Finding a Balance

My blog entries have been a little sporadic lately. I (and my doctors) have been making significant drug changes, and while I’m confident that they’ll be worth it in the long run, for now I’m dealing with medication-induced fatigue and nausea that makes it  hard to do much beyond the minimum, writing-wise. So yeah … a little bit of laziness, a lot of sleepiness.

I’ve been trying to ease myself back into my research after a summer that’s been rather unproductive, or at least unproductive by my normal standards. Adding lines to my CV has traditionally provided me with a great deal of satisfaction, and concrete academic accomplishments, the kind you can put on paper, continue to motivate me like little else can. In a way, though, I’m prouder of the non-PhD things I have and haven’t done over the past few months. Namely, that I haven’t pushed myself to work when I don’t feel up to it; that I’ve been clear about the help I need; that I haven’t resisted medication changes due to the fear of cognitive and physical consequences; that I’ve made an effort to exercise; that I haven’t holed myself up in our apartment, even when I feel awful; and that I’ve continued to live relatively normally, even with seizures. Patting myself on the back (GOOD JOB, K!) for not spending the majority of my waking hours obsessing over the quality of my writing or the correct format for footnotes or whether a comma is necessary following a particular clause or whatever marks a huge shift for me.

And the best part, at least from my will-always-be-a-little-obsessed perspective? Despite making a concerted effort to be gentle with myself, I’ve still managed to finish a decent chunk of academic stuff since I finished teaching at the beginning of May. Indeed, I presented at a conference, submitted an article, did most of the reading for the final chapter of my thesis, and completed a few substantial translation projects. I’m hoping that as my new medications start to kick in and the side effects fade away, I’ll be able to stay vigilant about maintaining this balance between work and self-care. And that I’ll be better about updating my blog more regularly.


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