Monday, October 10, 2005

Melancholy Monday: I Need More Time

A cold has swallowed up all of my energy today. The timing of this cold is awful. We are currently in the middle of our "reading days," which I was looking forward to because I need time back. My cold and how tired and sluggish it makes me feel is enough to make me melancholy on this monday. But, when you are sick, and slowed down, a lot of other things can start to haunt you as well.

What haunts me today is my lack of time. A few weeks ago a really bright student from my Ancient Philosophy class stopped by my office to ask me a few questions about her application to study abroad. She just decided to study in Australia and was really excited about the courses she could take and experiencing another culture. She is going to Melbourne. I am jealous. I have family in Melbourne and I have never been able to find the time or resources to visit them. My cousin has already had two children since I started teaching here, and still, I haven't been able to visit.

When I chose to enter into this profession it was so I would own my time and have time to travel. I find myself, especially today, without either. When my student left my office, she remarked how I always seemed rather busy and that she hoped we could find time to really talk soon.

This made me pause. I took a deep breath and looked mournfully at her. "I really do want to talk to you soon. I really do want to make time for you." I meant it too. And yet, I am not sure how to make time or how to find time for these precious things anymore.

I had a really rough conversation with Za two days ago about how we have no time to be together. He commutes a 3 hour roundtrip everyday to work. I don't commute, but I rarely leave my office before 5. When I get home, I usually grab whatever is in the fridge and run off ot a meeting. By the time we see each other again, it is 9:30 pm. We collapse into the bed and can barely find the energy to speak to each other. I miss him.

I also miss talking to my students.

What is the solution? To make time would mean to stop doing so many of the things I do: NOW, non-profit volunteering, exercise, course preparation, and research. I don't really want to give up any of this. And, yet, something has to change. What?

I sometimes worry that the reason liberals like me are seeing our country go to the crapper is that we just don't have time. We can't afford time to make things different. I give all the time I have, and yet, I know that someone on the other side of the political spectrum has more money, assistants, and resources available to get her message out and in the airwaves before me.

How can I find the time . . . ?