Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Friday, August 7, 2015

When The Muffins Win, Everyone Wins

The final horseman of the Apocalypse has arrived: I have been promoted to department chair, and of a brand-new department at that. I am honored, flattered, and... overwhelmed. My main problem? The number of non-spam emails a person can actually receive in one day. They are breeding like rabbits every time I walk away from my computer or phone!

And don't get me started on the pile of paper or the ten thousand other things that seem as though they should have been done yesterday. As for the meetings, I'm still playing ostrich about those. They'll be here soon enough.

Did I say overwhelmed? Feels more like drowning.

Thankfully, I have learned a thing or two over the years. One is that the solution to drowning is not to keep swimming out to deeper water. Instead, find the shore, regain footing if you can, then make a plan. Translated into yesterday, that meant enjoy my coffee first, then meditate and go for a run, all while leaving the phone behind. On purpose.

That done, I performed triage on the electronic rabbit colony and jumped in the shower. Following another round of triage on the only-slightly-less-alarming mountain of paper, I headed out to do a few errands.  As I drove, the cleansing effects of exercise and water began to wear off, replaced by a Pigpenesque cloud of impending doom...I mean email. 

(Huh. Just checked my thesaurus. Apparently "doom" and "email" are not synonyms. Who knew?)

Anyway. When I made my final stop, my friend Jane said, "do you want to come in for a minute? There's muffins." Part of me said, "Muffins? Seriously? No time for baked goods. Not today! Not unless they can occupy my right hand while I write or type with my left."  But a bigger, wiser, and more vocal part could smell muffiny glory and spoke up with an enthusiastic "sure!" The next two hours found us curled up on a couch to share coffee, muffins, and a good old-fashioned chat.

And guess what? After that, it was all good. Yes, the paper and the e-mails were still right where I'd left them. In fact, they'd gone forth and multiplied. Again. But it was fine. I needed to run, to meditate, to shower. And yes, I needed to do the work (which did get done, by the way). But most of all I needed the connection that only a muffin, coffee, and friend can bring. With that, you can take on the world, doomsday rabbits and all.

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