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Posts Tagged ‘finances’

On the one hand I had a great day today – I’m off this week and SG went into the office so I had the house to myself after dropping buddy off at daycare. I made a pot of coffee, took a bath and then got to work on the introduction. I should be able to get it to my advisor by Friday which will be a HUGE weight off my shoulders. On the other hand I am feeling down today. I’m going in for an interview with a local liberal arts college for an adjunct position. I’ll be happy to get it but it just drives home that I didn’t get either of the two tenure-track positions I interviewed for. Part of me doesn’t even want to go tomorrow. But I will.

But let’s talk self-improvement experiment!

Book One: Leave Work Early

I have started with the Discipline chapter and resolved to work early in the morning on the diss introduction during this week. On Sunday I went back to bed after the early “shift” but I did work for two hours during Buddy’s nap. Monday I DID write for the entire morning after dropping the little guy at daycare. Tuesday (yesterday) was a lost cause. Today I didn’t start work until 11 am but I did work pretty consistently throughout the day. So overall I declare this portion of the experiment a success!

Book Two: Confessions of an Organized Homemaker

So my task for this week was to apply one (or several) of her discard/sort techniques to our massive clutter problem. So far I have only applied “The Quick Fix” which means that my office is slowly filling up with bags of stuff from the kitchen and the living room bookshelf from hell (I will post before and in-progress – and eventually after photos when I have  chance to download them).  I haven’t had much time yet to really to work on the clutter problem but hopefully I’ll have a little more time in the next couple of days. So thus far, I declare this part of the experiment a draw: good intentions, but little time for follow-through.

Book Three: Collect Raindrops

The words of inspiration – “Eat More Kale” which I interpreted to mean that I should pay more attention to what I eat and talk to SG about doing a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA). Well I have been keeping a food journal and I have been trying to make better choices. Yesterday was a wash – I am always lulled into making bad decisions at my parents, but today I made myself breakfast and lunch, including a salad – most unusual for me! And SG is not only into the CSA but is talking about starting a container garden. So so far, it is going fairly well. Another draw.

More to come at the end of the week.

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Yesterday 7MilestoNowhere had a very thoughtful post about the structurally insecure nature of the academic job market and about the risk of putting our lives on “hold” until we land that perfect tenure-track job (which may never happen). Her post hit home for me because I recently went on the job market (as you may have guessed from my previous posts) and while I landed two on-campus interviews, I wasn’t offered either job. It is quite possible that I didn’t receive an offer for reasons entirely unrelated to the fact that the dissertation still isn’t finished (3.5 years after the research was completed…and counting) and I don’t yet have a major publication.

But I also know that my application would have been much stronger (and I might have gotten more interviews) if I were finished and on track to be published in a refereed journal.  I also can’t help but beat myself up because my department, and my advisor, do have excellent placement records and a number of my friends have received job offers while still ABD.

On the one hand, I know that in part, large part, this situation is a result of choices that I’ve made that I in no way regret, and that is why 7’s post was such a breath of fresh air.  I started graduate school shortly after turning 30 and finished the diss research when I was 36. I chose to try and have a baby because I didn’t want to wait – couldn’t afford to wait – until I had landed the job. So Buddy came on the scene and it has been wonderful. Then when he was nine months old, a close family member became ill, I took a leave of absence both to spend time with him and to take up some of the slack at home so SuperGuy could spend more time with him. It was the right decision. Finally, after our regular babysitter left for grad school, we tried a nanny-share with some friends – it was a complete disaster and wasted almost two months of my life and made both me and Buddy miserable. Although I would do things differently in retrospect, I can’t fault myself for trying to make it work at the time. I do regret  not listening to my intuition earlier, but that is a lesson learned.

But. BUT. I can’t fool myself that somehow circumstances beyond my control have kept me from getting this dissertation written. I have a block, a writer’s block of epic proportions. And so I have regrets. And here they are:

1. I regret not being a better advocate for myself in terms of getting therapy and treatment for postpartum anxiety. In retrospect, a prescription for anti-anxiety medication was not enough. I needed someone to talk to and I needed more help earlier. 

2. Related to number 1, I regret getting caught up in worry that we were going to go broke, that we were too poor, and that the other members of our new parent group (all from the same affluent area of the city that we live in…at the margins…in a rental) would look down on us. I wasted so much time and money on trying to get our tiny house up to snuff, and it was such a stupid waste of time. Seriously who gives a france? (not to mention the fact that we were smart not to buy in the bubble market – not that we could’ve afforded it but still…)

3. But the madness doesn’t stop there. I regret wasting countless hours and lots of money I didn’t have on a stupid idea of opening eBay store – which actually wasn’t that stupid but I just turned around and bought stuff we didn’t need with the money I made plus more, so yeah, stupid.  I put our credit and my marriage at risk and wasted countless hours until SuperGuy put his foot down and forced me to cut up the credit cards and to go into therapy. (This story has a happy ending – we’ve JUST paid off our debt – but it was such an unnecessary complication and brought so much stress and anxiety – I still can hardly bear to think of it).

4. Which brings me to my main regret. I’ve wasted so much time. Time paid for with a babysitter or with daycare. Time where I did housework, or worked on teaching, or did nothing at all productive when I could’ve been writing. Why can’t I focus? And more importantly, what am I going to do about it?

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