For our first drawing homework assignment for my Writing and Illustrating Picture Books class, we were told to pick a line from a Shel Silverstein poem and illustrate it.
I chose the poem “Whatif” and the line, “Whatif I never learn to dance?”
The class is so much fun, such a contrast to my grad-school seminars and duties. Academia is rife with pompous pseudo-intellectualisms; in our picture-book class we are told to “young it down.” Hearing the latter is so sweet after so many pointless grad seminars where people spout off unintelligibly and at length.
Being a grown-up
I’m still doing fine at my new grown-up habit of being prepared in advance for everything. Being prepared (and being on time) definitely improves my peace of mind. I don’t often have those panicky moments of “OMG I’m so behind on everything” anymore. I hadn’t quite realized how debilitating it was to feel like that until it stopped happening.
It helps that I recently discovered a great workload-management tip (in Glamour magazine, of all places) that has really helped me keep my life in order: instead of just prioritizing my to-do list by task, I first put at the top of the list the task(s) I am least looking forward to doing. Then I prioritize everything else after that. What used to happen, before I started doing this, was that at any given time there would be several tasks in the “highest priority” section, among them at least one that I loathed. I would put it off by doing the other things first, in order of preference, until the day came to an end with the unpleasant task still not even begun. At that time I would have to go to sleep with the uneasy knowledge that I still had to tackle the undesired task the next day, even after it had been weighing on my conscience all day today. In the worst cases, I’d stay up late thinking “I can’t go to sleep until I finish that task,” but in my tiredness would just wind up surfing the web for two hours and never get around to working. So now I try and get the worst out of the way first. After I’ve finished it I can rest easy. It’s a simple idea, and a good trick.
Unfortunately, part of being so well-prepared and hardworking is that it doesn’t leave as much time as I’m used to for other things. I haven’t cooked all week, I’ve left some phone calls unanswered, and I haven’t written in my journal. At least I’ve found time to exercise and read some fiction, but overall I’ve felt busy and tired every day. This won’t let up for at least a few more weeks, because the next couple of weeks of school are going to be even busier than these first couple. It will be quite a challenge to try and keep my life balanced during this time.
On a positive note… there’s always Halloween candy. I know it’s bad for me but I truthfully admit that I do find comfort in food. Reese’s miniatures have been my faithful standby since I was ten and received an entire tin of them as a Chinese-school Secret Santa gift (from Jackie!).
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]