Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting my act together

Confession: on Wednesday, I discovered that I had accidentally missed teaching a seminar the night before. I found out in the form of an email from the prof, with several points in all-caps and mostly asking "WHERE WERE YOU?"

It freaked me out. I've never done that before. It was the result of a mix-up where I somehow thought that all of my seminars started next week (and I'm teaching a bunch of seminars this semester). Thankfully, the prof was there and was able to cover for me, but: bad. Very very bad.

And it consumed my brain for a few days (along with a bunch of meetings that all ended up being scheduled for the last half of this week). How had I gotten to the place where I was such a self-absorbed, disorganised hermit that I would forget about a class?

The good thing (other than the fact that the prof has forgiven me) is that it also kicked me into action. It helped that this occurred at the same time as I was meeting with professors about my teaching schedule and dissertation timeline. I've spent several hours sitting down with the university's online calendar tool and have entered in all of my commitments and deadlines. It also emails me whenever anything's approaching, so that I have no excuse. I've set some firm deadlines with my dissertation, with external motivators for meeting those deadlines (if I don't have this next written part in by spring break, then I'm going to have to miss out on a bunch of fun).

It was hard at first, forcing myself to face everything that made me anxious (and which I'd therefore been avoiding). It's easy to avoid dealing with everything, once you've started. And it's going to take some work not to get into another funk. But right now, I'm starting to feel pretty good. And I have enough energy that today we took down the Christmas tree and I'm baking muffins.


C said...

oh my goodness! that was my worse nightmare! i always forget things like that! i have no idea how i was able to not miss a seminar. i hope you are ok now and no longer have "guilt gut" (oh go, i just quoted seventh heaven!)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

It was seriously my worst nightmare. I've always been so frightened that I would forget about seminars, since they're never on a regular schedule. And the one time when I wasn't really vigilant about writing down all the dates on the calendar, I did it!

But I'm good now. Once I'd worked stuff out with Kristin (did I mention that I let down my favourite scholar?), then I was okay.