The Fret List

First of all, thank you all sincerely for the words of encouragement on the post below. It means a lot.

This week all of my big training stuff is behind me — it’s time to taper off and rest up, so I won’t be doing any long runs or rides or anything high intensity. Which means I’ll be restless and bored out of my mind, apparently.

This morning I woke up and instead of going for a run or hitting a class at the gym, I lay on my couch for two and a half hours just thinking. As a professional intellectual, I very much support thinking as an activity. I am a fan of it. The kind of thinking in which I was involved this morning, however, was not exactly intellectual thinking. It was more like my to-do list playing on an endless loop, occasionally interspersed with wildly imaginative worst-case scenarios focused on the race, my summer job, my summer finances, my hair, my long-term job prospects, my health, my pedicure, my personal relationships, my counterfeit handbag smuggling ring, and the hot and scandalous love quadrangle in which I am involved.

FINE, some of those things are lies.


But this is what happens when I don’t have anything to do. No work this week, minimal workouts, and plenty of time to fret. Luckily I got myself out of the house to meet my friend Golightly for coffee and productivity. We actually both got a lot of work done this afternoon — actual job-related scholarly work, the kind we don’t really have to be doing on a holiday except that we are achievers like that (and academia brooks no vacations). Tomorrow I plan to get myself out of the house yet again for a short easy bike ride and maybe a trip in to the office. Not exactly big plans, but hopefully a bit of a distraction.

I am really loathe to complain about Summer Job Numero Uno, but I do have to mention that if their pay schedule were more traditional a good fifty percent of the things on my current Fret List could be eliminated. But I don’t really want to talk about money. (Apparently I just want to think about it over and over again repeatedly and again and some more after that.)

As for some of the other things on the Fret List. Well. It’s just that it has been a really long damn time since I have found myself in the position of “dating” anyone or “seeing” anyone or “hanging out with” anyone or whatever the kids are calling it these days and I suspect that I am over-thinking every last goddamned detail. But then I wonder, am I really over-thinking and over-analyzing, or am I so socially inept that I am missing some painfully obvious cues? Am I missing the text for the subtext? I can be pretty thickheaded and oblivious, sometimes, to the ways of human interaction, or at least I seem that way a lot of the time. I can’t help it. As Betty Draper would say, it’s just my people are Nordic.

I think writing out all this nonsense (even as vaguely as I have) may have been helpful. But misery, as they say, loves company. Tell me, what’s on your current Fret List?


  1. Fretting? Well, I’m facing a solid week of take-home finals and other projects so I’m feeling like some sort of mythical warrior about to go up against a series of increasingly deadly challenges. First up, the academic-equivalent of a hydra followed by Medusa followed by Zeus after he’s run out of Metamucial Manna and is feeling particularly pithy/vicious. I’d be dealing with insomnia if I wasn’t so damn exhausted.


  2. B. that sounds delightful. But never fear! It will be done soon enough and then will be the time on Sprockets when we dance! Or something. Hang in there.


  3. I’m fretting that because of my recent two dollar raise (!!!) I have sold my soul to the company, and will be expected to perform vile, objectionable tasks without complaining. For eternity.

    Also, should I mention my ideas about creating a new division, which I will head? I mean really, how likely is that? But the presentation will at least show them that I am thinking about more than the daily grind of my duties.

    Also, if Cindy is not working and will be on disability should we move to Gainesville? It would mean eliminating the 1.5 hours of commuting per day, and saving a ton on gas. But then Cindy will be an hour farther from her family…


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