Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sick and tired...

Warning: this is a completely self-indulgent and self-pitying post.

This couple of weeks is the start of term, the new beginning, not to mention the fact that my big (and dreaded) 3-0 is looming ever larger later this week...

I have so much to do, but last week went okay, with the return of the second years, all (miraculously) still keen and enthusiastic for their new term. I have my work cut out for me over the weekend. My original plan of devoting equal time to all three of my supervisees were blown to shreds when I spent the entire Sunday helping out one student on the phone going over her final draft (that was one helluva marathon phone call from 11am until 6pm, with a half-hour break for lunch at 2pm!).

So it meant pulling an all-nighter from Sunday going into Monday, and I was deceived by the sunny outlook of the early morning into wearing summery top and skirt and just a woolly cardi-thingy. I knew I made a big mistake when I was 20 minutes early at the bus stop and had to endure gusts of chilly morning breeze while cursing self for not double-checking the time-table to make sure there was indeed an earlier bus (when am I finally going to learn that the bus service in this country is really atrocious and that Murphy's Law dictates that you'd never get an early bus when you're actually early at the bus stop?).

Anyway, meetings and phone calls ensued throughout the day, busier than other times of the year because obviously, this is the start of the year. Managed to get a mocha mid-morning from nearby Starbucks, but didn't really touch it as was talking on phone all the time. 2pm rolled around and I permitted myself to get out of the office to get a sandwich and more Starbucks mocha (which I did finish).

By the time the 5pm supervision meeting arrived, I was dog-tired (since I've been on the go since 3am) and there's an uncanny scratch at my throat. Unfortunately, what I had hoped as a 1 hour meeting turned into a 4 hour marathon meeting, without any break or any sustenance, and the three of us finally left the already-deserted building at 9pm. (And I was still supposed to be working on another student's draft that evening!)

Thing is, we came out of the building, and the deep deep autumn cold hit me with full force. I was going to jump into a taxi straight away, but then I ended up walking to the bus stop as I chatted to the student (who still had a 3.5 hour bus journey ahead of him so I really couldn't complain). Anyway, I ended up not going to the bus stop either, as the thought of taking the circuitous bus route to head home and THEN have to cook dinner from scratch was just too depressing to contemplate, so I went to a cafe to get dinner, only to end up waiting three quarters of an hour for a lukewarm plate of pasta to arrive.

By the time I got home it was nearly 11pm, I promised myself I would get throat sweets first thing in the morning (I was craving Merocets like you wouldn't believe)as well as some cold medication. I went to bed promising myself I would get up bright and early this morning (technically speaking yesterday morning as it's now 2:20am on Wednesday morning) to catch up on what I had planned to do on Monday evening.

I did get up at 6am, but with a fever and without a voice. Got changed into a cute autumn outfit, had my new shoes and even had my woolly hat on, but as I was waiting for time to pass before heading out to catch the bus (as I wasn't going to repeat the mistake of waiting for it to arrive out in the cold again), my body by way of a throbbing headache was saying "noooooo noooooo don't go out into the cold!!!". As I drank another glass of lemon tea and honey I debated about the work that I needed to do and what I could reasonably reschedule or work from home, and finally rang into the office at 9am to rasp that I would not make it in the morning, but would try to make the meetings scheduled at lunch and in the afternoon. Then my body just shut down, as I passed out on the sofa still in my work clothes.

I came to around 11:30am, and rang into the office to say that I wouldn't be able to come in at all. Although I still haven't eaten anything since the pasta from the night before, I had no appetite, and spent the day having cups of Lemsip - the only cold/flu "medicine" that I have in the kitchen - as well as cups of lemon and honey tea (thanking God that I actually have lemons from my last grocery shop!).

As this is the first time I've fallen ill since I moved into the new flat in an unfamiliar area, I have no idea where the local GP clinic is, and in any case, I'm not certain if I'm even up to leaving the apartment. The day was passed checking work emails and then reading blogs, but I was so lethargic that I didn't reply any. I thought of contacting the out-of-hours doctor, remembering there was a leaflet I got with their contact numbers on it, but I'd have to wait until after 6pm. While thinking about where that leaflet might be, I fell asleep again.

