Monday, November 12, 2012

A Day of Rest...sort of

Yesterday was my day of rest-both mentally and physically.  Upon arriving home Saturday night, I felt detached and scattered. I could not focus on anything. Even the laundry seems to be a perplexing task for me to take on, so I left it in a pile on the laundry room floor and decided to deal with it in the morning. I showered, found some clean flannel pj's, and crawled into bed with a stack of mail. I sorted a pile of bills from the periodicals and found the new issue of Landscape Architecture magazine (Yay!), Annals of Iowa, Country Living, and a current Eddie Bauer catalogue. That particular circular came at an opportune time because I am ready to invest in a colorful, new duffel. I don't ever want to lay eyes on that ugly, black duffel that I lugged around for both the North and South Country trips this past semester.  It served its purpose, but no more! I am ready for color....and clean.

Horn Island, Gulfshore National Seashore
I did not last long after climbing into bed; I turned out the lights and immediately fell into a deep sleep. When 4:30 A.M. rolled around, I hit the ground running. Laundry first. Then I hauled out the tent, the ground cloth, the fly, the sleeping bag, and mat. Everything was gritty with Horn Island sand, so it all went into the shower for an initial rinse. By afternoon, the laundry was done, and all the camping gear was clean and hanging up to dry and refresh. I have sorted and labeled photographs of the trip, and found an assignment to finish grading before Tuesday's class. By evening, I was finally ready to relax. Paul and I headed off to the cineplex to take in a viewing of the latest Bond movie, Skyfall. I even treated myself to an expensive bag of popcorn. It was delish!

Even tho the students have the day off today, there is much work to get done before tomorrow's class... and before the end of the semester.  I find myself counting the days to be done with all this. The semester has been an exercise of self-discipline in the art of humility, deference, and patience. Looking back, four years of school and writing a master's thesis seems to be a cake-walk compared to the mental challenge of these past few months. Teaching turns out to be a more difficult endeavour than I ever imagined; team-teaching both on and off the road has most assuredly tested my resolve.

Needless to say, yesterday was a much needed mental health day and I am grateful to have had the time to recenter. I so missed my home and family during these past three weeks on the road. Nothing compares to walking through the door and finally being in my nest. Ev left a message on the machine...he spotted a TJMaxx shopping bag on a street in Saigon that reminded him to call to say he loved and missed us. Tess texted me a "welcome back"; she reminded me that she would be home on the 20th for Thanksgiving break (Yay!).

I feel good today; I would go so far to say I feel bright and chipper.  And that I am SO ready to finish this final stretch of the semester and be DONE!

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