It’s funny how time happens, isn’t it? I was just thinking that I haven’t written here in a good long while, but then I looked at the date, and it is the EIGHTEENTH anniversary of Jessica’s and my first date. Sure, months pass with no blog post, but years get lost in the stuff of life.
I was just telling my friend who is also my colleague that I feel like I’m in a continual state of rage at work. The canning of a dean has been in the local paper and in the national (very niche) news about happenings in higher ed. He’s, of course, one of the good ones who uses his privilege to help others, be it underpaid female employees at all levels of the university, or to raise money for queer organizations away from his work time, and all kinds of less public things. The person who canned him has a history (in public documents and in private conversations) of sexism, and so there has been much discussion of his place at the university, particularly by the faculty. I always think that people who think for a living believe in equality and such things, but have twice been burned with colleagues (one whom I don’t really know, and one whom I know well) who remind me that I should not make those assumptions (“Oh, come on. There are more important issues than the sexism issue.” OK then.).
There have been amazing students (thank goodness), par for the course students (the stuff of teaching), and one or two students that take up all of the time. All of it. I think that, finally, at long last, my fall semester with one of these students if about to end. I look forward to that.
In all the meantime, with the teaching and writing and family-ing (the most fun. I mean, my kids are funny. Jessica is also funny, and she puts up with my constant rage, often talking me down), life continues. I’m excited that I’ll be on sabbatical next spring–my plan is to write/finish 2 books, but maybe I’ll just take a semester long nap. What I won’t do is go to endless meetings, and grade paper upon paper.
But, that is not what brought me back to this space. My 4 years done with cancer treatment day came and went without me really thinking about it or noticing, but there’s been talk about the coming 5 year anniversary of my diagnosis date, and how, for me, this feels huge. Almost really in the clear. While this time passes for me, a local good friend was diagnosed with a rare and serious and awful cancer and is now in treatment. I am worried and trying to stay positive and feel guilty, even as I know it isn’t about me (don’t you hate it when people make other people’s crisis about them? It’s another rage inducing thing for me). In the same week, a long ago friend from summer camp sent me a message on facebook–she has stage 4 colon cancer, and is currently in the exact same treatment that I was in. Of course, she had a million questions that aren’t the questions your doctors can answer (how, really, does the cold sensitivity affect you?), and I realized how far time had taken me from the immediacy of those feelings. I went back to all the writing that I did while I was in treatment in order to share some of them with her, and reentry into those words? I don’t know. I was and am the same and totally different. I feel lucky and grateful certainly for my health, but also for those words and their reminders. The stuff of life then, the intensity of each day, the preciousness are no less true now. But, wow, so so different.
Anyway, life marches on with weeks of less important rages, hard to believe milestones, and hope that my friends will get to the other side of these days.