Monday, May 25, 2015

The Things That Keep Me Up at Night

Big rain this morning; now the sun is coming out. We need to mow and I need to touch-up the new paint on the deck, so this is a good thing. (I guess. I hate mowing. But we need to make the house look super pretty all the time so someone will buy it.)

There are things happening that I urgently want to blog about but can't, yet. Work-related things. Once I know what's what, I'll share. It's a big, stressful mess.

Other stresses:
  • The selling of the house, of course! It's our first time doing this, and, given the adorableness of our home, we're trying the FSBO route. In a week, we've had three people look at it and several dozen take our fliers (also more than 250 visits to the weblink). I think this is good traffic, but I'm still anxious about getting it sold.
  • I seem to have injured an ankle, and I'm signed up to run my first (and probably only, let's be realistic) "race" in a week and a half. It's only four miles, which is about the longest I've ever run. I'm not sure what's wrong with the ankle; it's sort of tender when I walk on it much, and it may be a little swollen. I blame all the walking in non-supportive shoes that I did at Kalamazoo! 
  • I have an article due at the end of the summer and, not only have I not started it, I'm not even sure what my primary texts are. On the docket this morning: WORK ON THIS ARTICLE.
  • Bonaventure got into an all-day preschool on my new university's campus, which is great. But the all-day costs a fortune (of course), and I have great big guilt feelings about sending him to an all-day school. (Priority for part-time slots is given to the children of students and lower income families, which is wonderful, of course, but....) We don't know whether, where, or during what hours TM will be working, so we don't want to bank on him as full-time child-carer. And a part of me finds the idea of all-day care divine. I could actually do my job from 9-4 every day! Even non-teaching days! (And what a glorious ring "non-teaching days" has to it, as clunky as the phrase actually is....) So my inner conflict is leaving me a bit stressed. As is the money issue.
  • This work-related thing, which is so appalling I just...ugh. It's to do with Field College, not New University (which is in need of a pseudonym. I might need to wait until I'm there and have sussed it out). I hope to share the story with you once it's resolved, and--I hope--resolved for the better.
OK: Mowing and painting will happen when it dries up out there, so now I'm going to read my article's abstract and figure out what the hell it's supposed to be about.

(Oh, and Kalamazoo was fabulous this year. I may need a separate post about what a better-than-usual experience it was for me. I think that I finally have a little medievalist cohort, which is so very satisfying!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Everything is different now

I did the impossible.

I published my way out.

The waiting is over, and I won't be in Field Town until I retire.

I got a new job--at a Northeast R1. With a 2/2 teaching load. Research money. A salary that's...well, a lot more than I make now. And I'll be living two hours away from my family--thirteen hours closer than I am now.

Oh, and it's in a beautiful part of the country.

I'm going to have to re-subtitle my blog.

I don't feel as over-the-moon happy as I thought I would, but that's a consequence of the complexity of this change: TM is leaving his job for prospects unknown; I may or may not owe Field College a lot of money because I'm departing after my sabbatical. And I'll miss some things here, of course, and quite a few people.

We've been here for eight years. TM and I met here. A lot is going to change.

I find change unsettling, which is something that I'll have to remember this summer. I only got the offer six days ago; I think I'm still realizing that it's real. (And yes, I've signed something with New University and officially resigned from Field. That's why it took me six days to tell you all.)

I'm going to have a lot to say about this transition, I think, and the terms of the offer and the whole search thing at this stage in my career. But that'll be a whole other series of posts. Right now, my almost-three-year-old is calling for me to join him on the porch, so that's what I'm going to do.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kalamazoo

I'm very excited about Kalamazoo this year. I normally can't go because it conflicts with our graduation, which I have to attend--but I'm on sabbatical! It's such a fun conference. And also, I'm going alone, which means four days (and nights) of no childcare. Much as I adore my child.

I've got my paper down to about 10 pages, which is great--but I'm on a four-person panel. How I'm going to cut another two pages out of this mess, I don't know. Because apparently I need to talk about four different texts in 15 minutes. Because apparently that's what I've decided to do.

I'd so much rather have to make something longer than to make it shorter. Isn't that the difference, really, between faculty and undergraduates?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Waiting

I'm in a really strange state right now. I'm waiting to hear about something--have been waiting for a while--and I feel like I can't do anything else until I do.

