School started last Tuesday. Sort of. It was kind of a false start because I was here to teach my Tuesday morning class, and then I spent all of Wednesday running around like a madwoman trying to get everything ready for my trip to Dublin. And then I hopped on the T with my friends Kate and Sarah (who went to Dublin with me), went to the airport and boarded a plane to Ireland. I experienced an inflight miracle; I actually slept—slept!—on the plane for the first time ever, fitfully, for a couple of hours. And then we landed at about 5:30 Dublin time, had a coffee and made our way to our hotel to drop off our luggage. And then we spent the whole day seeing Dublin and reminding each other why we couldn’t just go take a little nap.
On Friday and Saturday, we attended the conference that brought us across the pond, and even though it was the smallest conference ever, it was a really good conference. All of the papers I heard were compelling and interesting, even the ones I almost fell asleep during (because of jetlag, not because of the presentations), and the keynote speakers were really fantastic. I read my paper in front of two scholars whose work I had read while researching for said paper (fortunately I hadn’t cited them because that would have been super awkward), and they were very gracious in their responses. I drank copious amounts of tea over the weekend, and pondered how it is that tea always tastes so much better over there. I also enjoyed delicious chocolates from Butler’s Chocolate Cafe, Purveyors of Happiness (don’t you want to go there?), including a hot chocolate that was pretty much the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Kate, Sarah and I ate a lot of delicious food, had a load of fun in one of my favorite cities, and enjoyed each others’ company. I’m really glad we got to go together.
And then it was over, and we were loading up and headed back this way. Our flight arrived in Boston a little after 1 pm, and my first step was to go pick up Spur, who was delightfully excited to see me. I have no idea what happened in the intervening hours before my Monday night class, except that I didn’t sleep because I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up. Those hours are lost forever. But I made it to class and was lucid enough to know what we talked about, and I consider that a victory even though I was pretty much a zombie by the end of it.
The rest of the week has been full of long days trying to catch up and stay on top of work for the classes I’m taking and the one I’m teaching. And let me tell you. I was so relieve when this afternoon rolled around and I could finally breathe, finally sit down, finally be still. I feel like I’ve been in constant motion for a really long time, and it’s brought me to one very important insight: rest and relaxation are totally awesome.