When I woke up it was early evening time, and I had still had nothing to eat since the night before. I looked at my fridge, finally deciding on making myself a pot of chicken congee (thanking god that I had pieces of chicken breasts in my freezer). More Lemsip and lemon and honey tea followed while I waited for the rice gruel to be ready. (And now when I'm typing this, I realised I've also put a carton of chicken soup in the microwave which I've clean forgotten about!! Oh well...).

Finally, I settled to a comforting bowl of congee in front of a Friends re-run on the telly. That was bliss. (And the only time I didn't feel too sorry for myself...)

But then I fell asleep again and just woken up about an hour ago, and now I have to finish off the presentation that I am going to give first thing later this morning (as it's now 2:46am so it is indeed "this" morning).

I really, really, really dread having to put my game face up in front of a brand new class when I'm feeling like absolute shit inside. Plus, I do not think I would have gotten my voice back in a mere few hours....

But c'est la vie. Anyway, first thing first, should start my Powerpoint now...

(p.s. thanks Tourist and Laichungleung for your kind comments on my blog, shall reply properly once I got some form of energy back...)

It's 6:10am and I've just got my two presentation decks sorted and emailed. There's a mountain of scrunched up tissues beside me but hey, I survived! My whole nose/throat/mouth area is still completely blocked though... anyway, onto the morning routine...

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At Wed Sep 19, 09:34:00 p.m. IST, Blogger laichungleung said...

Take it easy now. Your (thesis?) students are probably abusing you. You are not supposed to do it for them, why on the phone from 11 to 6? Thesis or writing is a lonely process, I don't believe others can help (I have my own weird belief system ...)

Anyway, enjoy your work. 3-0 is still a baby. Happy 3-0 to you whenever that is.

From the no talent.

At Tue Sep 25, 12:36:00 a.m. IST, Blogger laichungleung said...

Have a wonderful Mid Autumn Festival.

At Sat Sep 29, 03:07:00 p.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks laichungleung for your kind comments and mid-autumn festival greetings! (I've also commented already on your blog).

"Your (thesis?) students are probably abusing you. You are not supposed to do it for them, why on the phone from 11 to 6?"

I have to admit I've been pretty lousy in saying No at work, even if the people involved are "only" my students. But am not allowing that to happen anymore. The good thing about being 30 and an official adult is that *speaks in an earnest, high-pitched voice* I can stand up for myself and not take shit from anyone anymore!! ... Or at least that's the theory that I would have to learn to put into practice :)

At Tue Oct 02, 07:14:00 p.m. IST, Anonymous Tourist said...

Life seemed so sweet and so sad, and so hard to let go of in the end. c'est la vie.

But hey, every day is a brand new deal, right?
Having a healthy body and keeping positive mood are some of the keys to having balance in life. Just keep on working and something's bound to turn up. A little optimism may help us live longer, stronger and happier.

Good luck with your work.

At Wed Oct 03, 11:12:00 a.m. IST, Anonymous Tourist said...

Good luck with your work.

And thank you for granting me the chance to chat with you.

At Sun Oct 07, 10:20:00 p.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Thanks Tourist for your very kind encouragements :) And please no need to thank me at all for "granting a chance to chat"!! I already feel very honoured that people like you and LCL deigned to read this rather humble blog, never mind actually leaving such kind comments! Thanks again.

At Sun Oct 07, 10:36:00 p.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

On I really only noticed it just now, but Laichungleung, why did you sign off as "no talent" in your first comment? Fishing for compliments now are we? Okay, I'd take it (espeically since you've been so kind to me): What d'you mean "no talent"? I enjoy reading your blog and really appreciate your irreverently humourous commentary on NY life (even though I don't always get your ironic humour the first time round... but that's just me being slow on the uptake). Anyway, bottom line, you're not a "no talent", I don't read blogs by no talents. It's so very hard to find Americans with a self-deprecating sense of humour, so don't you stop blogging.

There, feel better?


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