It is not, of course, the case that I can't do anything. I can do plenty. I can work on my chapter, for example, which I'm trying to do--but working on my chapter means that I'm working on the computer, which means that I can keep checking email and noodling around distracting myself or, more accurately, indulging my heightened state of distraction.

It's a problem of not being able to envision the future. I need to know this thing right now and there is NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT arrrrgh gah powerlessness no control maybe I'll go buy something. (Nope, already indulged that impulse once and won't do it again. Not today, anyway.)

I'm sorry to be so cryptic. This post serves no purpose except to further indulge my distraction and give me the space to complain for a minute about NOT KNOWING AND LOSING MY MIND.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tenure: Till Death

I just read a post at Ferule & Fescue about mid-career restlessness: the desire to be able to move, post-tenure, even if one doesn't particularly want to move. Flavia makes a good point here--she argues that moving between jobs is a visible sign of success at a point in one's career when there are few big landmarks remaining (you got a tenure-track job, you published a book [maybe], you got tenure...now what?). I do think that that's a part of it.

But there's also this: Given the job market and the paucity of jobs, and the near dearth of Associate-level jobs, once you have tenure, it can feel like this, right here, is the rest of your life.

I'll admit that I've been struggling with that. I drive past the Field Township Cemetery and I wonder, "Will I be buried there?" It seems horrible and strange--I am not from here; this isn't where my people are--but, after another (here's hoping!) fifty years of living, my people will be here. Where else will they be? My son will have grown up here. My entire career will have been spent here. Maybe we'll move at retirement--in 27-or-so years--but...um...that's not very satisfying.

I like where I live, I like it well enough, but it's not where I want to spend the rest of my life. There.

And I don't like living 1000 miles from my family, and slightly more than that from many of my dearest friends. And I really don't like the idea of that remaining the case until my family and friends are dispersed and/or dead. I.e., forever.

This wasn't meant to be a macabre post. There's just something so final about tenure. Of course, we could both change careers, look into other fields, etc. Clearly, I'm not (yet) so troubled by my prospects--or my future burial site--that I'm motivated to pursue these options; I like my career, and I really like the wide-open spaciousness of summer. So I'm not at that point. Besides, maybe a new job will open up? Maybe I'll get really, really lucky?

--Or maybe that's precisely the kind of thinking that will lead to my one day, despite my dearest wishes and intentions, looking into grave plots half a mile south of my house.

Fun

Bonaventure woke us up at 4:44 this morning, and (it being my turn to get up with him) it took me until 5:30 to get him fully settled (i.e. fast asleep). Then it took me a while to get fully settled. And then he was up at 7. I'm tired.

On his way out the door this morning, though, he said, "Bye, Mama! Have fun! Play with my toys."

Fun...fun? Maybe some fun would be okay.

Not that I never have fun. But every weekday morning is a frenzy of trying to Do All The Things before my menfolk get home at noon. (Today: read, write, practice the cello!)

I'm so sleepy.

What I'd love to do is take a nap, or lounge about watching a TV show on Netflix and knitting.

Maybe I can have half an hour or so later this morning for...fun? (or a nap?)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Here We Are: Another Morning

It's 8:18 am; the magnolia is in full bloom outside the living room windows. A cloudy morning. TM and Bonaventure left a few minutes ago.

B has a terrible new habit of coming into our room at 5:15 or 5:30 and getting into bed with us. Today he did manage to fall back asleep, but he did so sort of draped over me and/or shoving me off to the very edge of the bed, so I didn't sleep much, or deeply, after that. It's hard when you've got a leg wrapped around your neck, or an elbow in your ribs. (TM kindly took over breakfast prep when we finally got up, at a quarter of seven, so I got another half-hour or so of sleep.)

Milk is cooling for yoghurt on the stovetop. The dishwasher is running. I may or may not have to wash the diapers today.

I have three hours and forty minutes, roughly, until Bonaventure comes home. I should have a little time to work this afternoon--Tuesdays and Thursdays are "my" afternoons, while TM watches him--but I can't always count on that.

On the docket: Work on blending my talk back into my chapter (this kind of work is always so confusing, and such a chore. I have to retrace all my revisions and figure out if each of them works in the long version); go for a run; shower; practice the cello. Read an essay or, better, two.

All is not lost. All is not lost. There are weeks yet, and then the summer!


And in the meantime, this is my view (actually taken in April 2011, during our first spring in this house):