End of Term Anomie
Finally, all assignments are over. Feedback and results have been received and I am delighted that all my hard work, in spite of obstacles, has paid off. So, you would think I would be celebrating and enjoying a well-earned rest. However, this has not been the case. Despite news about a friend’s expiry date (he was convicted with stage 4 metastatic cancer – that set me on the Kuebler-Ross curve again!), stuff going wrong with my car and home required me spending time, money and energy I would rather invest elsewhere. Nonetheless, everything else is rosy!
Everything that has happened this year has made me even more appreciative of my life. Every day I wake up I am blessed to be alive, healthy (as far as I know!) and free (or at least I cling to the illusion of freedom!) But since the end of term, I struggled to get motivated in the mornings and could not even bear to workout for the last ten days. However, today seems different. As the tao te ching states: There is a time to do and a time to be. Today is the first day I actually feel I can relax. I even read in the bath after breakfast and no one was trying to hold a conversation with me through the door. It was bliss!
But, recently it all seemed like a massive anticlimax. After the routine and structure of the academic year, with goals to achieve and deadlines to meet and keep me motivated, all of a sudden there is nothing to work towards. No routine. No research. Friends have returned to their hometowns for Summer, while others are working. With no purpose, you are forced to be alone with your self. Who are you when you are not busy ‘doing’ all the time?! I was volunteering, but while it brought structure and purpose, I found the nature of it emotionally overwhelming and, sadly, unsustainable.
ANOMIE est mon ami!
To combat anomie, I am in the process of creating a luscious new routine and rituals for the holidays. Plenty of exercise, fresh air and fun with friends and family (coz we never know when our time is up, so enjoy everyone in the moment). I will include times to have experiences and adventures and times to simply be with myself (I will enjoy guilt-free laziness while I can!) My eldest daughter and I are enjoying movies from the 80s and 90s and we are watching River Monsters as a family – never thought fishing could be so fascinating. I am reading books I did not have time for during the academic year. I will also start my literature review for my dissertation, which will obviously help me next year. The uni library is open throughout Summer and there are plenty of books to choose from, perhaps read something I would not usually consider, or learn another language for fun. It is also a time for greater spontaneity and flexibility as I am not bound by a timetable. I know it will be over in a flash. Nonetheless, I am going to enjoy the next few weeks of peace and quiet before school is out for Summer!