Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Day!

I've been given a wonderful present by today's weather: an Ice Day! We're lucky in that we live in that perfect strip of the country today: just icy enough to get a day off, but not icy enough to cause a power outage. So we're in warm bliss in the house, each of us doing whatever the hell we want! I have tons of work to catch up on, but thought I'd begin with a new post on my much-neglected blog.

So how have I been? Busy, busy, blah, blah, blah. I know it's annoying to read anyone writing about how BUSY they are, how they just don't have TIME to blog or read blogs or comment on blogs. So I won't go on about that. Let's just catch up.

How about that Inauguration? It was beyond thrilling. Not only is it a new year, it's a whole new world now. I feel completely inspired, in so many ways. Not only to do my part in this country, but also to make my own way in this horrific job market. The academic market has been rough for a few years now, so those of you in the other sectors are feeling the kind of crunch we've felt for awhile. And ours is only getting worse. I've had some luck this year, some interest in my applications, and am still in the running for a small handful of jobs. The odds are still overwhelmingly against me, so I have to have a backup plan.

Until the economy tanked I was feeling a bit bitter about the situation. It felt like everyone else was enjoying great careers while I was working so hard to apply for existing opportunities and create potential opportunities where I am now. But after watching this election, and witnessing our new President take office, I feel reinvigorated and committed to do whatever it takes to make my own way. One of these jobs might hit, but if not, I will dig in and work ever harder to realize my vision for my career. I have a lot to give, and I won't settle for pouting in the corner and whining about the lack of tenure-track jobs. I'm tired of being that person, the one who has only negative things to say when people ask me how the job search is going. I have a lot of support from wonderful friends and colleagues in my current (temporary) teaching position, and these people will listen tirelessly (or seemingly so) to my venting. But I'm done with that. In the end, it doesn't do anything for me, and I know it's giving nothing to them.

I've worked very hard to have the job for this year, and I have made many connections in the right places. I'm grateful to have a job right now, even if next year is completely uncertain. And even if nothing comes up for next year, I will not despair. I will work harder. I will not give in to self-pity. I will stop whining! I have a no-whining policy for my child, why not for myself?

(But every now and then I might need to do a venting post, so I hope you all will bear with me when I do so. It'll be our little secret, k?)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time for Renewal

I have always loved January. It begins with the un-decorating, which I think I enjoy even more than Xmas decorating. I then inevitably feel the irresistible compulsion to organize the entire house, including an in-depth evaluation of nearly every item we own to identify potential charity donations. I've been particularly exhaustive with it this year: if we don't absolutely use it, need it, or love it, we must TOSS it. It's a process that has turned into a philosophy for my life this year, and it seems rather appropriate given the circumstances of our times. I feel strongly that we must give away what we no longer use or need, and that our lives should become more streamlined and decluttered.

It's a philosophy that is also in line with the upcoming regime change in this country. I am feeling such anticipation about Tuesday. I cannot believe that the day of renewal and rebirth for our country is just days away. I wish our family could be in DC to see it all firsthand, but duty calls on the work front, so we'll be here doing the usual thing. It seems like we should have a national holiday for the occasion though, doesn't it?

This weekend I'm finishing all the big cleanout, so by Tuesday every object and each piece of paperwork should be in its place. After two years in this house, we'll finally be fully organized. And THEN what will I do with my weekends? ;)

Happy New Year everyone. I have a really good feeling about 2009.