Monday, October 8, 2018

Remember September

September has drawn to a close. It was a bright, blessed kind of month, which honestly, surprises me a little. I honestly didn't expect to have the time to enjoy myself much. But somehow, I contrived to wrest a little delight from my crowded days and nights.

This was my first full month of teaching my class over at the university. Once more, I am co-teaching with another instructor, which is a life-saver. I don't think I'd be able to do it on my own. It's still a lot of work, but now that I am not totally new to instructing any more, I find I am more comfortable, and slightly less intimidated, which means I can learn stuff, now, too. And weirdly, I rather enjoy my quiet evenings in my office, my head bent over the articles and readings.

My primary work continues to be challenging, but in the best way possible. Right now I am responsible for a unit of 40 people, without immediate supervision. Of course that means far more work than I can do in the 37.5 hours per week that I can do the work in, but even that is an opportunity to hone my prioritizing skills and my willingness to delegate. And that's the important lesson that I learned this month: sometimes it's essential to ask for help, because if you don't, you won't be able to provide the best support to the people who depend on you. All along, folks have been offering to assist me during this transitory time, and at first, I didn't want to accept. I felt like if I accepted help, or delegated, I was shirking my own work; that I was admitting that I couldn't do it all and that I was weak. Finally, however, I accepted, and whether it was that a psychological burden fell off my shoulders as soon as I asked for help, or that the help was substantial (I suspect both), I almost immediately noticed an improvement in my ability to catch up, then keep up. Ask for help, folks: we will all be the better for it. And guess what? Most people want to help others, myself included.

I've had a little bit of an opportunity to enjoy myself, in one of the most simple yet lovely ways possible. We had a lot of ridiculously warm, sunny days in September, but also, some fall teaser days. And on September 22, the first day of actually behaved like fall. And since then, we've had some bright, beautiful, almost-warm days; some breezy evenings; some misty mornings.

It's the easiest thing in the world for me to pause in the middle of whatever I'm doing--rushing out the apartment to work in the morning, trundling along Kirkwood at lunch time, laying in bed late at night--and just remember: even though I don't currently have time to do all the things I want to, I am still living my dream.

I even managed to spend some time with friends this month. On one memorable Sunday evening, my friend Jessica came down from Indy and we gorged ourselves on an obscene amount of sushi, and then spent the rest of the evening lolling about on couches, agreeing that we had no regrets. (Still don't. In fact, sashimi sounds really good right now.)

And on a perfect fall Saturday, my colleague Erica and I headed out to Musgrave Orchards, and then Oliver Winery, for apples, and cider, and a picnic of cheese and more cheese.

It was a golden September, in a golden year. Let's hope October is similarly splendid.