Thursday, November 22, 2012
Big Thirsty: Thanksgiving?
Okay, I admit that I'm not entirely in the Thanksgiving mood. It seems like I've got even more overdue papers to grade over the "holiday" than usual, and I need to finish up a freelance piece (which I agreed to do because my salary and my expenses just aren't matching up anymore), and I haven't worked on my original scholarly projects for weeks (actually, make that months). Even though I've had several bits of good professional news in the last few months, I'm feeling more than a bit trapped, and very tired.
But I do have things to be thankful for, starting with a relatively-secure job that provides at least a base income and benefits, and is satisfying in many non-pecuniary ways (though frustrating in others). That's more than many people, inside the academy or not, can say these days. And I've got a roof over my head (and electricity, and internet, and no flood damage), and supportive friends and colleagues, and a family with whom I'll break bread tomorrow (and I think there are better than even odds the car will successfully make the 4-hour round trip after the most recent repair). Even the ungraded papers range from mediocre to pretty good, and, somewhere back when I was not quite so exhausted, I enjoyed choosing the readings and designing the syllabi and assignments.
So, I'm wondering --
Q. What are you grateful for, whether associated with your job or not? What relieves the misery, if even for a moment? Or, if everything is looking unbearably bleak, what would relieve the misery, if only you could find the time/afford it/avoid prosecution?
Answer (or ball me out for ruining the atmosphere by going all Pollyannaish, or whatever suits your fancy) in the comments below.