On Wednesday I leave for SIGITE 2013. SIGITE is a conference I have always thoroughly enjoyed, so I am understandably excited about going. At the same time, leaving during the middle of the quarter is always challenging, so I’ve found myself almost continually stressed so far this quarter. My stress during September was about writing the three talks I am going to be giving, but my stress in October has been about getting my classes ready for my five-day absence. I won’t miss any class sessions, but I have assignments, labs, and exams to write in advance, as well as the usual grading and class notes preparation. Today was especially difficult, since I finally realized how little time I have and how much is left to do.
During stressful times it’s easy to lose sight of the positives, but for some very specific reasons I managed to not do that today. First, my sweetie was both kind and smart enough to realize that I was drowning, and he gave me extra working time this afternoon by playing online games with our daughter. Having another three hours to write a midterm exam turned out to be exactly what I needed to calm down and gain some breathing room. I am truly lucky to have found such an understanding partner. On top of that, my extra time this afternoon was one of those flow moments when nothing but your work occupies your brain. I literally couldn’t stop thinking about my exam, whether I was exercising or showering or eating. Having a job that so involves me is another reason I am fortunate person. It’s been my experience that few people can say that their job is also their passion. So today’s stress has shown me that I’m doubly lucky, and that I have in fact gotten some things right in my life.