Turn my back, and it gets dark.

I don't quite love the fact that I haven't had a good long photo walk in a couple of weeks, and that I haven't even gone out for a good short photo walk in the past few days. Days keep blowing past me here, the way I know they did before I went away for the year. I realized how bad things were starting to look--not agonizing, just crowded and tiring--when I had to make a list of times when I was not available to schedule a meeting with a colleague this week. And there was Thursday, blotted right off the computer screen, with several conflicting events and then a pile-up of things packed so tightly that they're overlapping each other by 30 minutes at a stretch. Friday wasn't much better.

I have fewer workable hours in my day in part because I sleep, sometimes twice as much as I did when I first started teaching (at 22, to be sure). Sometimes, I guess, if I do the math, I'm actually sleeping three times as much per night as I did back then--when on a startlingly regular basis, I ended up working until 3 a.m. and then teaching at 8:40 a.m. And though I am pretty resolute about insisting that I'm not under stress, the very fact that I'm insisting is perhaps its own sign that I'm wrong--as is the fact that while I'm doing all that sleeping, I'm also dreaming about things like being late for important events, not knowing my lines for important performances, simply failing to do my work for important people, &c. &c. You get the gist of it: Important Things are supposed to happen, and I somehow don't do them, certainly not on time.

And so I keep going. In one week, my various crews and colleagues and I will be on the eve of our fall break, which I'm going to need for the piles of tasks that I can't plow through while I teach.

These kinds of calculations are among the things I'd forgotten. They are the trade-offs for the excellence that is my relationship with my students and with my work as a whole.