Sometime in the middle of this week, it suddenly became clear to me that I feel very tired. Not sure why this is the case; maybe because I did not get a real vacation for longer than a week in about 15 years? Maybe it is this weird virus that is going around? Not flu, but something like that. Does not make you very sick, but makes you tired?
I then realized that many people around me are in the same position – they look a bit tired, sound somewhat overworked. Not to mention that a lot of people are actually sick with all kinds of flus, colds, and bronchitis. Honestly, I felt some remorse for my endless pushes to do more, to do it better, and faster. There were several push-backs, when different people either told me to bug off, or to slow down, or to leave them alone. Sometimes, it was told directly (which I always appreciate), and sometimes indirectly (which is OK, too, but make sure I get the message, because I don't always get it). But something was going on for the last couple of months – maybe the solar flares, maybe the virus – which made many of us just tired. It also does not help when the economy collapses, and all you hear is bad news. Even though it is somewhet becoming better, people we know and don't know have a lot of troubles.
We came a long way since the Fall of 2006. We did a lot of changes, revisions, improvements, reorganizations. And it was always fun and not overwhelming – not to me anyway. Maybe we just hit a wall in terms of how much and how fast people can do and what level of change they can tolerate? But if it is true, how do you slow down? Our students can't wait: classes, curriculum revision, scheduling, reporting calendars are all going as usual. The relentless machinery of the university life is still churning its wheels. There are e-mails to answer, papers to grade, books to write.
But let's just agree to find some time for ourselves. Take a weekend as weekend – no work. Postpone a project that can be postponed. Take it easy for a while, will ya? I will try to do the same. For the next month, I therefore ban all e-mails marked as High Importance, with the goddamned red exclamation mark! There is nothing that important.