I sometimes feel like I get nothing done, but I’m never not doing something. It’s just the category into which I place the things I’m doing that are out of balance with my expectations. I rarely give myself credit for taking care of the myriad everyday things that must be done – because they must be done, after all. What’s to acknowledge about that? Unless you’re depressed, of course, in which case getting even a few mundane things done is a big deal.
I spent the last weekend being quite industrious, although I didn’t chip away at my workload one bit. On a cool rainy Saturday morning, we went to the nursery and picked out about $130 of plants, and then proceeded to double our garden space in the front yard. It was hard work and took all day, but by the time we’d finished the sun had come out. It was so gratifying to see the vision take shape, to see a physical result from all that effort.
Sunday rose up hot and sunny. We had a very late breakfast at Mom’s Diner (really), which was refreshingly un-crowded since the undergrads have gone home for the summer. But then we retreated indoors for the day. Mr. Chickadee worked on making books. I worked on doing photos and writing up listings for the little Etsy store I put together a couple months ago during a spurt of hypomania. I’ve made two sales in as many months, which is just enough reinforcement to suggest I should keep listing stuff.
Clearly, we were both quite productive all weekend long. But I feel like I’m behind because nothing I did fell into the category of academic work, and I’m used to a never-ending work week. I didn’t review any of the 6 conference papers I owe reviews for. I didn’t revise my next conference poster submission. I read no articles, did no planning, and wrote no new content. I didn’t work 60 hours last week, just 40-ish. I didn’t even bake the rhubarb pie I’ve been meaning to make (ran out of flour…) But even if I’d done “real” work, I wouldn’t feel much better for having done that instead of something I might enjoy a bit more.
I always take the negative view – what didn’t happen, what I didn’t do. I need to remember to look at what did happen and what I did do a little more often.