The MFA application cycle is coming to an end (in theory). By now everyone should have heard if they're accepted, waitlisted or rejected. If you're like I was and sitting on a waitlist as well as an acceptance list you're feeling icky, scratchy and generally irritable. I hate not being able to let one school know because the other school hasn't made up its mind. I was also (in retrospect, so maybe I still am) irritate by the fact that WMU "accepted me without funding" which they conveyed to me as "waitlisted." Now, if I had known it was just a matter of funding/no funding I could have made a decision weeks prior to the April 15 deadline. As it was, I thought I couldn't come at all unless they had a spot open up with funding. The graduate direct is very adamant about people not going into debt over an MFA, which I appreciate, but as an in-state student I have to admit that this is the closest thing to a free MFA as I can get. Jolie has blogged recently about this, the season of agonizing.
The weather is okay, yet my cabin fever has morphed into something more dangerous. At best I can call it a funk. At worst, it's some sort of depression.
I have in fact, arrived at the point where I either have to confront and fix my "funk" or it will start to have an effect that can't be fixed.
At the moment, I am getting only the bare minimum done that I need to function. Grocery store, cooking, minimal cleaning, meeting deadlines for my two classes with a few hours to spare and doing minimal prepping for the classes I teach.
I spend large chunks of time reading. You would think this is good, right? But it's emotional reading, much like emotional eating. I've devoured 3.5 books in the past six days -- only one of which, a YA novel, was for class. This volume of reading drowns out my need/will/ability to do other necessary activities.
Today I ended up cancelling those two classes with almost no notice for my students (although I say you should always check your email in the morning before you leave to go someplace like school/work; someone may have tried to tell you something important in the wee hours of the morning). I won't get in to why I chose to cancel, but despite the fact that it was symptomatic I hope that in the end it will allow me to fix things.
Being out and about before 8 a.m. -- I had to go in to affix a sign to the door to say class was canceled -- was very, very good for me. For one, it was a peaceful, post-rainstorm morning. I got to collect my wits and my sense of self. I have decided that I am going to make two changes to try and get me out of this whole and one of them is to wake up at 7 a.m. and walk every morning. Lately, I wake at 6 a.m. or 11 a.m. dependent on my need to be somewhere. At 6 it's still dark and at 11 I feel like I'm wasting my day. 7 a.m corresponds with dawn right about now so I'm hoping I can stick with it.
The other change I'm making is to have one hour per day spent wholly and solely on a personal, non-academic writing project. That sounds and feels great. However, I'm nervous about this because I don't have a personal project going right now. There's nothing I'm currently invested in, although there are projects I had to set aside that I could pick back up. One way or another, I will have to decide and develop a personal project, and do it soon, hopefully.
I thought about making other changes, about mandating how much time per day I spend grading or other such work. But I don't want to attempt one of those giant life-restructurings that fails a few days in because it's just too big of a change.