Grumpy neem was very grumpy today.
Frustration after frustration made me very grumpy. Usually, when I’m grumpy, I grump and be a workaholic. I was talking to a friend on the phone today, and she said something to the extent that part of our identities was being the person who worked really hard all the time. This conversation came up because I felt guilty when I came home and wasn’t doing work related to grad school. It’s awful when you feel guilty for doing something fun like watch a movie or bake for a long time. After that conversation, I resolved that I just wouldn’t feel guilty. I had been wanting to make ravioli for a while, and so I decided today was the day.
Yes, the ravioli took hours. It was entirely homemade. I got to get out my pasta roller attachment for my beloved Kitchenaid mixer and use it again. It felt awesome just being at home, in my kitchen, by myself, cooking something elaborate. Let me tell you – it was delicious. I have no regrets other than probably eating too much.
It’s weird to realize that I just work through bad moods. By work, I mean be productive by other people’s standards. I think I’m not the only one that has this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I’m being bad somehow when I’m not doing work. It’s awful. Honestly, there’s so much positive feedback for being a workaholic that it’s hard to disengage from that and realize that you’re miserable because you don’t get to do what you want to do. I felt like making ravioli was a productive use of my time. In grad school terms, it was a distraction from research. Now, I know that I won’t get in trouble or whatever you want to call it, but it still feels like I was doing something wrong.
It is horrendous when you are doing something that makes you happy and it still feels somehow wrong. What an awful way to live. I guess at the core, it’s a battle of doing what makes you happy and doing what is productive for society. Will making ravioli advance my career at all? Probably not, unless I used it to bribe people. In all seriousness, this feeling probably stems from a fear of failing because I didn’t do that one extra thing to push me over the top. Sadly, there isn’t just *one* extra thing. This feeds into the workaholism. The open and endless nature of graduate school does not help either. There’s always something else you should be doing. No, scratch that, there’s something that you should have already done but didn’t, so to top it off, you’re behind. Already. I’m not sure I like the way that this ends.
Over break, I was rather blissfully happy, and I think a large part of it was segregating hours for focused work time and then feeling okay that the rest of the time was for relaxation. I was still ridiculously productive (maybe even moreso than usual), but I was still happy. It’s easier to do that during break though because it’s more acceptable to be on vacation. Granted, I seem to not know how to truly be on vacation because I still did work… but I wish I could go back to that. I’ll have to think on it more. What I know for sure is that I don’t want to live life feeling like “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” Yay Lewis Carroll for so elegantly stating that.