This week has been productive. I’ve marked umpteen reports and essays, and am on course to have them finished by tomorrow, over a week ahead of schedule. I’ve even remembered to mark the ones that were submitted late – the ones I normally return to, groaning, a week later.
I’ve been on a research visit to a museum where I’ll be collecting data over the summer months, and advertised for students to help me. I’ve revised a paper and racketed it back to its co-authors. I’ve sorted out the departmental blog, and training in social media use. I’ve presented a paper to a lab group, and analysed data with my students. As well as teaching my scheduled classes.
I’ve met several friends, one at a time, for coffee, been to book group and home group, led junior church, and had a clear-out at home. I’ve wound my entire wool collection and colour-sorted it. I’ve hoovered. That’s a big deal: hoovering with one hand and a non-cooperative vaccuum cleaner is an onerous task. I’ve microwaved a meal on all but one night. I’ve swum. And I’ve walked over 10000 steps every day. I’ve had, on average, 5 hours 6 minutes’ sleep each night. I don’t feel tired. I feel like this:
Like there are so many things I want to do. There are research projects to get data for, projects where data is to be analysed, crochet projects to hook, drawers to tidy. I feel like I want to do all of these things right now.
I feel like I am racing. Racing from one thing to the next, one project to the next, and I mustn’t stop between them. If I stop – stop and listen even for a few seconds – I hear death. ‘ Die, die, die. Worthless. Better dead’. The activity shuts out this voice so I can barely hear it. I know at some level that this racing is futile. That – at the end of the day – I am going nowhere. The only person I am racing is myself. Trying to keep ahead of the thoughts that threaten to slow me down, arrest me completely. Trying to keep my distance from them, so they remain thoughts, not facts.
I am scared of what will happen if I run out of things to do. I am scared of the exhaustion that past experience tells me is somewhere near, around the corner. For now, I am not tired. I must do all the things.