Yesterday after spin class, I pitched in on some yard chores. I drug branches around to the curb--it's bulk pick-up week. And then, I got out the clippers and did some pruning.
Our trees have gotten quite overgrown. They could be shrubs, if we stayed on top of the pruning, but we'd really like them to be trees. As it is, they've started looking like scruffy, shrubby, small trees.
As the first hurricane of this season started forming yesterday, although we didn't know it was forming, we started pruning, both to shape the shrubby trees, and to prepare them for hurricane season. It's a tricky thing. You want them thin enough so that the wind can move through them, but not so pruned that you've caused damage.
I found it very satisfying to snip and cut, once I got over my fear. We could see literal storm clouds gathering, so we knew we wouldn't have to devote the whole day to the task. We could do an hour or two of sweaty work and then reward ourselves with wine and cheese and a movie.
It's also satisfying to do the kind of work where one sees almost instant results. I haven't had that sensation much this past week.
It has been the kind of week where I often shook my head and said, "I did not go to grad school for this." I've tried to sort out not one, but two, room mix-ups, which in retrospect, could have been avoided, if I had made a few different choices. It's the time of the quarter where students realize that they can't continue to goof off indefinitely. I've seen more than one student in my office who cannot come to terms with the fact that they've blown it for the final time. I've dealt with co-workers who have feathers ruffled in varying degrees of severity. I have tried to stay patient, to hide my frustration, to not blow up as people continued to push and push and push. Some days I've done a better job of being Zen Kristin than others.
I have wanted to believe that we're all working on important projects, but it hasn't been that kind of week. So, it was satisfying to do some work on a Saturday that had immediate results--today I can get in and out of the car without fighting the shrubby tree; I can walk up the front walk without being afraid of a branch in my eye. Hurrah!
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