Sunday, October 7, 2012

People Everywhere!

Flamingos - Omaha Zoo - Oct 2012
It is slowly dawning on me that part of my problem with fatigue may very well stem from the fact my office got moved this summer.

I used to have a private office; now I'm tucked into the back corner of the tech room.

I don't mind the change - it actually works a bit better with my workflow, but it does mean I no longer have any modicum of privacy or alone time during the work day.

From the time I get there until I leave, there are people about.  My student worker for the day is generally waiting at the door when I come in.  My partner in tech, who shares the office, comes in around nine the three days a week she works.  There are students studying in the front part of the room for much of the day.  Staff members, teachers and students stop by with questions or just to say hi.

I spent the previous fifteen years of my work life working independently - for much of that time, from home.  Then, I got into the camper van, and spent another five months alone on the road.

And I wonder why I'm tired now that I'm spending all day, every day, with people?  I know there are those who thrive on the presence of others, but for me, people take energy, even when I'm not pre-tired, which is rare these days.  (It's not all draining - one of the students perks up when he sees me, gets a huge smile on his face and gives me a big hug - I always get a lift from those interactions.)

I saw my oncologist last week.  He says I'm looking great and that all my blood numbers look good.  (Yay!)  There's no obvious reason for me to be so tired.  While it annoys me that there's not some magical pill he can give me to fix it, in some ways I find it comforting.  It means that the fatigue I still fight daily is most likely just a result of overdoing it after surgery; nothing nasty is underlying the exhaustion.  Which means, if I continue my campaign to get to bed early, I should begin to have more energy soon. Especially if I can figure out a way to snag a few minutes of alone time during the workday.

1 comment:

  1. In my experience, there are two kinds of people in the world: extroverts, who get more energized by contact with other people, and introverts, for whom contact with others is fun for a while, but sooner or later too much contact begins to DRAIN energy.

    I am one of the latter, and it appears you are too. I have found that I must take care of myself by keeping the socializing and work-contact within sensible boundaries.

    When I realize I am getting too much people-contact and not enough solitude, I have to balance it out with a solitary activity of some sort. It could be taking a walk or a car trip, spending time reading, writing, or making artwork--even going to a garden or museum, or walking the Indian Hills Methodist Church labyrinth, all by myself. Meditating also helps.

    If you don't "feed the solitary need" you'll end up stressed and frenzied . . . and ill.