Not a very bucolic metaphor, I grant you. It's the one that comes to mind as I try to get myself into gear (I am the machinery of summer?).
I am giving my dusty dissertation one last hurrah (or is that hoo-hah?) this summer. I have rethought yet again my argument and the structure of the whole thing. I have made a plan. I went to the University on Tuesday to do a little looking, and found most of what I need.
However, the night before I went to the library, I found myself unable to sleep. The gerbils running my mental cage kicked into high gear. Am I prepared to do research? Have I thought my claims through? Is the argument, in all probability, pretentious?
So, on three hours of sleep, on Tuesday morning, off to the library I went. Yada yada yada, I xeroxed some stuff, took some notes, went home. By the end of the day, I had a stabbing pain in my lower back, an aching hip, and an incipient cold, which I woke up with the next day (Wednesday).
Moreover, after I pulled myself through Wednesday morning with OTC drugs, napping, and a little solitary moaning, I went to the closest campus of my own college to screen online applications for our English faculty positions (I'm looking to see if all applicants meet the minimum qualifications), a job which should have taken me two hours, tops, only to find out that I wasn't allowed to even look at the apps! And I'm the chair of the committee!
In the evening, after some low-tech sulking and DVD watching (Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her--a fine, subtle, heartbreaking film), I went with Scar to his church youth activity, which was a mom-son pizza eating, volleyball-playing two hours. Pretty fun, even though I confirmed yet again what an utter nerd I am at any sport whatsoever.
What I'm trying to do is balance efforts on my own writing projects, my duties to my job, and my pleasures in my family and the summer in general. Maybe "machinery" is really a bad metaphor after all. It's more like a carnival, or a traveling circus.
Guess how much actual writing I've done on my dissertation. But who's counting?