Saturday, August 1, 2009


I have a huge sense of dread welled up inside me today. It's stress related, certainly. I should have run this morning, that would have helped.

I've known for the past year that I have to get my tenure and promotion documents together. I've gone to meetings, I got feedback from my pre-tenure review a little over a year ago. I've been doing work to write about as I put things together. Meanwhile, I really need to have the written portion of it done by Tuesday. Today is Saturday. It's not officially due until September 1, but the person who I want to review it needs to have it this week, so I have time to make changes based on his feedback. Again, all of this I have known.

This process is a necessary evil. The whole intent is to "prove" to my colleagues, some of whom don't work with me directly, that I am worthy of first, tenure - continued employment, and promotion - title change and a raise. It is really two separate processes, and consequently I will have two separate notebooks that I turn in - one for tenure, the other for promotion, that consist of virtually the same information. Tenure is a "have to," otherwise I lose my job. Promotion would be good, too.

Yet, in front of me I have this massive dread about doing this project. For one, it's difficult to be this introspective and share with my colleagues. The other is the fear of the blank page - and this happens every time I start a project, regardless of what it is - sorority, a conference proposal or presentation, a paper I'm submitting for publication, and the obvious - grading. So much that needs to be expressed, and while once I get into the project, I'm in, and usually engrossed and excited about the finished product, getting started is the hardest part.

I will say, I've had a full summer. I've accomplished a lot. The big project for sorority that had to be done by yesterday is done (except for little details that will emerge over the next week as folks at headquarters works on the project to get it to launch); I taught a class; I've traveled; I've done a massive redecoration of my home; I've taken the time to really be present with my friends and children, when they have been home; I've run several races; I've taken care of things that are very important to me. But this project has been looming over me all summer. And now it's time. I can't put it off any longer.

I really want to, though.

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