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Posts tagged ennui

cognitive dissonance

My brain feels full of ideas and future.  It’s hard to get anything done, though I know there are a bunch of things to do in the immediate future.  Lots of things I don’t really want to think about anyhow.  Papers, students, section… I’m ready to explode out of my body and take flight with my ideas and disappear into the sky.  And I’m completely tied down by the snails pace of time and heavy blanketing of reading and teaching.   Ech.   Some days will pass, and some papers will be written, and I shall reap my sweet summer reward.   3 weeks?  Yikes.


I had one of those days where I felt like I never really rose out of the bog and instead flailed around covered in swamp gunk all day.  Actually I take that back – this evening has been very nice.  I went to yoga (new instructor – decent!), came home, riled Lewis up for a walk to our local Sushi place, took another leisurely walk home, and then read an article I need to present to my lab’s reading group next week.  I think I’ll go to bed soon, though it’s not quite even 10 yet, because I’m feeling quite finished.

Rest of my day was decent enough, besides feeling generally incompetant.  I only have Lin 1 on Thursdays, which is both nice and somewhat aggrivating since I’ve got no other reason to be on campus, let alone awake so early.  I came home from that and got all the rest of my grading done, which I probably spent longer on than I needed to.  It’s amazing how well the kids are doing on the homeworks this week, since this is a part of the class kids usually don’t get very well.  Something must be working!

Though I might fall asleep on the couch so instead I did a little more work on Lewis’ PJs.  They’re coming together really surprisingly nicely, though every little thing is screwed up in one manner or another.  It’s all a big learning process, so I’m not too concerned with these… I haven’t thought through constructing a shirt before, and I know lots of things I’ll do differently next time.  However, I think the end result will be wearable (or at least I hope!) and if it keeps going like it has been so far, it will even be something to be proud of!  Today I sewed the front panels to the back piece, and got the whole collar made (including fancy-pants piping!).  Haven’t attached it yet, but I guess that’s off a few steps further.  I’m getting a little nervous as we get closer to the sleeve parts, but I don’t know if in reality those are going to be any worse than anything else.  But… circular!   Does seem daunting.

What’s with linguists and these metaphors?

My life as a dialogue. I just got to the final and most persuasive subpoint, and I’ve forgotten what issue we’re debating. I carry on anyway, hoping that at the end of this section it all comes back to me. Or that no one noticed I obviously lost my way.

For immediate regret:

This has been one of those days.  One of those days where I watch my fingers tap, so slowly, on these keys, amazed that somehow my thoughts appear before me.  Amazed that my fingers have the ability to move.  That muscles contract, release; digits navigate seemingly without direction.  These days are so draining, so disheartening.  The feeling of agency is both absent and wrenchingly present.  The only thing which prevents my poker face from cracking is ennui, perpetual motion in a frictionless world.  I want to walk outside.  Plod slowly across the grass, saturated with two inches of rain.  I want to walk until I can’t walk any more.  And then I want to sit down in the cold, and the wet, and cry.  Cry until the sun shines, and everything is just how it’s supposed to be, and I have forgotten this night, this feeling, all of these insecurities and disappointments.  It’s been so long since I have had one of these days, so long since the world felt so bleak and distant.

Rational me, peaking through these clouds like a crepuscular ray, knows that the sky will clear.  That no problem I have is so enduring, or even extant, that sleep and hard work won’t succeed in the inobservable erosion of dispair.  Crepuscular me prevents me from walking outside, from acting out, blessed with enough foresight to realize that making a scene today because I’m overtaken by a feeling of ineffectiveness and hopelessness will be quickly overtaken by the repercussions reaped tomorrow.  Because there’s some kind of faith in self that knows pressing through this day at all is a victory.  That I have not succumbed to irrationality, to crying, to fits, to disappearing.  A several-years-ago version of myself was very fond of disappearing.  It was never as liberating as I hoped, for being unfindable is more damningly lonely than feeling forsaken but reachable.  It never made the world more tender.  And it never stopped me from casting myself down on days like today.

So I here sit.  Undisappeared.  Unfunctioning.  Having those seeping crises of faith that I live with, like a condescending, abusive, conjoined self.  Despising my inability to maintain perspective, and cringing at the thought of assistance.  This feeling is so tarnished, so leperous, that I can’t stand the idea of someone trying to help.  It’s something that should not be seen, let alone contemplated, and should be burried by my better self.  Out of sight, out of mutual reality, banished from external discourse, and forgotten.  Makes me wonder why I blog it.  Maybe I’m hoping the universe has a feed reader.   And is going to leave a better version of myself under my pillow, like the tooth fairy.

The King (and Swing)

Urgh, I’m having one of those gloomy sidekick kind of days.  I woke up with “Blue Christmas” stuck in my head.  Subtract out the holiday-ness of it, and you’ve sort of got my soundtrack of the day.  “I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue…” … day.  Sigh.

I don’t even think there’s anything amiss, other than it’s been raining for a solid week.  Maybe that’s enough to bring a girl down in this land of bright sunshine and relative warmth.  Partially I know it’s because I’m stressed out about the semantics presentation I have to give next week, though that in itself isn’t either very important or very difficult.  Maybe it’s just the only thing I have to stress about?  I’m feeling underworked again.  Like my quarter is filled with people who have low expectations of me.   This makes me tired, and perpetuates this feeling that I have nothing to give.  I’m not a person who can run with an idea very long without guidance or support or counsil.  I have to monkey-bar my way up the ladder, I don’t sail on my own.  And I’m lacking those in-between-y grips.

I guess when it comes right down to it, I’m always just me, swinging into the unknown again and again.  And there are a lot of days I don’t feel like I have anything worth sharing.  And lonely on these bars without someone on the ground watching.  All I can do is keep swinging, and wondering where these bars lead, and how soon and how far I’m going to fall.

