Create-A-Day: Still Alive and… more like flopping than kicking

September 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m so sorry for the delay of this post. How can it be that more than 10 days have passed since my last one? School has officially started (and has consequently officially started ruling over every minute of “free” non-work time I have), so I suppose that’s an excuse. Frankly, I just can’t keep track of where I am and what I’m doing anymore. Literally. I got off the metro the other day and had to stop before I got on the escalator because I couldn’t figure out where I was, what day it was, and what I was supposed to be doing. This has been happening more often lately. I have to run through the same questions over and over:

“What state am I in?”

“What time zone am I in?”

“What time is it here? What time is it at home?”

“Where am I supposed to be going?”

“What am I supposed to be doing?”

and perhaps most importantly, “What am I forgetting to do?”

My planner has become my crutch and I depend on it to get through every day. I have each day for a week planned out, what readings I need to do and when, what I need to do after I get off work, what I need to do before and after each class, and where I’ll be travelling that weekend.

A close friend of mine recently voiced his envy over my getting to travel so much for work, but it’s not glamorous at all. It might be more glamorous if I got to fly first class, but it’s all coach for this sister. Here’s a breakdown of my week:

Monday: get up at 7:30am, get to work by 9:15am, work til 3:45pm, go to library until 8pm, be in bed by 10pm.

Tuesday: get up at 7:30am, get to work by 9:15am, work til 3:45pm, go to library until 5:15pm, go to class from 5:30pm til 8pm, be in bed by 10pm.

Wednesday: get up at 7:30am, get to the library by 9:15am, study until 1:45pm, grab lunch and coffee for class at 2:15pm, get out of class at 4:45pm, go back to library until 8pm, be in bed by 10pm.

Thursday: get up at 7:30am, get to the library by 9:15am, study until class at 12:30pm, get out of class at 3pm, grab lunch and coffee, study in library until 8pm, be in bed by 10pm.

Friday: get up at 7:30am, get to work by 9:15am, work til 4:15pm, get home by 5pm, pack for weekend trip to _______, be in bed by 10pm.

Saturday: get up early for morning flight, get coffee and pastry at airport, fly to ________, get more coffee before picking up rental car, drive to hotel, check-in, lay down for an hour, try to find food, spend another hour getting ready, leave early for work, work for 2-5 hours, drive back to hotel, be in bed by 11pm.

Sunday: get up early for morning flight, return rental car, get coffee and pastry at airport, fly home, get more coffee, study in library (or at home) until 8pm, be in bed by 10pm.

So…… it sucks. Life just sucks right now. I feel exhausted all the time, I have lovely purple circles under my eyes, I don’t have time to sleep in on the two days I don’t have to go to work, and I might as well hook myself up to an IV with a caffeine drip considering how much coffee I have to consume per day to stay functioning. I’m still behind in my readings for class, and I still feel absolutely unprepared when I walk into the seminar room. Somehow I’m supposed to fit in doing outside research and writing for my presentations/papers coming up, but I literally don’t see where in my very tight schedule I have the time to do it unless I give up sleeping. Oh yeah, sleeping… I forgot about the persistent insomnia I have when I’m in school. Well, that’s not true. I didn’t forget about it, I just thought I wouldn’t have it happen again, but here I am waking up every night between 3am and 5:30am after struggling to fall asleep, only to have to struggle once more to fall back asleep. I’m one of these people who needs exactly 8 hours of sleep per night to function well (no more, no less), so just the disrupted sleep alone is messing me up. I know if I can just make it until mid-October, when the travelling for work should stop, then I’ll be in the clear. But I’ve got a major paper (not lengthy, but a significant portion of my grade) due and a major presentation (again, not necessarily lengthy, but the expectations for it are very high because my professor is, quite simply, unrealistic and kind of a jerk at times) between now and then, so it’s going to be a pretty tough month on all accounts.

It’s really funny to me how I used to think I was so busy in undergrad, working two jobs in two different states while I was taking a full course load at Emory. At the time, I would work part time in Atlanta and then drive over after class on Friday to Birmingham in time for a dinner shift at a restaurant. On Saturday, I would do the dinner shift again, and then on Sunday I would do the brunch shift before driving back to Atlanta. I did this so I could afford to keep driving back and forth between the states because my boyfriend lived in Bham and wasn’t interested in driving to Atlanta as often to see me. In retrospect, it was a mistake, but compared to what I’m doing now, it was a breeze. Funny how life works out sometimes. But I do feel that I wouldn’t be able to live how I live now without that experience, so for that I’m grateful.

I don’t want to disparage my job and the travel that I do. It can be fun at times. Sometimes I meet very interesting people on my trips, sometimes I get to eat really great food. But mostly it’s just hotel rooms and airport food, and lots of standing around smiling like a fool telling 60+ somethings where the bathrooms are. And lots and lots of sitting around waiting. Waiting to get on the plane, waiting to get off the plane, waiting to get my rental car, waiting in the hotel room until it’s time to go to the event. I rarely spend a full 24 hours in the cities I travel to, so I don’t get to see very much of them usually. I have developed a list of my favorite airports, though, if you’re interested.

Anyway, this update was not on my schedule so I need to get back to my homework, especially since I’m supposed to be leading class on Tuesday. I know I brought all of this on myself, I bit off this quite oversized piece of overly chewy bread that continues to choke me as I try to find a part of it I can safely swallow, so I try to keep the complaining to a minimum. But I’m absolutely exhausted pretty much every second I’m awake (and when I sleep I feel like I’m still tired), so don’t be too envious of me right now. Failure isn’t an option, but that doesn’t mean I don’t entertain the fantasy of throwing all this shit out the window and starting a coconut farm on an island in the Caribbean somewhere.

Oh right, and a photo for you. The temperatures have dropped dramatically here recently, from the 80’s to the 60’s, so I’ve broken out the sweaters, jackets, and coats. Fall has come!

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