Friday, 24 November 2017



I'm tired. It's fucked. Tired on Friday evening is to be expected, right, when you work full-time at a demanding job and cycle 200+ km a week and have a young child and do the cooking and also will be turning fucking 45 in eight days, but of late, most Monday afternoons when I sit down with my doc, I'm already bleary-eyed and stuffed. I don't sleep well. Sleep deprivation for me is dangerous and frightening. She told me last Monday to take a sleeping pill that night, so I did - half a mg of lorazepam early in the evening so it wouldn't prevent me from waking up in the morning. But when the alarm went off on Tuesday morning I had a migraine. This was possibly from the drugs and the weariness but might also have been related to the appalling life choice of watching Q&A before bedtime. So I took the day off and slept till the afternoon. The rest of the day, and the next day, I felt quite amazing in the way that one does after a decent amount of sleep allows you to remember what normality is like. But I didn't sleep well Wednesday or Thursday night because I stayed up late trying to finish a conference paper (which I presented today), and then after I did go to bed I slept little because of worrying about it. I will probably sleep like a log tonight until about four, and then I'll be awake.

-----end of whine

So the conference was just the ticket. I learned some things and I felt validated, what more could you possibly ask for? There were just enough mildly to heavily annoying people around to keep things lively - perfect. When I registered there was nowhere to put your dietary requirements. This turned out to be because all the food was vegetarian and vegan and it was also incredibly delicious. My talk was received well and I am almost sure I didn't lose my head entirely and say reckless things out loud about the political context in which I work. The one fly in the ointment was something I probably should have foreseen - the person who used to be my supervisor and who made work very difficult for me in the middle of the year before she moved on, well, she was present. We exchanged the briefest of greetings on the first morning and successfully ignored / avoided each other for the rest of the time. I was worried she would come to my session, but she didn't.

Yes, I did feel validated and I'd been needing that. The end-of-year exhaustion has made it harder than usual to dispense with the desire to gain the approval of...someone, anyone. Normally I'm resilient enough to know I don't actually need my superiors' praise. I get paid and that's enough. But going to a community of peers is something else. (The conference is connected to a radical education research unit based at Victoria University.) This was an opportunity to try out my ideas about what I do on a group of people who would recognise the challenges, and they did respond.

The whole time I worked in the university, nobody ever said to me the things that are regularly said to me now when I talk about my job. People say, you're doing great work. It's a big responsibility you have there. What a task you have taken on. I'm glad it's you that has that job. Really, people do say this stuff and it's embarrassing but also good.

I know I wrote that the whining was over - this is an indirect whine - if I had a little more energy I'd write about other things

- books: Broken River by J Robert Lennon, the Honest History Book by David Stephens and Alison Broinowski

- Moving Pictures, 'What About Me?'

- finding out that a person I know and previously liked votes for One Nation

- breaking the sewing drought with two very nice dresses made in different fabrics from the same op-shop pattern

- thinking about #metoo

A gorgeous electrical storm rolled over the city while I was writing this. The air smells nice now. Enjoy your weekend.


Ann ODyne said...

comiseration and exultations from me, apply where appropriate.

That thunderstorm killed a woman who was out in the open and I had a near death at 8:20 PM when lightning struck [the ground I assume, or a metal cattle grid adjacent to] the road where I was driving. The CRACK was 140 decibels and the flash of white light was as if the car had been in a waterfall of white paint. It was terrifying of course.
We feel enervated by storms and I think the air has ozone in it or something.
Wishing you a good nights rest

elsewhere said...

So glad you got to give a paper with your own thoughts in it (I presume it wasn't a work-approved thing) and get some good feedback and support. I'm enjoying this weather maybe more than I should. It reminds me of a stormy day I wandered around Bangkok, dipping in and out of parks and temples. I did hear about that poor woman who died on the other side of town.

When you said 'doc' I thought you were referring to a shoe type--took me a while to work that one out. Q&A is often best avoided.

JahTeh said...

Yes, voting for One Nation, shock, horror and wondering where her brain ran off to then compounded by her support for Family First if it regenerates.

Annie O, I told you living in the country would kill you just as you told me that metropolitan wheelie bins would do me in.