Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dreams of Work

This morning, I woke up at 2 a.m.  Is it time to admit that during the month of January I've been waking up at 2 more often than sleeping until my regular wake up time of 4 a.m.?  Actually, I'm not sure if that's true.  It is true that once I rarely woke up at 2 a.m. and stayed awake until morning and through the next day.  This January, that's been happening with more frequency than I like.

I think of myself as not worried, not stressed about work, despite the lay-offs that have occurred this month.  Does my earlier wake-up time belie my beliefs?

I woke up at 2 a.m. thinking about the schedule for Spring quarter classes--and I woke up thinking about it because I had been dreaming about it.  I see the Facebook posts of my friends who are having interesting dreams full of rich symbolism.  I go to sleep and dream I am at work.  Sigh.

So, I got up.  In the interest of full disclosure, let me admit to falling asleep at 8 p.m. last night--so at least I got 6 hours of sleep, which is 1-2 hours less than I'd like, but I'm still functional with 6 hours.

I do notice that I'm quicker to irritability with less sleep.  One of my administrator tasks this week was untangling and fixing a giant room use mix-up.  It wasn't my fault, but it involved an instructor in my department, so I had to come up with a solution.  I was angry out of proportion with the instructor from the other department who so blithely moved into the room where my instructor was scheduled to teach.  Part of my anger came from the attitude of the encroaching instructor--no remorse at all, just a sense of entitlement.

Some days I can feel amused by it all.  Some days I am surprised by my movement towards explosive rage.  I am grateful that I can control that rage--some days through gritted teeth.

There are advantages to waking up early.   Before most of the people in this time zone have awakened, I have seen a gorgeous moon and watched it set.  I had a Facebook conversation in real time with poet Jeannine Hall Gailey--I so rarely have those conversations in real time that I forget what fun it is.

I usually get some writing done when I'm up early.  That's a plus.  And there's often work that can get done for my online classes.

I am lucky in that I like my colleagues.  Yesterday, I met with the directors of other departments.  We had to come up with a plan to divvy up the number of sections of classes that we'll be allowed to run for Spring quarter.  It was fairly civil. 

I know that some of my fellow directors are distressed by the implications.  I know because we have spent many hours discussing it.  That distress upsets some others.  It's been one of those weeks where I feel as much like a pastoral counselor as an administrator.

I came home yesterday, and my spouse said, "Are you still employed?"

I said, "As far as I know.  Why?  What do you know?  Was there a phone call?"

He was partly joking--it was the way he brought up that he wanted to go out and buy a fire pit--sort of an impulse buy, sort of not, because we've been thinking about it for years.  But that uneasiness is always there, especially in a month of lay-offs.  Perhaps my wrecked sleep schedule reflects that.

We did get the fire pit and spent the evening enjoying an outdoor fire as we ate our grilled salmon from a distant sea.  I slept easily for the first few hours--my typical pattern.

I'm grateful that I get some easy sleep, even if it's not the 8-10 hours that some people get.  And I'm grateful that my work is not impossible.  I'm not waking up in the middle of the night feeling paralyzed because I can't do the work.

And I'm grateful that it's Saturday, and I can take a nap later if I need to.

1 comment:

Jeannine Hall Gailey said...

It was nice having a "real-time" conversation with one of my friends from the East coast - but I enjoy our conversations, real-time or not!
I've also had problems sleeping through the night through the month of January - going to bed at 1 AM, waking up at 2, 3, and 4 am, again at 6 am. Very strange stuff. I've never been a great sleeper but this is worse than usual, and I feel it has also made me cranky, and not just cranky, but risk-averse (something I'm usually not.) I'm second-guessing decisions more. Anyway, here's wishing you and I both some better sleep schedules in February!