Progress Report

You think you can do these things, but you can’t, Nemo, you just can’t!
March is upon us. My sabbatical is two months old. How has it been going?

  • I continue to be grateful for the time. Every day, I feel blessed to have some of the many stresses of teaching and administrated lifted from me for this spell. But, as each day passes, I feel under increasing pressure to achieve what will feel like a worthy achievement come August. And, of course, removing the pressure of a full schedule has meant that I've caught up on all kinds of time-consuming errands that still do keep me from my writing (dentists and more).
  • I have kept to my resolution of exercising five days a week and I’ve been better than usual at tracking my exercise and eating over at WeightWatchers. But I’ve only lost five pounds. That’s five more than zero, but five less than I’d like to have shed by now.
  • I have made progress on the most odious project of the Dalloway edition: collating changes among editions. But I’m not done.
  • I have begun three new (non-scholarly) essays. But finished none of them. And I’ve read a lot.
And, twice last week while walking the dog, Nemo’s dad’s horrible advice popped into my head unbidden: You think you can do these things, but you can’t, Nemo, you just can’t! Who knows why we are so cruel to ourselves. This version of self-flagellation is particularly hilarious and ridiculous: the whole point of that moment is that Nemo can do these thing, that, in hearing himself limit his child, the father has an epiphany about expectations and limitations. The other problem here is that after 10 years of higher education at top-tier universities, my super-ego can be blockaded by an animated clownfish from Pixar.

I need a new mantra.