I got tawsed tonight. Not for discipline, not to remind me to be a good girl, but as a punishment for not doing what I’d promised to do today. You see, after a week of cruising along, doing more work than I’d even needed to some days (this included working after coming home from a day working on campus), I was supposed to transition to the next stage of my work. This next stage is writing. Not writing ideas of others, but laying out my own.
Fear stalled me. Not fear of punishment, as some out there who don’t think What It Is We Do is a good for me, but my ever-present fear of not being good enough.
Instead of fighting through my fear and forcing myself to work, I let myself get caught up in the fun of the first day of fall on Twitter and the Mad4Plaid
day some of us were having. (It was great fun, marred only by the gnawing guilt I occasionally (but only occasionally) experienced as thoughts of my neglected text passed through my mind. There was time for both, but I didn’t want to do the work and it didn’t get done.
That was all well and good until the clock chimed 6:00PM and Paul got home. I looked like a good school girl in my plaid skirt and a pink oxford cloth shirt, but it quickly became clear as we talked about our respective days that I’d accomplished no school work today. Paul spent a while talking to me, figuring out where the problem was. It wasn’t just, as I first declared, that I didn’t do my work today. It was partly because I hadn’t thought about what I’d promised (an outline) and had no idea where to start work on the task.
We broke the problem down, bit by bit, teasing out what was insecurity and what was confusion. And of course, the over arching issue of why I’d stopped dead rather than try and work through any of it. The talk was exhausting — any criticism of my academic work makes me defensive and cranky. I know Paul must have to put on his best armor to talk to me about it. We ended up curled up together on the sofa, my head in his lap.
And then he said something along the lines of “I think we need to go into the bedroom and talk about this.”