I am blogging from a lounge in a hotel in my state’s capital. I am furtively looking around to make sure none of my colleagues are around. I am thinking of moving closer to a corner so I will be less visible. Most people sneak off to hotels to rejuvenate their sex lives. I had to come here to write. In truth, I am at a professional conference that isn’t particularly great, and I am more than a little stressed over job-related tasks, so although it is in my nature to feel guilty for playing on the office dime, I REALLY need a minute to decompress.
I started to type “decompose” just then. I find myself swatting around words in my head like that a lot lately. Take for example a commercial that was on a few nights ago as I busied myself with my nightly routine. I wasn’t watching the TV, but it was on and I was half-listening, and when I heard a man’s voice say plaintively, “I don’t want my arm to be re-adjusted,” my mind immediately began playing a scene from a chiropractor visit gone bad. I said absentmindedly (and out loud) to myself, “I wouldn’t want my arm re-adjusted either.” And then I snapped back to reality. What? Arm re-adjustment? Do they even dothat? What am I watching? It was, of course, a commercial for a mortgage company, and the man was talking about an ARM–Adjustable Rate Mortgage–not an arm. Jesus. Welcome to life inside my brain.
Let me assure you that I really love my job. It was the right change for me, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. But I have some responsibilities that are pretty significant and deadline-driven, and their completion relies on the cooperation of others. I cannot just GET THEM DONE. And anyone who works with “others” knows how frustrating “they” can be. I have been emailing and voicemailing a lot of the same people lately, people whose participation determines whether or not I can do my job. I am sure they are tired of hearing from me. I am tired of being heard from, so much so that I am thinking of putting this slogan in my email signature: “If you want me to stop contacting you, DO WHAT I ASK RIGHT NOW!”
The good news is that I have this fabulous office window overlooking a campus that was actually named a state botanical garden (I’m serious), and I can go for walks in the middle of the day on hundred-year-old brick sidewalks, and my position offers me the potential to make real many of the educational programs and big ideas I used to fantasize about as a classroom teacher. And as soon as “those people” come through and I finish the task at hand, I’ll start working on the fantasy fulfillment part of my job.
In other “real life” news, I have finally put my house on the market. My child is sleeping through the night again thanks to the re-appearance of her crib. I like my hair again. The morbidly hot heat and humidity seem to have moved on, leaving behind balmy 76 degree days with a nice breeze and a blue sky full of giant white clouds. And finally, I used to have freaky nightmares about dark faceless figures, and I am happy to report that those dreams are gone; now I have freaky nightmares about Sarah Palin. Oh, dark faceless figure, return to me!