When I asked Santa for time to read, perhaps I should have been more specific. I did not really want a head cold to lay me low so that I had time to read.
I had been fighting a cold all week-end, and yesterday, the cold won, at least for part of the day. I got up, turned on the computer, caught up on how various Facebook friends spent their Christmases, and then I thought, I can't possibly hold my head up any longer. And so, I went back to bed, and while I got up occasionally, long enough to take some meds and drink some ginger ale, and then I crawled back between the covers.
I also did a lot of reading. I finished Ann Patchett's Commonwealth, which was absolutely compelling--one of my favorite kinds of books that follows a group of characters through the 60's and onward. It's got great cultural markers, as well as wonderful characters.
I also started and finished Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Sunil Yapa. It has some gorgeous passages of prose as it follows characters through the day of protests that shuts down the WTO negotiations in Seattle in 1999. It's wonderful to revisit this time and those activists--and to think about whether or not today's activists are substantially different.
However, I found the violence a bit exhausting, and eventually, I skimmed through those parts. And did I find these characters believable? At times yes, at times no. Did it matter? Maybe. I would not read it again, but it was a good way to spend a sick day.
As the day marched towards evening, I felt well enough to sit up--I wasn't nauseated, but I did feel dizzy and heavy-headed all day, which made bed so attractive. We watched Trainwreck, which I'm amazed has been out since 2015--that's how behind we are in our movie watching.
We had thought about watching A Christmas Story. I haven't watched much in the way of seasonal fare, and soon, it will be time to move on. But instead of watching an additional movie, we went to the backyard where my spouse had built a fire in our small firepit. We spent an hour watching the flames dance, eating some cookies, and enjoying some wine.
I am still not back to my non-sick self. I'm much more aware of my sinuses than I want to be. But at least I'm well enough to go back to work. I'm grateful that my worst day of sickness came on a day off, since I haven't earned any time off yet.
I'm also grateful that although I could feel the cold trying to take over on Dec. 24 and 25, I was in pretty good shape. I had lots of plans on those days, plans I'm grateful that I didn't have to miss.
And now it's back to work. It's been years since I went to the office during the week between Christmas and New Year's. It will be a skeleton crew--most of the academic team will be gone. The Admissions folks will be trying to get us to the goal for the Winter 2017 quarter start. I will do some of the tasks that have been put to the side, like filing and uploading signed contracts and such. It won't be onerous--it's a last bit of downtime before various processes (the beginning of the quarter and getting ready for an accreditation site visit) crank into high gear--let me enjoy it.
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