Tuesday, April 5, 2016
I'd get to my office, do my work, and then just keep sitting there—aimless. Overwhelmed, and aimless. Two words that don't seem to fit together, but for my life, for a long time, they did.
For my birthday, my husband bought me a standing desk. I thought it would help me feel better physically. In fact, it has helped me psychologically. It's been just a few days, and I'm hardly a scientific sample, but here, with this standing desk, I'm not wasting time. I'm coming to do my work. I'm standing straight—not cowering, slumping, ineffectively wondering, or trolling discouraging political news. When my work is done, I step away.
In the past few days, I've stood here and—interviewed a client in Spain, worked line by line through two student theses, created a guide for today's class at Penn, created a readers' guide for Between the World and Me for next week's class at Penn, finalized the inaugural Juncture memoir newsletter, organized our rapidly growing database of readers (interested? fill in the box to the left and we'll get you a copy), corresponded with potential Juncture Workshop participants, typed out two separate reviews for two glorious books read on behalf of Chicago Tribune, sent love notes to Danielle M. Smith, corresponded with friends, worked toward a new future in books. I've read a friend's exhilarating manuscript and sent him notes, I've emailed students, I've worked through end-of-the-tax-year stuff, I've started to contemplate what I can do to help support the launch of my Jersey shore storm mystery This Is the Story of You (just days away now). I have not allowed myself to plunge too deeply into the political news I cannot affect.
Done with my work, I have then headed to the couch where reading and real writing gets done.
This standing desk is un-slumping my mood. Returning to me some sense of control over a sometimes unimaginably diversified private life and an often dispiriting public one. Maybe I burn a few more calories standing here. Maybe my spine will grow straighter. I don't know that yet. I just know what I feel inside—which is more hope than I have felt for a long time.