Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stressors and Life

The line between anxiety disorder and whatever it is I am is often too blurred to matter.

Since my first semester at the university fell apart, the second and now the third bring nothing but dread. A lot of dread. I wish it were different, but there's so many other things also occurring in life that school is just one more thing -- and the thing I enjoy the least, slightly ahead of driving in Minnesota and taking public transit. The problem is that school merges all of my issues into one bundle.

The urban setting of the campus, unlike the campus where my department was based, makes me tense. It is noisy, dirty, and unpleasant. I do not like it nearly as much as the other campus.
Urban settings are not for me -- they are too intense.

I do not like public transit, but driving in the area (and parking) is nearly impossible. The stress of planning how to get to and from campus is overwhelming. I especially dread the winter months.

Normally, I need extra time to recover from stress each week. This semester, there was a scheduling problem and I will be on campus five days a week. The fear of what can happen without recovery time is causing yet more stress. You have to appreciate the circular / recursive logic of the situation.

I'm teaching a course without really knowing the past requirements used by the department. I like to be prepared far in advance, but with only thinly outlined syllabi from previous years, and no copy of the new text, I am lost. This means I will be caught trying to prepare the weekend before classes start. I like lots of preparation time; it comforts me to have extra time. Now, I worry about what I will be teaching.

I don't know when I'll have the time and energy to finish our home remodel. The state of the house bothers me, making it even harder to work on the house. I don't like the mess at all. This affects school because my books are in boxes and my desk is in the garage. I don't like the disorder at all.

Getting through this year will not be easy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Into the House

Having recently moved into our new house, I am finding it as overwhelming as anyone else might. Yet the things that bother me most are probably not the things that would worry most people.

1) Sounds. The house sounds different. The new new ceiling fan buzzes, lights in the basement hum, and the air conditioning noises are new to me. Even the oven's "pops and snaps" as it heats are different.

2) Smells. I know it might seem strange, but I notice the new smells. The main bathroom still smells of sealant and silicone caulking. The over even has a scent, which I can't explain.

3) Vibrations. The floor vibrates lightly when the air is running or when a jet passes overhead. The triple-pane windows block the sounds outside, but not the vibrations.

4) Light. We lack curtains, so too much light enters the house at times. I prefer things a bit dim.

Sure, I can't wait for the house to be more organized. I want my bookcases in order so I can find books when I want. The kitchen isn't organized yet, but it is getting there. The unfinished floors are a bit of a disappointment, but we ran out of time before moving. Still, I can cope with most things... just not the new sensations.