...and I've spent most of January reading Harry Potter. Well, if the year has to be one-twelfth over, that was certainly an excellent use of my time. I've also been occupied with hundreds of sonnets--because as if I didn't have enough to do with my thesis and my comprehensive exams this semester, I have an independent study in poetry as well. I don't even have enough time to distract myself with the X-Files any more-- but at least I can justify my Harry Potter spree as work for my thesis. I haven't had any nightmares at all lately; I just keep falling into a sound sleep for about five hours and then simply waking up at 5 AM (!), so anxious about getting my work done that I feel the need to start up again at that ungodly hour of the morning.
The one break I allowed myself, however, was a day to go to the Inauguration of President Obama. And it did, indeed, take up an entire day--my husband and I joined the queue at the Metro station near our apartment at 6:30 AM, got down to the National Mall 3 hours later, and didn't get home until 5 PM (the ceremony finished around 1 PM). It was 7 hours of traveling in densely packed crowds in order to witness the important twenty minutes of the ceremony. Worth it? Well, now we can say that we were a part of history. It was worth getting out of the house for a day, even in the cold that stiffened my legs, numbed my feet, and froze my knees... it was also enough to tell me that I really don't feel the need to go to another presidential inauguration ever again, but at least I can say I was there for this one in particular.
All of this is to say that January has sped past, filled with anxiety-ridden nights, fifteen hour days and a strange mix of Shakespeare, Harry Potter and Pablo Neruda, with a little Barack Obama thrown in for some flavor. The nice thing is that even though I don't have any more time for X-Files marathons before bed, the inauguration has brought a resurgence of interesting political broadcasts. Now I can listen to msnbc.com reports on things like Obama's address to the State Department before bed, or the presidential press secretary's report on how Obama will indeed get to keep his Blackberry. These are important news items, after all--helpful to staying informed about political events and simultaneously able to help me drift off to sleep when I finally allow myself to put my homework down for the night.
The real challenge is how I will cope with the rest of the semester, once January passes by and I've re-read all my Harry Potter novels. Then I wont have an excuse any more; I'm going to have to start the actual process of WRITING my thesis... which I think will make February go much, much slower than January has.