I am














Made Christmas cookies today.  Spent all day mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, frosting, and fraternizing.  Saw immediate and extended Lawyer family.  Wasn’t sure how well it went off… seemed like the actions were there without the cheer, somehow, though looking back on it now that can’t have been true.  I guess it’s just not the same without my sister and Lonnie.  I miss Lisa, and I’m really not looking forward to Christmas this year.  I feel like I did a shit job with presents, and I don’t know how I could have done better.  I’m worried about making phone calls on Christmas day to try and sound enthused about what I sent, though it was the best I could do with my time, money, and resources this year.  I guess I just don’t like sending anything but the best to my sister and my parents, and I didn’t give anything anywhere near what they deserve this year.  Stupidly, this all makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong, like said something I shouldn’t have, and I should be in trouble for this sort of behavior.   Boo.

Here’s to tomorrow, which is now today, and it being more cheerful and lighthearted.

Dreaming of a Puce Christmas

I feel like I’m starting to get antsy for the new quarter.  It’s great that I feel this way already, so soon after the last quarter ended.  I feel envigorated, enthused by my coursework, and ready to plunge headlong into it all again.  I already miss the routine, the sense of purpose, the daily friend visits, and the challenges.  I miss feeling like my days have a purpose.  I’m never great at being unemployed unless I’m actually on vacation somewhere.  Having a bunch of household busywork to do isn’t really satisfying my want to create and to succeed, though I think at least half of that is because I’m not creative enough to inspire myself to do something big.    And I think this must be part of the reason I’ve been so moody this week.

The other part, as always, is the general holiday ennui I get.  I know after enough holidays in my new environment all this will be something to look forward to, too, but for now, all that occupies my mind is how much the holidays are lacking in the things that really mean “holidays” to me.  I’m trying my best to make that not true, by doing all my own traditions the best I can, but it’s odd when I feel like I’m the only force behind them and that they’re inherantly not special to anyone else.  I’m looking forward to the cookie decorating party on Tuesday… I’m making mom’s old standby sour cream cookies and frosting them with all the little sprinkles and candies Steeny sent down, and even using my same old cookie cutters that Mom must have sent me at some point.

I do a lot of yearning for forgotten items and things of my life that Mom and Dad threw away, but Chrsitmas is one time when all this stuff really shines for me.  Mom must have known how important all this Christmas stuff was (is) to me, because out of all that I lost, I have so much of the real Christmas stuff.  I have most my favorite tree ornaments, and I have my stocking, and I even have my cookie cutters so I can make the very same people, the very same candy canes, and the very same stars I’ve been decorating for as long as I can remember.  I know every place the cookies tend to fall apart (boy’s arms), which cutters you have to push down extra hard on (candy cane), and it’s as if every possible decorating scheme is already there in my head.  And I can remember all the great decorating parties of yore.. like the time Lonnie turned a boy into the terminator, or the ones we frosted all in puce… this year I think I might even make some dinosaurs!

These holidays to stress me out, both in the regular gift-buying ways, and in the mental fighting-off-resignment kind of ways, but every year I think they get better.  And they’re always so lovely with the Lawyers.

Same As It Ever Was

Another day like the last, which isn’t much to complain about, except that I acquired a case of ennui.  These things happen.

The morning was pretty triumphant.  I lept out of bed and into the kitchen and made Lewis some tasty waffles for breakfast.  I think waffles are pretty decent, but something about these mornings I don’t start off with a fruit smoothie makes it seem like my afternoon drags a bit.  I wonder how much of that is psychological and how much of that is nutritional.  One would assume a breakfast of yogurt and fruit is probably more energy-inducing than a breakfast of sugar and carbohydrates, even though latter breakfast comes with tea.  This didn’t stop me from at least getting our shower head switcharoo executed, at least, but that was about the last useful thing I feel like I got done.

This pile isn't very picturesque.

This pile isn't very picturesque, but I'm proud!

Lewis did manage to rouse me for a bit more garden work, so we did succeed in digging up the whole herb garden plot.  The soil there is really rich and nutritious, but so compact it was nearly cement.  I was fairly well exhausted by the time I was done with the pitchfork portion of the job.   Spent my requisite outdoor time this afternoon having lunch and watching the Boo fail to hunt a butterfly.  That was actually fairly sad;  I think he may have smooshed it but not killed it, so it was fluttering around our lawn seemingly unbothered but grounded.  Ridiculous cat.   He also had his first neighbors-yard adventures today after jumping up to the top of our fence.  He didn’t seem to care much about about the yards, but I think he’s rather keen on the Boo-highway that the fence boards provide.

Took a journey out of doors to try and find a bar stool like item to use as a work chair for my envisioned garage work space.  I’d like to set up lots of stuff out there, so I can do messy craft things at my leisure.  I’m not sure what these messy craft things are, but I do know that I need a work area to do them on!  I’ve already got the table part ready, so it’s just a matter of getting it all set up and cosy looking.  That might be a good thing to do with my day tomorrow, really.  I think the Lawyers might have a bar stool I can use, and we’re cat sitting for them tomorrow, so that would be a good time to check it out.  Also managed to hit up some thrift stores and found ourselves a nice three-cup tea pot for five bucks.  Score!

Rest of my night was spent talking to my parents and making chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.  They turned out pretty decent, but I wouldn’t call them stellar.  Not sure what they’re missing to make them perfect, but they certainly are pretty tasty.  It was good to talk to my parents, too.  They’ll be visiting here next month and bringing me the sewing machine, and my mandolins!  What luck!  I had given up on the mandolins already, so that was fairly exciting news.  The music room will be up and running in no time.

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