Oddly, the feelings have been more ones of let-down than ecstasy ... not at all what I expected. But looking at it from this perspective, I realize that I have been living, eating, breathing comprehensive exams for 12 solid months and to suddenly be lifted of them is a bit of a shock to the system.
So, I have been in turns sleeping deeply and playing the incurable insomniac. So strange. In talking with other ABDs, I come to find that this is not uncommon and has the distinct potential to continue for up to a month afterward. I sincerely hope not; I have much to accomplish, though I am planning to take a week off to do nothing but things I enjoy that have NOTHING to do with school work at all.
One of the things I did (see above) is to decorate outside a wee bit; I put 144 little red bows on the runt of a redbud tree (which we have dubbed Wilbur, after the dear piglet in Charlotte's Web) in our front yard. I managed to sunburn my face but good... but it was well worth it. The tree is cute and brightens the neighborhood by day.
Been writing holiday cards the past two days, too... the first time in years. THAT feels good. I have been too exhausted to do that for so long at this time of year, and to actually write a holiday letter, address cards, sign them and (I hope) get them out the door this week will be a coup.
I have been on a shredding binge of late, too... more than 200 gallons of shredded material so far... I am just bound and determined to rid the house (and the attic... oh my... that godforsaken attic. I had no idea just how much JUNK was up there!) of all this paperwork and mess that has accumulated while I have been in school. Not only that, but I am astounded by how much junk mail we get every single day from various sources even though we are on do not solicit lists. Unreal. We are upending bag upon bag of shreds into the mulch piles along with leaves and other garden material to break down for spring mulch... it's all to the good. I think we are going to end up with more than 700 gallons - maybe even much more than that - of mulched shreds, and probably two or three mulch piles - by the time all is said and done. To the right is just eight bags of shreds (104 gallons). Barely the tip of the iceberg.
The attic is also a wasteland of books and miscellaneous other things I had no idea even still existed in my life. Um. Come the end of break they may no longer exist in my life, either. European history books? Will go to good homes among colleagues (except for those near and dear to me)... and much of the rest? Shredded, off to Goodwill, off to the church for the auction, or simply OUT. I am ready to divest of a lot of stuff. It is time.
There is much grading to be done tomorrow and Monday first, however, and then Tuesday through Friday is nothing but a marathon of grading in order to get grades turned in before the University deadline of Saturday noon. This will be a bit of a grueling week. But, unlike this time last year, I will not have any work of my own to turn in, too. That helps.
But tonight? I have some time to simply be. It's raining and icky outside, but warm and together with my honey inside. I think I will go enjoy it. It's been far too long since I have been able to make that choice. May your evening be as bright!