I spent pretty much the whole day in bed. It was a lovely day here in Adventure City, but I saw almost none of it. I slept late and then got up for a couple of hours in the morning to eat something and read blogs for the first time in ages, but I had a terrible headache, and I went back to bed and stayed there for the entire afternoon. I read a little (John McWhorter's Talking Back, Talking Black -- really good) and napped a little and also just lay there quietly for awhile.
My headache did get better, but I still didn't get up. And as I lay there, thinking about the exhausting week (not just the racism conversations on campus but also doing my taxes and having our Passover seder, which was fun but a long night on a school night), it occurred to me: What if I died tomorrow? Would I be pleased to have spent the last week as I did?
That sounds grimmer than it really is. I like a bit of memento mori, along the lines of Thoreau's "living deliberately."
But the bottom line is that I wasn't horrified by any means at thinking of the previous week as my last, but I wasn't exactly pleased either. Way too much stress and too little relaxed enjoyment. And I've said the same about far too many weeks this year.
Fortunately, two things happened today:
(a) Thanks to nicoleandmaggie, I started watching John Green's "100 Days," in which the YA novelist and his best friend start eating right and exercising and getting in shape physically and mentally, which was quite inspiring. So at 5:15 p.m., I got back out of bed and went to the gym, which felt very good after my day of lounging about.
and (b) I realized with a start that school ends two months from yesterday. Last summer was wonderful -- truly rejuvenating -- and I'd love to have another such summer. But the plan at the moment is that our nieces are going to arrive for a week's visit the very day after faculty meetings end, and then we're going on vacation the week after that, which means that I can't wait until summer arrives to start getting into a summer frame of mind.
So now I have a two months' project: To recover my joie de vivre, which has been absent for much of the time all year. Most of that is about American politics, but it's also been about the way I've responded to American politics (lots of panic and despair) and the way I've let that fretfulness spill into all parts of my life. So the goal is to stay engaged politically while also remembering that I'm lucky enough to live a good life that I really should be enjoying more.