Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Tide is Out

The work involved in cleaning out my law school office is turning out to be worse than expected, especially at my current (low) level of energy. Uncharacteristically, I scaled back my goals and ambitions for the project and gave up on sorting through everything. What can be pitched right away is getting recycled and everything else just transfered into the filing cabinets that will be moved. My original goal was not only to pitch more, but also to sort everything being kept and pare it down in the process. That’s not happening. At first, this made me uneasy and stressed until I realized (duh) that it was just going to take more energy than is available right now. The spring travel schedule was doable, but has resulted in an ebb while the batteries recharge, or whatever it is they do. (Is that a correct usage of "ebb"? I cannot decide.) This cycle presents itself with regularity, and you’d think it would get easier to recognize when it happens. The current presenting clue is that I’ve been playing Wurdle and Bejeweled on my phone; in the normal course of events, those aren’t activities in my repertoire. Over time, we've learned that when they are interesting to me, it’s a pretty good indication that my brain is committed to coasting for a bit. It's odd how good I am at trusting other people’s energies, and mistrust my own. In any event, it’s time to let things bump along at low energy for a while. The office can get attention every other afternoon and call it good for the time being.

While this belated realization was presenting itself, so did the an understanding that the retrospective on Shea is in limbo because of how things stand with her at the moment. Our wires are crossed just now, and while it’s temporary and likely to repair itself soon, it does make it hard to complete a suitable appreciation of her generally wonderful qualities.

While the new software project--and the move away from Microsoft products--is generally pleasing, the spell checker in the Apple word processing program, Pages, isn’t as sophisticated as Word’s and has some truly annoying tendencies. There are words it simply won’t let be typed, for example. The most annoying is that it’s not possible to type the contraction for “could not,” and have it appear on the page. The software consistently and persistently converts it into could’t and fixing it takes effort, because retyping it simply generates the program’s views of how it should appear again. For a reason that’s not immediately obvious (thought will likely produce it later today), struggling this morning with the spell-checker brought to mind the odd moment after the first book manuscript was completed and in production. There was a lot of anxiety in that period (What if people hate the book? What if it turns out to be truly terrible and everyone else can see that instantly? Etc.) One manifestation of that was the compulsion to start a list of words not in the book. The list generated at the time is floating around somewhere, though in all the current upheaval, it’s not accessible. For days, I added words to the list, words that are good, expressive words, words that should have been in the book if it had been written by any other sensible, articulate person. It was certainly the most creative and interesting of the odd anxieties of that period. I don’t miss it. If this summer brings any forward progress (please!!) on the current book, and if it ever gets finished, will this recycle? That would be a good problem to have, to experience it again. I’ll try to hold that thought.

The weather is suiting itself to my energy level (or vice versa?), with rain this morning. Maybe the sunshine and my energy will reappear together. Back into the maw of the office.

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