Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 44 - Out of control

Last week, I was driving back from a well known flat-pack furniture score, with a bookcase that was threatening to flatten me every time I went around a corner. It was raining hard, and I was driving around a roundabout. Suddenly, I felt the wheels slide under me and I was beginning to turn in directions I did not want to turn. I was skidding. Fortunately, I remembered what to do, and I seemed to do the right thing, regained control, and before I really thought too much, I was back on the right road, facing the correct direction, and driving home.

That is one of the best ways I have for describing how going back to work after a long(ish) period away feels like. I feel like things have the potential for completely sliding out of control, and therefore I throw myself into intense organising activity - drawing up class lists, trying to predict how some things may pan out or not - as if this frantic activity will stave off chaos.

And I have no idea if it actually does any good or just makes me feel better.

Today, I have been worrying about student numbers, replying to emails, and generally feeling important (although I'm quite aware I'm not). And I've been having that feeling that the wheels are shifting. I'm sure it's an illusion and things aren't that bad, but it feels difficult to adapt. Like when you get to the end of one of those moving walkways.

I think that this might be why I prefer not to take too many holidays, and prefer to 'keep my hand in', doing a bit of work throughout the summer. I find it difficult to adapt when I'm back at work, dealing with the quotidian outbreaks of chaos.

Lesson learned from this year is to give myself more time to get back into the swing of things. I like Lauren's suggestion of leaving July as leave time, with June dedicated to winding things up for the academic year, and August devoted to preparing the new one.

After all, most of these tasks are not huge surprises - they happen every year - so why don't I plan with that in mind?

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home