what time is it

Clear and abundant proof that something is up with me: it's Sunday morning and I've been awake since 4:00. Now, I woke up because we were having some strange weather and the dogs were restless. I let them out, got some water, tried to go back to sleep. Was hungry, and awake, so then I got up again and ate a snack and tried to sleep. And then I decided I'd take advantage of being awake and get on the computer -- since I'm not supposed to be awake at this hour, it's ok if I read blogs for a while. (Of course I did actually have several student emails to answer, since there's a paper due next week and I hadn't checked email since 9 am yesterday.) I'm still feeling pretty lively, and I guess soon I'll have to decide whether I'm committing to being awake (and therefore can start drinking coffee) or if I am going to try to go back to sleep.

So that's the external-trigger version of events--all true, and relevant -- but not the whole story, I don't think.

The past 6 weeks or so have been kind of strange -- partly, because I've been having a tough time adjusting to the semester after such a relaxing and wonderful summer. (Previously, I'd had several not so good summers, after which the semester felt like a relief.) Having suddenly to respond to other people's demands after being mostly on my own schedule and having only myself to blame is an adjustment. Being around so many people has been an adjustment too -- by the end of the week I feel really tired mostly because my introvert batteries aren't getting enough recharge time. My classes are going well, but even though they are repeat courses, I've built in a number of new things --new material, and some new kinds of assignments and study guides -- all of it working out pretty well, and I'm pleased, but I'm also putting in a lot of prep time. I knew I was choosing to do that when I planned these courses -- I had been feeling a slight whiff of staleness with some of my teaching and I wanted to re-energize that area of my work. So all that is good, but it is taking up a lot of time.

And then, my gf's work schedule changed dramatically and we are now in week 4 of a household Sleeptime Reassignment Operation. We are now both getting up much, much earlier than we used to -- which I mostly like. At differnet times in my life I've been a late-night person (which I think I am by nature) and a get up early person (though note I'd never call myself a morning person-- I'm really not one, but I realise that it's beneficial for managing my depression if I can get up before sunrise.) So for now it's back to getting up early. Which is fine -- but it has also meant adjusting mealtimes, dogwalk times, and bedtimes. So everyone's been adjusting -- the dogs were none too happy the first day I offered them a walk at 6:30 am. The Boss didn't poop normally for three days, I think out of protest. By now they've adjusted pretty well. But it's been tougher for the humans in the household. Somehow by adjusting our schedule I seem to have lost 2 hours out of every day. I realise this must be an illusion -- but getting home in time to get dinner ready for a much earlier hour has been tough, especially combined with the start of semester.

And then, of course, there was the big conference I went to-- completely disrupting the nascent routine of the semester, and making me feel like I've been playing catch-up ever since. But at a deeper level, it was also disruptive, in a good way -- a reminder about some of the things I might prefer to be spending my time on, a set of different priorities that don't fit so well with my days of teaching and administration. My local environment isn't really supportive of research, so going to conferences is really energizing -- but there was a real sense of let-down as I came back and had to face the reality of the semester once again.

And I haven't been around the blogosphere much at all -- which adds to my feelings of isolation or out-of-syncness. I've been so busy dealing with the "urgent" rather than "important" things that I've gotten a bit offkilter. My yoga practice suffered for a while, though I've been doing more at home to make up for the classes I can't seem to get to with the new time shift. I didn't realize just how important blog time might actually be for me, until I just didn't have it any longer. (The feelings of not having anything to say are a separate issue, mostly also a factor of too much busyness.)

These are all, in different ways, timing issues. I feel as though I'm on the verge of making some changes and figuring out some things -- it's never time management, but self management that is the real area to focus on. My academic values are shifting a bit in a somewhat surprising direction, and I have to figure out how to integrate them into my daily life.