March 2009 Archives

Stress management

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So another month, more or less, has passed, and all my good intentions to blog more regularly, both here and over at the Communal Kitchen (which, in passing, I almost always start to type as the "Communical Kitchen"), have paved the way to an appalling lack of activity.

I maintain that this is a direct effect of having far too many other commitments (see previous post) and being clearly overdependent on sleep. I am working on both.

We're past the mid-point of the semester, and although there's some confusion over my workload, it looks unlikely that I'll have to teach this summer, which is a relief. My e-learning project is a little stressful, and deadlines come and go with horrible inevitability, but I'm coping.

Thankfully, I did find a way to destress, at least for a week. As previously mentioned, I harangued Dr. T into taking me away from it all, and with the help of the World's Greatest Mother-in-Law (tm) as a babysitter, we jetted off to Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, for a week in the sun. While we were there, we did our four open water certification dives for our SCUBA licenses, as well as three more dives as licensed divers, and that underwater camera came in handy!

floaty.jpg

(see the whole set here)

When we weren't 40 feet underwater, we were revelling in the 5-star treatment of our all-inclusive resort: eating well, enjoying great Spanish riojas, lounging in the sun, snorkeling along the beach, reading, and sleeping. The weather was fantastic the whole week - warm, but with a pretty good ocean breeze keeping things comfortable, and sunny. The only significant rain started literally as we were getting into the shuttle to return to the airport (granted, that rain was significant enough to close the airport for a brief period later, when we were already trapped in the plane).

We didn't spend a lot of time lounging, and in fact we really didn't get to know any of our fellow guests, but we had a great time with our dive masters, and our package tour rep, Tony, is either really, really good at his job or he genuinely liked us, but either way, he made us feel all warm and fuzzy.

Best of all, we discovered that scuba was everything we imagined and hoped. We loved swimming with the fishes, and there's a surreal, otherworldly feeling you get when you're floating over a coral reef - like you're flying over mountains, in a way. Sound is completely different, too... there's a very meditative flow to everything down there.

I miss it already, of course... we got home late Saturday night, and I spent Sunday in the laundry room, then walked outside Monday morning to go back to work, only to discover that it was -11 C. -17 with the windchill. Sigh.

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