Thump and grind

I knew that returning to my regularly scheduled life would be... difficult. After the unreal tournament of these past few weeks, it was bound to be something of a shock to drift back into the daily drudgery.
"Drift" is not quite the right verb, here. Crashed to earth with a resounding "thump!" is more like it.

Pantyhose. Computerized distribution and warehousing procedures. Circuit breakers. Industrial swivel castors. Still to come: steel presses, welding machinery, and (tiny sliver of light) Pompeii. (Downside: still haven't been there.) Stop me when it gets too exciting for you.

It has been a long, grinding week enhanced by a torrent of wildly unhappy hormones. The result has not been so much a return to normalcy, more of a dip into the grim underworld. The world where I work long hours but never manage to earn enough money to pay taxes (which would in theory be impossible... except that Italy has a unique appreciation of the paradox as fiscal art form). The world where my clothes all feel tight, but I still want to bake cookies and binge on ice cream. The world where every day is exactly like the day before, and the only thing that changes is what's on TV every night.
The world where no one gives a damn what I think, or how I've linked certain theories, or how I plan to go about introducing new methods and outlooks. The important thing is how quickly (and cheaply) I am able to turn other people's information into somewhat readable English.

But. There is hope hidden behind the hormones. I'm trying to come up with a plan for jumping off the hamster wheel. The problem is the same as always: by the end of the day, I am so mentally and sometimes physically exhausted from the strain of being a conduit between worlds that I'm too drained to do anything productive. Still, instead of vegetating, I'm doing my best to devise a strategy for carrying on with my research and academic work, round up some clients of my own, work with Mario and the Gang to put together bigger and better projects that should lift me out of this rut. It's just that, right now, I'm so very tired.


I had all kinds of plans for Life After Thesis. The idea was to fill all those hours I used to spend hunched over the laptop or books or journal articles, scribbling frantically or staring off into space in the vague search for inspiration. I certainly haven't given up on these plans, but of course my life hasn't magically become a world of fun and leisure. For the record, here are a few of the things on my list:

The full list is (quite a bit) longer, but that gives a pretty good idea. Of course, in addition to all of the extracurricular activities, the plan was to cook tasty yet healthy meals, spend lots of quality time with friends and family, the occasional rainy afternoon curled up on the couch with a good book, take day trips and weekends to discover the embarrassing wealth of cool spots that are everywhere in this country, within easy reach, and which we have sadly neglected. The sort of thing I haven't had time for in eons.
Basically, you see, the plan for Life After Thesis was to suddenly find myself living in a television commercial.

Against those kinds of expectations, I guess it's no surprise I've been feeling the pain of the thump and grind. But just you wait: once I shake these hormones, and get organized, I'll be doing it all. Really I will.
I'm setting myself up again, aren't I? I guess I never really learn. Still, I have to keep trying, because it's the only way I know. I'm so un-Zen, it's almost scary.