Sunday, October 13, 2019

Mid-October update: On not crushing it and conferences

In the first season of Silicon Valley, the Pied Piper team interviews a candidate whose résumé states, without details, that he was "crushing it" for a certain period of time but then not "crushing it" to his usual standard in 2012. That's me this October.

 Spouse says that I'm exhausted because of all the chaos and bereavement over my mother's final illness and recent death, which was, in the end, the best one possible: quick and painless and peaceful, at home with family surrounding her. That's a fair point. But really, shouldn't the absence of the anxiety, stress, travel, and physical labor I've experienced over the past year give me more energy rather than less?

I also find myself simultaneously resenting having to go to conferences that I'm presenting at and resenting that I'm not presenting at ones where I'm not (MLA--panels I was on were rejected). "If only you were pregnant (completely impossible) or there were an airline strike or if you got the flu, you wouldn't have to go," says the insidious voice within.

Or I could just, you know, not go, but somehow that seems wrong without a reason. I did withdraw from one piece of it after concluding that there was no way it'd get done. But people just don't go all the time, don't they? There seems to be an uptick in no-shows at conferences, or is this just one person's false perception?

At any rate, none of my usual writing tricks are working, so I'll try the nuclear option--turning off the internet--and see if I can write the paper for it, keep working on the (overdue) article, and all the rest of it. Here's hoping for a better report next time.


Servetus said...

I'm sorry for your loss. (And I think bereavement is a reason to cancel conference attendance.)

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Grief is exhausting. It’s a process separate from whatever your feelings are. It’s about getting used to a new way of life and a different place in the world. I second Servetus, it’s fine to just not go if you want to stay home.

I suspect the uptick in people pulling out of conferences is due to not getting funding.

Best wishes and sympathy.

heu mihi said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. And I agree that it's sufficient reason to cancel whatever you want.

gwinne said...

Oh, Undine, I am so sorry for your loss. I do think it's okay to back away from whatever needs backing away from (i.e. conference going) to focus on grief and what matters most to you right now. Wishing you well.

undine said...

Thank you, Servetus. I thought about not going, but pulling out of one session seems to be enough.

Thanks, Dame Eleanor, and you are right--it is exhausting, somehow.

Heu Mihi--thank you. It's odd but it felt almost a little embarrassing to pull out of that session, despite the reason. I guess we're trained to leave the personal out of it and soldier on, which is by no means the best response.

gwinne, thank you. I'm hoping that being in a new place for a few days will shake up this slump, at least to a degree.

Anonymous said...

Grief is exhausting. Stress is also but the odd trick of stress is that when something relaxes the fatigue then really slams in. Glad you are taking some recovery time. You need it.

Z said...

So sorry to hear about your mother! Do what you want.

(This is something a couple of perceptive friends [now I am counting 3, who didn't know each other, which makes the evidence stronger] about 30 years ago told me I needed to learn to do. I didn't understand -- I didn't know I wasn't, or see in what way I wasn't. Now I sort of do, and I'm trying to do THAT as an exercise instead of use productivity tips. It's very interesting)