupid migraine! So close to finishing the prospectus draft, and whammo. Guess it's time for bed, and guess Mentor will be getting the prospectus sometime tomorrow instead of tonight. Wah.

Thanks, everyone, for all your kind comments and feel-better vibes over the past few days. Today was the first day I felt somewhat human again--just a little cough and a few sniffles left over right now, although I was feeling well enough to go into school yesterday for a while as well.

I am wondering how much all of the stress I've been carrying around these past few months contributed to me getting sick. I rarely get sick, as I've mentioned before, but thinking back it seems like most of the times I've been sick can be traced back to stressful times in my life--particularly, when the stress is job-related. For instance, when I was finishing up my dissertation, I had a mysterious cough that lingered for over a month. I even went to the health center on campus (the place of last resort--it was that bad), and the doctors claimed they couldn't find anything wrong with me. Mysteriously, the cough disappeared soon after I handed the diss to my committee. And there are other, similar examples as well.

This is a busy week for me, too, work-wise. My third-year review packet is due next week. My prospectus is not done, and I told Mentor I'd send her a copy a month ago--so that's been a big source of stress and anxiety. There are other deadlines I have to meet between now and the end of next week. And so I panicked a bit when I wasn't better at the start of the week, which I'm sure didn't help things at all. But things are looking up: I can concentrate on tasks for long periods of time again; I spent the morning whipping the prospectus into shape (another hour of work tonight and it'll be ready to send to Mentor!); and tomorrow, with the prospectus out of the way while awaiting feedback, should be free for getting a bunch of other stuff done.

In a way, too, I'm waiting for this whole review process to be over so that I can feel human again. As much as I thought I was ready to undergo this process going into this year, so far it's been like a big sledgehammer hanging over my head. Perhaps this is because there is the real possibility that at the end of this process, my school will say that I'm not cut out for this job. And that all of the hard work I've put in, all of the time I've spent thinking about learning objectives and planning assignments and preparing classes and reevaluating my pedagogy and trying to get this research program off the ground and recruiting students...all of this energy I've put into this position will be for naught. In a sense, I feel like my life will be in this weird suspended state until the decision comes down later this year--and that only after the decision is made will I be able to move on, either here or elsewhere.

1 comment:

noricum said...

The vast majority of my illnesses are stress related. I used to have an end-of-term cold like clockwork... until I started taking Prozac. It's lifted the stress enough that my body can do what it's supposed to.

Good luck with your reviews... from what I read here, you sound like a really good professor (you *care* about doing your job well), so I imagine everything will be fine.