Friday, January 25, 2013

Obeying Your 3AM Thoughts

I was up at 3AM tossing and turning because I needed someone to fill a teaching position in the online program I coordinate. Specifically I needed a math person to rewrite and subsequently teach a course and everyone was turning up dead in the waters. Maybe it was the old syllabus I sent them, a strange mishmash of high school math and "practical" applications. Maybe they had better things to do, or thought they did, than get back to a colleague. It could be people were just being rude. Or...Sometimes people ask and ask for an opportunity and when you lay it out in front of them they get cold feet.

The one call back I was expecting last night didn't get back to me and with the weekend fast approaching and my effective working hours tick tick ticking away (we leave for Sri Lanka Thursday night) I was in a fix.

Nothing like the three o'clock hour (the devil's hour) to make you aware of your shortcomings in excruciating detail. Not a list maker, something unknown and unsensed in my head was etching an indelible to-do sequence in my mind as I laid in bed uncomfortable, dissatisfied, and panicky.

At 6AM the heat came on in the cold house. Down to 49 degrees. I got the baguette baking and the coffee brewing and sat down on the kitchen couch in what turns out to have been automatic pilot.

I started writing to all the people my fevered brain had noted in my half awake state in the middle of the night. Lois, Michael, John and others received super early-morning notes as I put out feelers to this second tier of people who in retrospect made more sense than the people I contacted in the first place.

All this had been instructed somehow in the middle of the night and I was acting according to program, not plan. I don't know how I concocted the list or what the logic was. And I don't know what made me get right to work on it first thing in the morning. I have to ask myself, was I still asleep?

By eight one of the people on my devil's hour list had gotten my note and responded immediately with"I accept!"

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