Monday, September 18, 2017

Up for Air

I emerge from the depths to say that I don't know if it's a midlife crisis, going up for tenure this quarter, or both, but I couldn't care less about a single thing related to teaching or research at this moment. I am neither invigorated or excited about this, nor can I even care about my classes this quarter because my schedule is designed to punish me and be mean for the last year that my boss knows she can because I can't pitch a fit and seem to be petty about it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

There is seriously something about my building that fills me with anger. There's a particularly insecure and spiteful passive aggressive faculty member here and every time I walk past her office, I throw a mental "fuck you" at her door. That's awful. I should come in on the other side of the building so I don't have to walk past it to get to my office.

My boss asked me if I wanted to move offices--not to a bigger office or a better office or one with more light. No she asked me to move offices because she doesn't want the new faculty members to be alone, so maybe I might want to just make a lateral move to keep them company. Um, no. No only no, but hell, fuck no. I am all about making new faculty feel welcome and helping them navigate the disaster this place is, but my job is not to keep them company and to uproot my life for them. I don't know where my boss gets off thinking its my place to sacrifice for everyone else because her perception are that my needs are less, not equal.

This is why this place fills me with rage. Perhaps I do just need some time away. Perhaps my pursuit of happiness, contentment, simplicity with help with that rage. Perhaps I do just need some time for this place to not consume my entire life. Perhaps it's time for me to just start saying no. And maybe that needs to be part of my project/pursuit as well, perfecting the art of saying no.

Here's the other thing, I want to be a great faculty member, colleague, scholar, productive member of the department. But I have no desire to be any of those things towards people who treat me like shit. And I want them all to fuck off. And I long for the day when I'll actually be able to say it.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Update to other long post which I felt was too long to add an update to although now it might be too cumbersome to have to look at two posts. Oh well.

This morning I officially got the Magpie enrolled in the school she needs to be in. She 100% has a spot. The paperwork is done. She will get her IEP before school starts. She is where she needs to be.

One stress down.

All the Haps

There's been a lot going on the past few weeks that I've been hesitant to blog about because I'm just not sure how to talk about it because I feel an incredible amount of guilt over it for various reasons, so I'll try.

We had a pre-k readiness evaluation for Magpie at the insistence of the daycare director. We have always known that Magpie is quirky. She certainly absorbs the world in a different way, and this in intensified by the fact that she is extremely smart and a problem solver. The J and I often joke that we have indeed given birth to a female Sheldon Cooper, and that honestly may still very well be the case. And like the J said, I have nothing to be sad over because Mags is the same wonderful kid post eval as she was pre eval.

As a parent though to hear that your child is developmentally delayed and that her quirks and type of intelligence are markers of ASD, I'm not going to lie, even as I sit here typing this, weeks after the fact, I am still about to cry. Now, it also may very well be that her delays and indicators of ASD are solely related to communication and speech delay, and that once we get that mastered, as it were, everything will right itself. But to be told that that ones child will be in a special education pre-k classroom still hurts me. The J is very zen about this. Enter my guilt.

First of all, I know I have nothing to feel sad about or mourn, and this is why I feel guilty, reason number one. I'm worried about how the world or other kids or parents will treat her. She interacts with other children differently--she prefers either younger or older children, not really children her own age, and I saw a mother getting annoyed with me and my child the other day because I was so proud of Magpie for wanting to play, for taking the initiative in trying to engage another child, but this mother was leery of my child and did not like the Magpie was saying "come with me! come do this! come color! You color this!" (this was a younger child). I think the mother's annoyance was in part that she didn't want to have to supervise her child--I was watching both of them, but she wanted her kid to sit still. Anyway...

I also wonder if this is my fault. Should I have stopped pushing sooner and insisted on a c-section sooner to get her out rather than waiting until it was almost an emergency? Was my own selfishness in wanting a "natural birth" (+ epidural) a factor here? Or is it because of the c-section and my inability to nurse her that promoted allergies and thus something that makes her little body so different? I know I will drive myself crazy with this because I cannot go back in time and try something different. Nor would I want a child who is different than the spunky little feisty one I have. And I know that it is very selfish of me too to look at this as being all about me and my guilt, but I can't help it.

