Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weekend Pleasures, weekday stresses

Busy, busy, weekend highlights:

Dinner at our place with new friends, Saturday night, great fun!
Menu, which I devised, and Pater executed (yes, Lucky, Lucky Me! -- I was concentrating on this damn paper I have to write and Pater likes cooking, so . . . )
Grilled halibut (my favourite fish!) with a seafood risotto (shrimp, smoked salmon, fennel, mushrooms) -- served with a green salad and a mix of grilled asparagus and grilled red peppers. Baked pears and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Complemented by some lovely wines (among them the Yalumba Viognier, a favourite, and a new favourite, the Meiomi pinot noir)

Sunday morning, woke to remember what a nuisance waste of time are hangovers! Made it tough to work on my paper. . .
Sunday afternoon, a house concert just up the road -- chamber music by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Eugene Goosenes, and another composer whose name I can't remember. I was volunteered as page turner, a task I have little experience with and which is ever so much more difficult than you might think! Trying to sight-read the music from the left side of the pianist's bench, at full performance speed, keeping out of her way, terrified of derailing the whole performance . . . needless to say, I had a completely different experience than the rest of the audience!

Yesterday, Monday, although I was ready for a day at home, a long nap, and some concentrated time with my writing, I rode the ferry with Pater to Horseshoe Bay (the crossing takes an hour and forty-five minutes, ideally, though generally more when docking is calculated), so that we could have lunch with my daughter and her partner. She's been training/working in Calgary for a few months and this trip home was my last chance to see her 'til we get back from Europe in July. So I rode the ferry over, had a lovely visit, then hopped back on for the trip back to the island. A full day, and a satisfying one -- I even managed to get some writing done on the ferry (I love my Netbook!).

Now I'm finally in the quiet house, all to myself, and I'd be giving full rein to my panic about all I have to do to get ready for Thursday's trip to Montreal, except that I seem to have found the key which might make my Friday presentation work. I've been a bit of a mess the last few days -- back threatening to go into spasm, jaw almost locked, stomach upset, heart arrythmic -- all my stress signals flashing! So predictable -- I do this every time. As I rationalized to Pater on the weekend (poor patient man that he is), going through this every time, I haven't yet presented a disastrous paper, which should reassure me (and does in theory, but my body pays little attention to my rational brain). And even if, for the first time, I completely bombed, made a fool of myself, the stage is such a limited one, so marginal to most of the world, that I could write it off as a learning experience, right? But I'm quite sure I'll feel the very uncomfortable effects of too much adrenaline right up until Friday afternoon -- after which, I have a dinner date with a friend/colleague from Ontario at a favourite Indian restaurant in Montreal. It's all good . . .

The next few days I'll be moving between my to-do list and writing and re-writing my essay. I'd love to find an hour or so to think through my six-day wardrobe with you before it goes in my carry-on, but I doubt that will happen. But my Montreal hotel has in-room Wireless, I'm bringing my Netbook and my camera, so I hope to be chatting with you soon.


  1. Good luck with your paper. I am sure it go just fine and even better.

  2. God that was incoherent. I meant, I am sure it will go even BETTER than fine. Aargh.

  3. DO you ever visualize yourself relaxed and focused, giving your presentation? It's like playing a movie in your head. Have fun, your audience is on your side.

  4. LPC: I knew what you meant -- and was relieved to see that others have bouts of incoherence as well!
    Duchesse: The presentation part of the paper, luckily for me, is not a worry at all -- I'm quite comfortable with public speaking and actually I do enjoy it (thank goodness, as it's such a huge part of my job!). What's stressing me out is the intellectual content -- when I'm in the middle of it, I regularly worry that it's too banal for words, or, worse, that I've looped around to contradict myself. The self-critique eventually leads to a stronger argument, I've learned, but I need to remind myself to trust the process. . . . each and every time!
    What I could do with your great advice is to visualize myself WITH the fabulously insightful and persuasive paper my process is leading me too. Perhaps I'll even convince myself ;-)

  5. Sounds like a lovely dinner! As you say, you haven't yet presented a disastrous paper - and you're not going to this time. The stress/adrenaline is part of the process, I guess, unpleasant though it is. And think of the marvellous feeling when you're done. I'd say good luck, but I'm sure you don't need it. Instead I'll say 'enjoy'.

  6. Best of luck with your paper...I hope you can relax and enjoy the presentation I am sure that you are well versed and very qualified. Positive thinking.

  7. Good luck in Montreal! I finished my last paper in the hotel bathroom at 6:30 am (children were sleeping). And it was coherent!

  8. Good luck. I know that all this energy will just coalesce into something fabulous and you will be fine. But sending positive vibes anyway.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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