Sunday, January 07, 2007


Right now, this moment, I am almost exactly in the middle of the three days in a row I have off from work. It was an accident to get this vast stretch of time, because I didn't ask for it, and I suspect the assistant manager who makes the schedule simply made a mistake. But it is what I needed. I've been on edge for weeks, my blood pressure rising every time a demand (as simple as a phone call or a run to the grocery store) was made on my time. I've felt resentful of customers at work because--horror of horrors--they expect me to help them. I've been on the verge of saying very rude and inappropriate things, uncontrolled and uncharacteristic things, to people all week. I realized how badly I needed a break when I actually lost control of my tongue with a customer who kept interrupting me with "No, no, no," because he thought I didn't understand what he was asking, when in fact I did. "Let me finish," I said in a tone of voice that made him stop mid-word and blink at me in surprise.

I need this break so badly I promised myself this morning that I wouldn't think about work until I get there on Tuesday afternoon. I just broke that promise, and I can feel the bile rising in my chest. So I'm done now. No more talk of work.

What I have been doing on these days off has been incredibly therapeutic, even though, technically, it's work. Yesterday, I spent the entire day cleaning my house. The cat hair tumbleweeds and brown tea stain in the white porcelain sink and hurricane-hit papers in the office are all gone. The floors shine and the windows aren't marked by the wetness of cat's noses. I am completely relaxed in my own home for the first time in months. Which is helping with today's project because I'm not distracted by clutter and filth.

Today, I'm finishing my last two PhD applications. Online application forms are complete, fees paid. The harder part is ahead, and that is why I'm blogging. I have to revise my statement of purpose for each school, write a letter and fill out a form to apply for financial aid/teaching positions, and print out all of the supplementary materials for each application packet. Most of this is creative work to a certain extent, and my brain doesn't feel quite supple enough for that right now. But I'll finish today, because tomorrow I want the freedom to run errands and do some recreational shopping. And read. And watch movies. And whatever else I think I deserve.

Okay. Good warm-up. Time to work.


Blogger Froyd said...

Good lord, I hate statements of purpose. Isn't that the point of GOING TO SCHOOL!?!? so you can winnow down the choices of what you want to do? And english is a huge field! What do they want fortune telling???

Sorry, those thoughts have been lying dormant for the last 2 and a half years since I was doing the app process. It sucks. I feel your pain.

1/08/2007 9:48 AM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

Ug it sounds like you really need that break and I am glad you are getting it.

I have been there (Except for that whole graduate school thing, of course). ;)

1/08/2007 11:22 AM  

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