I try not to stress about missing entries anymore. Maybe I'll lose a few readers here and there when I don't update for a while, but people seem to come back too, and most of you are pretty patient with me. :-) There's a nasty trap you can get into when you don't update for a while, where you start feeling like you have so much to cover for all the days you've missed that you have to write a really long entry to make up for it...which you put off, 'cause that takes time, and so it gets longer and longer and further and further away from ever happening. Nowadays I just try and do a normal entry when I come back after a hiatus, maybe hitting a couple high points of the intervening time. Much less stress.
That may be my theme for the next couple of years: learning to manage stress. Too many things freak me out. Lack of money. Too much work. Worrying about my love life. Fretting about not writing. Fretting about writing and it not being any good. Tension with my family. Etc. and so on. You know how it goes. And as Kevin keeps telling me, all of that fretting never seems to do me any good. It's not constructive thinking about the problem, it's just working myself up towards an anxiety attack, walking around with a churning stomach and tight shoulder muscles. Waste of time and energy. So I gotta figure out ways to let it go.
Exercise helps a lot. Did you know that (according to one of my students who wrote a research paper on the subject) that moderate aerobic exercise is the best treatment for stress? I believe it; since dancing the other night I've felt better. I'm so glad I went to that party Friday night and danced -- it put me in a good mood for all my grading Saturday (which did get finished, on time, Monday morning, thank you for asking :-). So now that the weather's brightening up, I really am going to try to walk a lot more, and go dancing whenever I can. There are lots of parties coming up in the next two weeks (end of the semester stuff), and after that, Marcia and Samantha say they're willing to go clubbing with me. We'll see what happens. I can always go look into contra dancing again too...
I imagine yoga would help too, but I don't seem to have the patience for that kind of sitting still stuff. The most sitting still and being calm I can manage is while I'm reading a book or watching a movie or chatting with friends. So I guess I should do lots of that too. :-)
Plans for this week -- British Alex is in town, so hopefully we'll be able to get together. He's working during the days, but perhaps dinner tonight or tomorrow or both. Thursday night I have writer's group; Friday early evening I have a small party for my students. (Making finger foods: hummus, tabouleh, smooshed potato curry (I have to come up with a better name for that) with pita, cucumber sushi, chips and salsa, gado-gado (Indonesian just-cooked veggies with peanut sauce), soda and juice. Can't serve alcohol, 'cause I run the risk of getting into big trouble. I knew a teacher who was suspended for serving alcohol to students!
Now I gotta have some tea and eat something, then start wading through some accumulated mail. Have a good day, my dears...
Still polling (please don't vote twice, or even try to). Will assess results on Friday, after a week's run.