Earlier this week, a storm came raging through, bringing tornado warnings and ushering in volatile winds that dramatically changed direction--in the morning, coming from the south, and in the evening, the northeast. Within another day, the weather cleared, the oppressive humidity of the last month broke, and we were left with a perfect autumn day: dry, sunny, breezy, the crickets singing and crows squawking.
Back in the late 80s, when I worked in D.C. after graduating from college, this was the sort of day that would make me long for school again, envious of my friends who were starting new adventures and learning new things. Sometimes I think this yearning played a big part in my going to grad school, and pursuing a career in higher education--to be able to start a new year every fall! The wonder of it!
This week's perfect autumn day just happened to fall on the first day of classes. And I stayed home: I'm on sick leave again this semester, still experiencing daily pain and exhaustion to the point where going back to work would be a huge mistake.
It was a difficult decision to make; there are financial implications, not to mention having to admit the seriousness of what's happening to me. It's truly scary, on lots of fronts. But in the end, it felt less like a decision and more like facing the truth: my body can't sustain going back to work.
So I'm staying home, wondering about all the wonderful things happening on campus--ideas being thought, expressions finding their way into writing or paintings or movement, connections between people being forged, new ways of seeing the world being discovered. I am missing them all, but feel right that staying home--resting, continuing my treatments, seeking new treatments--is what I'm meant to do.
Sending love and light to everyone starting a new academic adventure!
Smart Writers Finish Rich
5 days ago