Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And She's Ba-ack!

So yesterday mid-afternoon I was the grumpest of the grumps. Woe was I and all that.

I decided I was facing post-semester stress disorder, the result of trying to downshift from 80 hours per week into 40 without losing steam entirely. The summer's prospective projects were overwhelming me, and I felt incredibly guilty about allowing myself to do something other than academic work.

By the evening, I was pretty whiny.

But then, over the course of the evening, things worked. Having decided I would do no academic work for the evening--definitively--worked like magic. There was nothing on TV, so I turned it off and didn't try to replace it with movies for several hours.

I pulled out the Swahili books I had put away (read: taken back to the library) last fall and looked over the first lesson again, rehearsing the now-unfamiliar, yet familiar, sounds. I looked up how to say "post-semester stress disorder" in Swahili in an online dictionary and felt ridiculously happy about it, even though I had no idea how to put the individual words together in the way that made sense. I exercised a bit to my newly discovered and fabulous Exercise TV on-demand channel, getting my muscles moving again bit by bit.

And, as a result of these writing practices, my brain too started to loosen itself up and use muscles that had lain dormant during the school year. And about 1:30 a.m., inspiration hit. I started a creative project I'd been thinking about for awhile. It flowed, and it was beautiful.

Considering last year this barely happened at the end of summer, this is a beautiful, beautiful day in the neighborhood. Woohoo! I'm back in the land of creative writing!

Sure, I still have many academic tasks for the summer, but I'm beginning to envision how a certain amount of, dare I say "balance"? might be possible in the next few months. Ah, frabjous day...

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