Last night, I asked a colleague how she was doing.
“Just tired of all the sadness,” she answered.
We were at the funeral for a colleague, Ted, who had been at the college since 1977. As a student, professor, director, and associate vice president, he had worked with almost everyone on campus. Those who didn’t know him well still recognized him from graduation where he announced the students’ names as they walked across the stage each year. Others knew him from accreditation meetings, as he guided us through another SACS visit.
Though he had been with the college for a long time, he wasn’t very old. We should have had many more years of hearing his laugh and his “You got that right” when he heartily agreed with something said at a meeting.
But if we’ve learned anything this year at our college, it’s that disease doesn’t care about ‘should.’ It takes when it wishes. This is our second death of a current colleague in less than a year. And it has taken its toll.
So my friend was right when she said she was tired. Both emotionally and physically.
When we have a long period of grieving, it becomes important to take care of ourselves. Yes, we need to grieve, but we also need comfort. Perhaps it’s a long nap. Perhaps it’s a walk in the woods. Perhaps it’s a book. Whatever brings comfort is not just nice, but necessary, in times like these.
So if you are going through a period of grief, I wish you comfort. And remind you to take care of yourself.
We all realize how addicted we are to the Internet when it goes down. That happened to us this today.
Basically our morning went something like this:
Student enters library.
We say the internet is down.
Student wants to know when it will be back up.
We say we don’t know.
Student leaves library.
For the staff, we spent the morning trying to answer chats while not being able to access our databases and responding to emails. (Yes, it was the cruelest of outages, leaving email intact.) Some staff members shelved books. Others straightened shelves. Our packrat librarian actually cleaned out a few boxes.
But we were all relieved a little before noon when we could access our databases again. Unfortunately, most students had already gone home.
I have been monitoring my own internet addiction, and I’m not happy with what I’ve discovered. I noticed that, if I’m watching a show, I am often also playing Words with Friends, checking Facebook, or seeing news updates on my Flipboard app. So I’ve started leaving my iPad upstairs when I’m watching a movie or a show, so I have to concentrate on the program. And I hate to admit it, but the first couple of times, I was more than a little antsy. But after a while, I found my focus improving.
It might be time to check your own addiction to the Internet. You might be as horrified as I was.
Nashville is in the middle of a heat wave. Yesterday, I got to the Y two minutes before it opened, and I was already dripping with sweat when they unlocked the door. Yuk! And it’s supposed to stay this hot for the foreseeable future.
When I complain about the heat, people remind me that many of us didn’t grow up with air conditioning, and back when we were kids, we didn’t mind the heat. This may be true for them, but it’s definitely not true for me. I remember lying in bed on a July night, tossing and turning in the heat and hating every minute of it.
Heat has always made me grumpy. And, apparently, I’m not the only one. Studies show that hot weather increases violence not just between individuals, but also groups.
So as the temperature approaches one hundred and that Southern humidity kicks in, we all might do well to ask ourselves: “Am I really justifiably angry, or am I just hot?” If it’s something that we would just shrug off in October, then walk away and get a cool drink.