so yeah. my return to work really didnt go as well as i’d hoped. that sinking queasy feeling was something of a harbinger i think. it started alright. i was working away at my little desk, turning a journal article into a presentation
but i found myself staring out the window a lot, or looking at the photos of the things that really matter to me that i have tacked to my filing cabinet
but you know, you expect that, when you come off the beach and into the office. its kinda disorienting. i’d been very sad on monday too – hormonal, anxious, or just plain old sad, im not sure. but there were lots of tears. and i was drained.
and then it all went pear shaped. i had a meeting with my boss and one of my research assistants, a kind of a ‘where are we up to with this particular project’ thing, and that started at 4, and i left the building at 6pm with my head spinning. it was like i hadnt been away at all, like my boss had been holding his breath while i was away so that when i came back he could continue the conversation we’d been having before i left. and he’d skipped the part where i said ‘im having a week off because im really stressed and worried about getting burnt out’.
i went back in on wednesday but honest, i just sat there immobilised. there were so many things i needed to be doing, and i couldnt bring myself to do any of them! and all i really wanted to do was finish writing the presentation i was meant to be giving the next day. suddenly i realised i wasnt breathing, that my hands were shaking, and i was about to cry, so i gathered up my stuff and ran home.
how pathetic am i? its a goddamn research job. its not rocket science. or talking people down off bridges. or anything IMPORTANT. but i called someone and they talked me down, one step at a time, so i could breath, and i did the slides for my presentation, and then i made a list.
ive called it Kylies Impossible List. it has 4 projects on it that im working on, with about 25 separate tasks. all of those things are happening all at once. they all have deliverables. also, i only have three days a week to do them in. the other two days im doing the nursing history stuff. lets not even go there!
anyway, i met my boss this morning and i showed him the Impossible List. he looked at it for a minute and said Oh. i asked him for some guidance about what he wanted prioritised, and then he said he would put aside some project funds so i could hire extra help if i needed it. i felt a big weight lift off me, just from being able to show him the extent of what i was trying to manage.
then i went off and did my presentation. it was a seminar at a research group, and i was talking to people about the research i was involved in earlier in the year about alcohol and risky sex. (can i just say, i love having a project that i refer to as ‘risky sex’! let alone the article title “A hangover and one night stand” we worked hard on that (not). at first i thought no one was going to show up (which would have been ok)
but the lecture theatre got about half full, and the presentation went really well. i know this project pretty well by now so i wasnt nervous, apart from the part where i had to talk about the multinominal logistical regresssion tests we ran on the data (as if i even know what the fuck that means. theres’s a reason we had a stats guy on the team). anyway, it started a really good conversation and we talked about how we might put together a proposal for more money to do some more in this area.
and then i decided not to go back to my office, but took some reading into town. i may have stopped by the book store (finally a dymocks has opened in wollongong again. for a while we had NOT ONE BOOK STORE, i kid you not, so im supporting this one when i can). and i treated myself to an iced coffee, and a good chat with a friend.
and now i am home, and i just further treated myself by booking my accommodation for my week in NYC in march next year. i’ve rebooked the apartment i was going to stay at last time but had to cancel. this time there will be no cancelling. i cant wait, a whole week in the west village.
and tonight i’m going to sit on the couch and watch more of season three of battlestar galactica (that baltar. such a dog) and knit this endless fracking ‘colour affection’ shawl.
and im also feeling a bit more in control because i decided not to move back to sydney right now. my original plan was to wait for a particular place to become available through a friend, and then i got excited and thought i would go sooner, but its only a few months more to wait, and this way i can get through christmas, and save my money for america, and then move after that when the right place is ready. why introduce extra stressors i dont need just because im impetuous and impatient (would i do something like that?!). this also means im going to have one of the dogs come back to live with me while im still here, and im happy about that.
so im starting to feel a little bit like im coming out of that goddamn tunnel of change, and a bit more into the light. just with baby steps. just one day at a time.