Gentle Reader, there was a huge announcement yesterday that my University campus will be closed the remainder of the semester, with classes moving exclusively online. This doesn’t quite affect me, as I’m on sabbatical, but it does affect my spouse and my friends and colleagues, and students, and of course, my mental health.
It was scary, watching all the heads of the Universities and the school systems and the Mayor make a joint press conference. This became real to me in a way that it hadn’t quite come through. I realized I had been having a week-long panic attack, since I started trying to come home from England. I’m worried: for my friends, my family, the elderly, the state of the country, everyone losing their jobs. It’s a horrifying scenario.
It makes me feel what I do is useless. I already have quite the case of Impostor Syndrome on a normal day, but the best thing I can do for the world right now is stay inside for two weeks, since I was traveling and around so many people. So that’s what I’m doing.
It makes me feel like my book is pretty useless.
Enter friends, who rallied behind me and reminded me that this, too, shall pass. That my book will still be important: to me, to promotion, to the academy.
Today, I have to work on our edited collection, due out with Bloomsbury this year (Adaptation in Young Adult Novels: Critically Engaging Past and Present edited by Dana E. Lawrence and Amy L. Montz). So I am going to clean and read the smart work of our contributors and try to remind myself what I once read in Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood: “Life is short, but it is wide. This, too, shall pass.”