I have had more time this semester than usual. I typically have an overload every semester, but due to the college crisis of students not enrolling wit the pandemic/gap years/who knows what, and due to my largest-ever class of graduates last spring, I am slightly under load.
(Now, I teach at a small liberal arts university, so even my lessened load remains wayyyyy larger than the usual load of my friends who teach at large research institutions. But, regardless.)
This has left me with more time. And, I feel guilty about that. I’m used to working myself ragged every minute of the week, and that makes me feel good–productive. (I hear you out there screaming that what it actually does is create an environment in which I can’t sit and process negative emotions–yes, yes. That, too.) I suffer from the very cliché martyr syndrome of equating busyness with success.
Yesterday, after talking about having to “do the work” in therapy for the millionth time, I wondered if I could shift my thinking and view this time as a gift, which I can use toward recovery. After all, no one is on my back telling me to work more. I’m tenured and a full professor. My job is secure (I think). I support people who need in-patient care and who take time away and make the investment in recovery at a rehab facility. That’s not the path I need at this point, but I do believe in it as a means to recovery.
So, I’m trying to view the time I spend recovering not as “wasted” time that I should be using to do something more productive. If I can be successful at recovery, maybe this will end up being the best-spent time ever. I can’t promise that I’ll do this every day, but for the rest of this week, I’m devoting an extra hour to each day that I actually put in my calendar as “recovery time” — and, I can use that however I want: blogging, walking outside, meditating, thinking. That way, maybe I can see it as an actual investment, and not just something I’m trying to squeeze in, or time that I’m taking away from “real” work. After all, I invest actual calendar space to workouts and therapy…
We’ll see. Day 2.