I feel beat today.  I had a goodly amount of homework due today.  Last night, instead of posting a marginally entertaining (at least to me) post, I slaved over a cold paper.  Extracting words was a chore.  It was only a four page paper; so it was a sprint, not a marathon.  However, I feel like I crawled the last 10 miles of an Ironman triathalon.  I was so tired, I didn’t even like proofreading my paper, which to me violates my entire code for school and writing.

All I can guarantee is that the paper is

  1. Four pages
  2. In French
  3. On the subject of the novella Ourika.

And after I printed this miracle of miracles?  I needed to read another 20 pages before my head could hit the pillow.  At this stage in my life (almost, but not quite, middle-age), I really need at least 7 hours sleep.  Eight is better.  Sure, this means I almost never get to watch The Daily Show, not to mention The Colbert Report; but actually being alert in class seems to pay off.

 I am disappointed in myself, however.  I started this paper last week, so I would have to toss something together at the last minute.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  It drove me crazy.  I was blocked, and only sheer grit allowed me to finish it.  I just don’t like handing in half-assed work.  I will feel this keenly.  I worry the grammar is a shambles.

An interesting thing happened, though.  I was talking with some classmates (I was on the horns of a girl/woman word choice dilemna, but I chose to temporarily sidestep the issue), and we were talking about the paper.  I said that I usually didn’t have problems with literary analysis papers, having had my fill of them the first time I went to college.  As the conversation progressed, I truthfully answered their questions on when I had graduated and how old I was (which for now, I’ll keep off the internet).  They seemed genuinely surprised at my real age.  As to the extent, sure they may have been snowing me a bit.  But it does give me cause to think.  All this time, I have been assuming that I’ve been exuding an “old” aura about my person, and that all the young students could sense it (just like dogs can smell fear).

I do wonder if a lifetime of looking young for my age as delayed certain “adult” milestones in my life; if I have assumed I have more time for these things than I actually do.  Has my exterior given me a false sense of security, and because of this, I risk infertility, spending the last half of my life alone, and most troubling, spending it poor (due to slipshod financial planning).  Am I a real life Dorian Gray (I have no painting to give me away, and I’m not really a debauched shell of a person, but metaphorically)?

I may look young to others, but today I feel damn old.  My back hurts from hunching over the computer.