Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?

As the winter has progressed my life has settled into a predictable pattern. I spend a few weeks trying to juggle my various jobs, responsibilities, etc. until I finally manage to settle into some sort of schedule. Then I get sick. Then, once I recover, I scramble to play catch up, settle into a schedule... and get sick. I think this has been my sickest winter in a long while. (In fact, I am at this moment recovering from the cold from hell) Obviously something has to change, I'm just not sure what that might be. Right now I'm working  three jobs- two part time jobs (research and writing) and one uber-part time job (cooking- which is only 6 hours a week). Theoretically, if I work out my schedule right, I have time to do a number of things- swim, take care of my plants and kitchen and house. But of course that never really happens (see above) and I'm left wondering when I'm ever going to find the time to get my haircut, go to the dressmaker or host my friends for fresh pasta. The problem, I think, is not so much time, but the various stresses that come with each job. I am learning all at once to be a boss, a writer with deadlines and a feeder of people. During the course of one day I can go to work, make decisions about my colleagues' work (boss hat), field an email from annoying editor (writer hat) go home, write an article, (writer's hat, again) and then realize that the next morning I have to get up at 6:30 to go cook (thankfully that happens only once a week). Just writing about it exhausts me. I'm wearing too many hats. 
The boss job should probably go. It makes me anxious. I don't like making decisions that could potentially impact someone else's research and I don't like dealing with the higher ups. When I was just a grunt, I was just a grunt. The work I did got reviewed by somebody else (now, me) and the higher ups didn't know I existed, or if they did, they didn't care. Now, I've got vacation days and sick days, but I also have to worry about the fact that one day a scholar may call me up and tell me that I'm just wrong, or even worse, the dude in charge may call me up and tell me that my team isn't producing enough material, is doing a bad job, etc etc. The good news is that our funding runs out in September, and if on the off chance it is renewed, I run out in September, or at least that what I keep on telling myself. 
The writing and cooking are blog posts all on their own. In short, I think I like it. Both its. I'm learning to deal with annoying editor and I enjoy writing. Even silly inconsequential articles for kids have their value.   I'm also learning a tremendous amount in the kitchen - and not only about food. I'm surrounded by women whom I would have never met were it not for the fact that we work together. We come from such different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Mostly, I am very glad to have met them. Right now writing and cooking feel like the places I want to be. So I think I'm gonna stay.

Cubbie Watch: Spring training! Oh, time of eternal hope.

Book rec: Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

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