Monday, August 13, 2012

End Of, Beginning Of

I had to report back to work today. After a two hour meeting and two hours of sitting at my desk, I had to pack it in and call it a day. When I said goodbye to a colleague who'd been there since early morning and, unfortunately, most days during the summer, he laughed, saying, "You fought a good fight." At this rate, I may not be ready for classes come next Monday. I knew my summer of cycling across America would have some kind of an effect on me, and I'm beginning to see just what that effect is.

I am very, very rarely late getting to work. I try to be at least 15 minutes early for meetings and for classes. Today, I walked into the meeting just as it started. While I sat at the table, trying to listen to the opening remarks by our new VP, I realized I'd forgotten my keys to my office. I'd also not thought to put a pen and paper in my bag, so I had nothing to write with or on during the meeting.

After the meeting, I returned home to find said keys. They were right where I'd put them in May.

When I arrived back at my office, I saw I had a voicemail. For the life of me I couldn't remember the password to access it. I tried all kinds of combinations, but nothing allowed me in. I just hope whatever the message is it's nothing really, really important.

Then I started in on all the emails from the summer. After a few minutes, I just decided they weren't worth the time and effort to go through, so I deleted them. Only those from the Chair and the Dean received attention. My inbox is now cleaned up.

That was my first day back to work. Six months ago I would be frantic at how unproductive I was, beating myself up for not getting more done. Today? Today I simply smiled as I walked out the suite doors, down the steps, and out of the building. A cool breeze was blowing out of the northeast. Dark gray clouds threatened to let the rain loose. A flock of geese flew low overhead, making me wonder if we're in for an early fall.


Cathy said...

This is EXACTLY how I'm feeling this week. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I don't think it's fair to compare my summer to yours because I think your journey was much more challenging and life-changing than mine--but I do feel very changed from my summer "adventures." I feel that not only do I have a new view of life and my surroundings, but I also know myself better somehow. I've changed AND I know myself better. Weird.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to keep both feet in the academic world this school year, and I think maybe that's not a bad thing. :) I hope neither of us comes "back down to earth" completely. I say, let's try to remain somewhat unburdened by those things that would have made us frantic in the past :)

J said...

It's hard to get back into the swing of work. Your heart is still an uncaged bird, wanting to jump from its branch and feel the wind in its face. But you can do this. Give yourself time, and be understanding toward yourself like you are already doing.