Thursday morning I leave for the Christian Scholars Conference at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, MI. Friday morning I am presenting a paper quite arrogantly titled, "How to Talk About Religion and Science...Rationally," for the session "Re-imagining Faith and Reason." I'm worried about the paper; I chose the topic because I thought, well, this is something so foundational to my course of study that it will be no effort to put it together--but what I'm finding is that I no longer have any perspective on the theology and science methodology/epistemology stuff, because I have spent so much time with it, and so much time presuming it, that I no longer know what's obvious and what isn't.
But of course the real worry is that this is my first trip alone since Clare was born, and I'll be gone for three whole days. It's not that I'm worried about her being taken care of--Brent's mom is coming to help us out in that department, which is a godsend. But I'm not exactly sure how I'll do. I'm fairly certain that I have completely lost all former skills of how to be by myself. By myself? I haven't been by myself for a year! I can hardly even visualize it at this point.
So my anxiety is expressing itself rather indirectly through teen-like angst about my ridiculously bad hair (I'm at that fragile point where growing it out, again, feels like the dumbest idea I ever had) and equally ridiculous complexion, which is all the worse because pregnancy played havoc with my pigmentation and "freckly" is politely euphemistic at this point. Plus, of course, I had a baby--and haven't exercised in a year. (Doing three sessions of my postnatal yoga video hardly counts.) I'm in all my old clothes, have been for months and months, but sadly, the body that fits into them is at least 10 pounds over what it used to be, and really bulgy in places it wasn't before. None of this has bugged me until this week, when I suddenly realized with horror, oh crap, I have to get up in front of people and be impressively academic, and for a whole year all I've been is slobbily maternal at best (and unshowered and unshaven and still in pajama bottoms while cooking dinner at worst).
It's easier to worry about shallow crap than analyze exactly why it is I dread being separated.