Ever have one of those days where the prospect of doing anything made you feel almost physically nauseous? That’s the day I’ve been having (as I’m writing this, on Monday). Sometimes, it’s inertia that’s the enemy, less so the real problems.
Or maybe I can partially blame the weather? We had our first frost on Saturday night, which more or less means the end of the gardening season. So depressing. My garden has been a huge source of fun for me all spring and summer, but now it’s fall. It’s freezing cold. It’s dark in the mornings. Soon it will be winter, which is even worse. Can you tell I am a summer person?
What I’d really like to do is use the privilege of my own blog space to whinge some more, but I suspect that’s just going to sink me deeper into the trough of despair. Plus, it’s boring to hear other people complain about their problems.
So about face, kid. Let’s shake this off. It’s chilly out, but the sun is shining. What am I really happy and excited about?
1) My Chemistry book. The Lewis Dot chapter is taking me ages longer than I had hoped it would, but I’m having a ball writing it anyway. The fact that it is winding up to be a fairly long chapter I think is a good sign. College students can’t draw Lewis structures worth a ding-dong, hence, they cannot do Organic Chemistry. An almost painful step-by-step chapter on drawing correct Lewis structures seems in order.
2) Working on my Chemistry book has also been a welcome reminder that I do still love Chemistry. My issues of late have had more to do with the project I’m working on. So yay! There was a reason I got that Ph.D. I wasn’t insane!
3) NaNoWriMo! As much as I’m enjoying working on the Chem book, I’m also looking forward to jumping headlong into the novel again. What fun it will be not to have to mess with ChemDraw to make my point!
4) Oh my god. Aubrey/Maturin. Desolation Island. Insanely good. I didn’t enjoy the previous book in the series, The Mauritius Command. There was just so much sailing back and forth between La Reunion, the Cape, and Mauritius, I thought I would never get through that tedium. But Desolation Island, wow. Icebergs, and lady spies, and a broached Dutchman. Just a crazy good story.
5) Slush reading! Look, if you’re in the business of submitting short stories to magazines, I’m sure you know the crush of rejection. I’m familiar with it myself. But know this. When I slush read, I read the story all the way through. Even if it has problems. Even if the writing isn’t very strong. And even if the subject is a little goofy. It doesn’t matter. I still enjoy reading your stories and I’ll think about them a lot. As far as I can tell, the other slush readers do the same. It always kind of amazes me the number of people who are motivated enough to write an original story from start to finish. That’s a pretty amazing skill. Even if the story isn’t right for the magazine (or, as is often the case, could just use a little work-shopping to spruce it into shape), I still like to read all the new material.
6) Christmas! It’s not that far away, if you can believe it. I’m less about the gifts and more about the anticipation. Being cozy. Admiring the tree. Eating too much cheese and smoked salmon. Once, my family sent me out to Trader Joe’s to pick up some more smoked salmon and I got two packs that were longer than my arm. The cashier asked if we were having a party, and I was like, “Ummm, nooo. No, just us…” She looked a little horrified, but we polished those fishies off so the joke’s on her!
7) My father-in-law was super awesome to buy us plane tickets to the Bahamas for Christmas. If there’s one major benefit of working in academia, it’s the lengthy holiday vacation. School’s closed! Must look ahead to that. Hard to even believe it’s going to happen. I mean, the Bahamas!
Will stop there. Seven good reasons to feel happy and motivated today. Not one good reason to mope that won’t be a past problem in just a few months time.
Hope you’ve got seven reasons too and feel free to share them. Have to admit, that was very helpful to do. Clearly, I’m an incredibly privileged person, and I know that, even if I’m a selfish brat at the same time.
I wish I could write more about the fun things we’ve been doing lately, but it’s been kind of a grind. Need to take steps to address that.