Friday, 16 March 2007

Nietzsche's way to Holiday Heaven

I find myself in the middle of a research project and a campaign to save the university campus and having to go away on holiday. Just when things are getting interesting re: the campaign and things are getting stressful re: the project.

On Tuesday the Principal of Glasgow University is coming to Dumfries to give a talk on the value of education. Just as he has announced that they have made the decision to pull out of our campus, on economic grounds, and we must get used to it. As you can imagine we are going to turn up to this talk with the firm intention of making him squirm. I say we: I won't be here, I will be in Cornwall, about as far away as I can get without leaving Britain. The timing couldn't be worse!

With regard to my project: I have seven weeks to go and have yet to write a word. It's taken longer than anticipated to read Nietzsche, and just when I feel I am getting to grips with him and may be ready to write some of those fifteen thousand words, I have to leave my computer behind and go to Cornwall: The timing couldn't be worse!

What would Nietzsche say to me? He would say 'take ownership of your decisions, foolish woman, there is no point in blaming anyone, or anything, else. You don't actually have to go to Cornwall, so think about why, in the face of such overwhelming evidence that you should not go, you are still planning to go.' And he's right, my values are conflicting here: I want to stay and fight and I want to get on with my work and I want to go on holiday: I want it all! I booked this holiday because my husband who also works very hard needs a break. And I want to give him that break. I have to decide which of these values takes precedence and then take responsibility for that decision. But it's so hard. And here Nietzsche would tell me: 'of course it's hard, there is no pleasure without pain, life is tough but if you want to live a satisfying life you have to examine yourself and your motives and be flexible.'

So what am I going to do? I am going to give my husband priority and go to Cornwall and have a lovely time. I will take some books and a notepad and plan two or three hours work time a day, and the rest of the time not think about work at all. The campaign will go on without me for a week, I am not crucial to it. And when I come back, hopefully, I'll be refreshed and invigorated and ready to get on with actually writing up my project. Thanks Nietzsche!


Bigger Hugs said...

The big problem for Nietzsche was he didn't have anyone to hug. It would have made a huge difference to his life, I'm sure.

((HUGS)) to you Eryl

Eryl Shields said...

You're so right, poor man.

Thanks for the hugs - I'm sending some right back to you!

Also at least one to Kim Ayres on who's blog I stumbled accross you.

Kim Ayres said...

Get a laptop?

Hope you have a good time in Cornwall. I was actually born there (Fowey), although we moved away when I was 2 so have no childhood memories of it.

Eryl Shields said...

I'm not sure if we will go anywhere near Fowey but if we do I'll have a good look at it to see if anything stikes me as youish. I'm really looking forward to waking up by the sea, our cottage is only five yards from it!

I've just swapped a laptop for this one, more space and faster. No, I'm going back to paper and pens when away: total break.