Thursday, May 30, 2013

all this wasted ambition

I started my summer break thinking I'd keep the productive momentum of the semester going by working on a few writing/book projects: I have a scrapbook project (my most memorable places in Saginaw) that I figured I'd finally try to finish, and a blank book I started making which was inspired by a chapbook for poetry class entitled "Letters from Other Versions of Me." And I've got a possible thematic idea for my thesis this fall that I want to explore.

Then, of course, I started watching seasons of Dr. Who on Netflix and that lazy "it's summer, time for a break" mentality took over.

It was somewhat exacerbated by a back injury I had last week. Any number of seemingly-insignificant factors could have contributed, but the result was a spasm in my lower back as I was getting ready for work on Tuesday morning that resulted in me heading back home after two hours, because it hurt too much to sit or stand. So I laid on the heating pad for awhile, got back up around 3:30 to meet with the new Editor-in-Chief of the UB Post (that torch has officially been passed, which is a load off my mind) then went back to the couch for the rest of the evening.

I got up Wednesday long enough to shower and get dressed before deciding that work was out of the question again. So it was back to the couch and the heating pad, where I did a fair bit of reading and wasting time online before turning on the TV. By evening, I was determined to go back to work on Thursday simply because laying around the house is just not for me. Even though my lower back was sore, the rest of my body was restless from being in one place for so long and I started to get a headache from being immobile.

Why do we (or at least I) feel that a day of "doing nothing" is a waste? And are we ever really doing nothing?

My attendance at work is otherwise very good and my boss never even hinted any kind of disapproval for missing the time I did. (In fact, she responded sympathetically to my "I'm not coming in today" email and suggested I try alternating the heating pad with some ice, which helped immensely). Perhaps it's just a personal characteristic/flaw that makes me feel like I always need to be working on or toward something, even on a small level. Maybe I need to find a better way to organize or document my time so I can see that I have been working on things, even if many of them remain unfinished.

I do plan to continue watching Dr. Who though, if only on the grounds that it has roundaboutly inspired a couple of story ideas.

It's funny, I can't really imagine a life in which this "summer mentality" goes on indefinitely -- specifically in terms of the absence of school, and with no deadlines hanging over my head. I don't know if I should try it more, after my MFA, or dive back in to something else.

1 comment:

  1. I love the title of your chapbook, "Letters from Other Versions of Me". I love poetry and would love to read some of your work.

    I can relate to your constant need to be working on something. I start feeling useless if I'm not working on goals and completing projects. Being a mom and working in the birth field keeps me on my toes, and provides me with my own weird sense of stability. :)