Work

So as of yesterday, I am back on social media.

The time away gave me an opportunity to think about what I do and do not need from the way I engage online. I’m sure I’ll get back to a headspace where I want to debate and comment, but right now I’m more interested in learning. Sometimes I like to read other people’s perspectives without feeling like I immediately need to form my opinion in response. Maybe I don’t really have an opinion. Maybe that’s okay.

Taking a break, of course, also gave me the opportunity to establish better rhythms and habits for my various projects and endeavors. I set up my classes. I read my students’ work and offered them feedback. I’m hoping my good habits can translate to their good habits. And unlike many people who teach comp, I rather like it.

I also wrote–quite a bit. Mostly for my Master’s Essay, for which I’ve clocked in around 7200 words this month so far. I’m having a lot of fun finding Shelley’s responses to Rousseau in Frankenstein. I don’t think I’m necessarily seeing anything others haven’t, but I am meditating on the two works in my own way and answering my questions–the aim of this particular project.

(That’s why it’s an essay and not a thesis. The point is not research, but reading.)

So lately, as you might imagine, I’ve been thinking about the feeling of having done work. At the end of a long day of writing or reviewing, my brain feels like my body does after a long session of yoga. Sometimes it feels very clear and empty. Sometimes it feels wobbly and a little tender. And on my favorite days, it feels strong. Energetic. I can’t quite explain it.

All of those feelings, though, indicate that my mind has been at work. Performing activity. Engaging. Doing it what it does best.

So when I say work, I don’t mean it in the onerous sense–because nothing I do right now is onerous. There’s not one part of the day I dread. Even when my students ask silly questions and I roll my eyes about them, it’s nothing compared to how I used to feel getting up for my office job. Not every moment is happy or easy now, but none of it is painful or taxing in that way. It all feels worthwhile–meaningful, even.

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