Four months vs one week

I know you “aren’t supposed” to talk about how busy you are and blah blah blah. I get it. But I’m gonna talk about it anyway.

My job is pretty cyclical, and mostly tied to the academic year. So “back to school” time–you know, back in August when I basically stopped writing here/doing anything else–was when life got super crazy in general, and then mid-September was a huge conference that I planned entirely and also presented at on two different topics. Seven hundred and fifty attendees, ya’ll! High school, middle school, and elementary school counselors coming for a day of professional development and workshops on helping underserved students (including students of color, low income students, minority students, and first generation students) and their families become college and career ready. This conference was almost twice as big as it was last year, and the sheer numbers were completely staggering.

Immediately following this event I launched the state-wide program that I manage, complete with a fair amount of traveling to trainings around the state, spreadsheets and documents being constantly updated, coordination with media and our ad agency for state-wide promotion, interviews and site visits. It is a ton of work and an even larger amount of satisfaction.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this I painted the rest of our house in Arizona and designed and supervised costume construction for a competitive Shakespearean team comprised of 50+ high school students (who ended up taking home all sorts of trophies). I squeezed in a trip to see my younger sister in Chicago, and a few little weekend jaunts to love on Nature a bit.

Starting in earnest in about mid-October, I began packing up my entire apartment. Ten thousand books (an approximation), a hundred pairs of shoes, and ten years of my life living in my lovely neighborhood.  The Saturday before Thanksgiving a dozen of my very favorite people showed up to help load all those boxes and bookshelves onto a rented moving truck. Blue Eyes and I left that afternoon and spent 2 days driving to Arizona–a loaded truck tops out at about 38 mph going up mountain passes and plateaus. I then spent 2 days unloading and unpacking like a crazy person, organizing books and setting up rooms to be cozy and homey.

And then, you know, we turned right around and drove back to Salt Lake for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m here for another week to wrap up stuff in my office and then my houseplants and I will make the drive south and become Arizona residents.

Looking back on this, I don’t really know how 4 or 5 paragraphs can truly describe the levels of stress and anxiety I’ve been under since July. In many ways I’ve had to force myself not to think about it because I did not have the time to be overwhelmed. I had to put my head down and plow through. I’ve been plowing a long time, and I’m exhausted.

One more week.


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0 thoughts on “Four months vs one week

  1. Saskia

    Not that this will make you feel better, but hearing you describe your schedule immediately put mine in perspective and I no longer felt stressed (well, mostly. I felt stressed a couple times, but mostly not thanks to workload but thanks to stuff I cannot control so that’s fair game). I still don’t really understood how you did it all…I hope next month is the complete opposite!

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Well, my physical therapist gave me a HUGE lecture yesterday about stress management…so, there’s that. Apparently my lack of ability to manage stress has caused a whole lot of issues in my back/shoulders/neck/ribs/etc. Lots. Sigh.


      On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 2:44 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:


  2. Nic

    I’m so envious of you. Change is awesome, even if it is a bit stressful. For you, it’s not like turning the page or even finishing a chapter. It’s more like completing a book in a series and moving on to the next one. I’m so excited for you. I’m waiting to see how life in Arizona will shape the context of your writings, as I’ve only ever known you for your thoughts on life in Salt Lake city. It’s going to be a new Harriet. 🙂

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Yes, it will. I have lived in SLC for so long–the entirety of my adult life–and I’m also curious how place will shape my thoughts and opinions. I’m sure there will be PLENTY of complaining about the damn heat, so there’s that.



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