Here’s a list of things I’ve done in the last 10 days:
1. Bury my dad-in-law (Although, to be fair, I didn’t do the actual burying. I lack the necessary backhoe skills. But it still counts, right? *Also, “backhoe” is not a sex joke.) See how I use humor to cover up grief? Super healthy! Go and do thou likewise.
2. Apply for a job: A real, live, full-time academic job at a state university. Which means the application process was a bit like taking the Ring to Mordor. I mean, wait! Not to imply that the university is Mordor! Well that analogy broke down pretty quickly.
3. Submit the manuscript for my first book (notice how I slid “first” in there, all easy-like? Let’s hope it’s not the announcer’s curse of publishing…). This one was a long time coming, because (brace yourselves): I am a procrastinator. Somewhere, the Understatement Fairy just earned its wings. This usually works to my advantage, as my anxiety and procrastination – at the last minute, naturally – mop the floor with deadlines. However, anxiety was doing its own thing this time. I spent hours trying to get started. I would take a run at the computer – open it, pull up Twitter, shut down Twitter, open my manuscript, read the first few sentences, feel my brain thud into something unmovable, and sit puzzling over why my anxiety was crippling me rather than merely stalling. This went on for about a year. I worked, and worked, and worked, and it never got easier.
The book is based on my dissertation, and so, much of the work I did was rewriting and editing. Somehow, those tasks were more daunting than putting new thoughts on paper. Granted, I am notoriously fond of new thoughts (like right now I’m thinking about…Dang it! THERE’S NOTHING NEW IN MY BRAIN. Please wait while I reload… Oh yeah! I’ve been listening to loads of Zoe Keating. She’s brilliant! Her cello playing is like a massage for the everything.) The manuscript was due today. I finished at 2:00 this morning, and sent it off. I think I’m more nervous about this than I was about the dissertation. But, to be honest, good ol’ “WHAT IF IT SUCKS?” is so much better company than, “WHY CAN’T I WRITE?” Plus, I have the added bonus of getting to spend an entire Friday with my boys without feeling like I should be at the bookstore typing. Win-win!
4. Get an email from STELLAAAAAAA!!!!!! saying that she’s coming for a visit. Nothing in the world could have made yesterday better.