We’re three weeks into October, and I just realized I did not send a September newsletter at all. This one sentence could be a summary of how my Fall 2021 semester is going. But for the sake of blogging, I will give you a bit more context in this update.
I was excited at the beginning of this semester about returning to campus and being able to work from my office again. But then, it turned out that my return to campus was not such a smooth sailing. I broke a toe and couldn’t walk, and when I finally returned to my office after that episode, we had covid in our house, and I ended up taking medical leave to keep things running at home. I got some work in during my medical leave (and on my last week clocked about 36 hours of work, so I guess I can call that a full week of work, in theory), but I cancelled almost all my meetings and did not manage to do any research or writing in that period of time. It is the first time in my life that I took medical leave for a reason other than being too sick to come out of bed. The guilt I felt initially was massive, but it took a lot of load off of me, and allowed me to sleep in and catch my breath after a lot of caring responsibilities and work stress.
This semester, I also had a higher work load than usual. Every aspect of work has just become a bit more intense. I have more graduate students so more supervision meetings. My editorial responsibilities have been scaled up. I’ve taken more leadership roles in various technical committees. My undergraduate class is almost double the size of what it usually is. I have many papers that are in process, and submitted quite some over the summer that all came back with reviewer comments to address. I will need to have a good look at everything that I have on my plate, and start to pass on some aspects to others.
In terms of my non-work-related pursuits, I’ve been watching some television (which is quite rare for me) in the past months. I have not been able to do much exercise as I am recovering from a broken toe and my foot still hurts when I walk – with the exception of finishing up a 3 month calm yoga program, which I enjoyed very much. I’m also slowly finishing up the granny squares that I need for crocheting a granny squares blanket, and I’ve been decorating my planner with drawings and stickers. My focus has been on relaxing and soothing activities, to balance out the extra demands at work.
How is your semester going so far?