Tuesday was a day of wind and rain. Wind all day, rain nearly all day. But there was a spell when the wind had blown all the clouds away, and the sun broke out. The light was magic.
People talk about how gray it is here and the lack of light. Maybe it's because I grew up in this climate and it's what I'm used to, but I mostly find even our grayness pretty bright, and sunny breaks happen often here. They're miraculously beautiful.
Wednesday I realized that I have a serious problem with my new office. Serious for me, but I don't think there's any solution to it. I've been annoyed all along by broken concentration by the many meetings in the conference room just outside my office, and the conversations that take place loudly across it. The conference table isn't more than two feet away from my door. Before this it had just been annoying. I closed my door, and opened the window to the interior of the building. But now it's too cold to do that. Today there was a three-hour meeting there. To get out of my office I had to ask someone to shift himself because I couldn't get past him without him moving himself and his chair, so after a few times in and out I got tired of it and decided to try to just stay put until quitting time.
After an hour of this I started to get a tight feeling behind my breastbone. During the third hour it started to actually hurt and I couldn't stand it anymore, I had to get out of there. Right away. I felt like I was on the verge of screaming. I hope this is simply annoyance aggravated by not having enough sleep and feeling pressured by the short amount of time I have to get the place cleaned up before Mom and Dad get here for Christmas. But I fear not. I think this is claustrophobic anxiety.
The bad thing is that moving back to my old office isn't an option and wouldn't be any better now that they've closed off the big window. And there isn't anywhere else to move that would have any privacy at all, which I need for the confidential material I have on my computer and for students to be able to speak to me about confidential matters. And there's no way they're going to stop having meetings in the conference room; there isn't anywhere else for them.
So I'm stuck. I'm hoping that two weeks I now have off from work will clear this up and blow it away, right out of my mind and gone. There's no good solution to this other than not having.
It's funny, the first couple of times I described what had happened (to Jim and to friends) my throat tightened up and I felt like crying. It's getting easier as I talk about it more, but yes, it clearly was some kind of anxiety attack. So, damn.
In other news: the silver was polished, the cookies were baked, the house was been cleaned within an inch of its life (so clean!). We even had time to got and see Return of the King on Friday. Then my parents and their two dogs arrived Saturday. So the house isn't so clean away, and is full of stuff. Now to buy a tree and decorate and make it really Christmas.