So this is the big stress right now. Worrying about my child. And trying to finish the SF chapter. This worry has caused me the most painful TMJ flare up I've had to date. More steroids. More valium. It's affected my ability to work on the sci-fi chapter and my summer job a little bit, and it's getting better. But it's not the best. Also, the J is gone for two weeks. Fortunately, my mom is here, otherwise, I'd be up the creek. And, we finally came to the realization that my meds were no longer working. I've got different ones. Upped the dose of the one I was on before and dramatically decreased the dose of the one I was one, so I have a little cocktail, but it seems to be working well so far.

Anyway, we've made some decisions though about the kid and about my work schedule (and my guilt). One, we're putting her in the public school where she can actually get a lot more help and therapy and attention that she needs than to keep her in the school she's at (although many of those same resources would be available to her, she'd be in a much larger room with more kids, and she needs to be in a room with fewer children right now). We are also NOT going to put her in an after school program this year either. She will have gymnastics one day a week and hopefully soccer one day a week, and the goal is for me to spend more time with her and give her calmer afternoons so that she might better adjust to school. The other part of this is that I am not taking on anything new this year. No new writing projects. Nothing. rather, we decided that lowering my stress this next year will be important for Magpie's success because it will mean less tension in the house over all. So we will focus on time together as a family next year rather than have the frenzy of deadlines and tenure looming over me day and night. She gets to stay home for the summer with my mom (which is going to save us over $1000 to put toward bills and the house down payment). Since she will start school early, I'm going to teach earlier in the morning so that the afternoons are not a rush. Of course my boss is going to have a duck that I want a different schedule now although she's the one who keeps telling me that I can't expect to have the same schedule all the time until I try to change it and then she yells at me for wanting something different than the year before. But that will not faze me.

I will be finishing the sci-fi chapter soon. I have been getting up early to work on it, but I realized this morning that I needed to do this instead. I knew I would be working on it most of the afternoon, so I needed a break from it, despite the looming deadline. When the chapter is finished, I will spend the rest of June putting together my tenure portfolio so that way it is about 90% done by the end of June, and then in the fall, I'll just have some odds and ends to take care of.

On July 1st, I'm going to start what will tentatively be called "The Happiness Project." I will have a separate blog link for this. It will be a year long project in which I will actively work toward becoming happy here. I am happy and I am not happy. If I were really "happy" or even truly content, I don't think I'd be having TMJ flare ups, guilt, be as depressed as I am (which I know that clinical depression has nothing to do with "being happy," but I think you know what I'm getting at here), be as stressed as I am, be unable to cope with life's stresses. Now this is not to say that I'm going to make the year stress free or that bad or very stressful things won't happen (I'm not picturing a perfect year), but rather what I'm working toward is a place that allows me not to be filled with hate when I go to work, with anxiety when I come home, with stress about how my clothes don't fit because I'm eating my anxiety. This will also involve trying to figure out how to deal with financial stress. I don't want Magpie, as she's getting older and more aware, to see that. She's already very sensitive to my (our) stress, and I don't want her to be in an environment that oozes that. And, there are things that *I* want to do that worrying about tenure, worrying about deadlines and publications hasn't allowed me to do these last six years (SIX YEARS! holy shit!).

This, this thing above, this has me hopeful. I realize how privileged I am to be able to do this. But I also feel like it's something that I *need* to do. And a lot of this is for my family and not just myself. So if you're interested, stay tuned.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Y'all, took some valium and had a little bit of wine last night--I know probably not the healthiest thing to do, but damn if that anxiety didn't just float the fuck away. I still feel the effects of the valium this morning, and I have a bit of a head cold, and still, when I think about certain colleagues I want to tell them to go fuck themselves, but as far as how I feel in general, I feel better, overall. I will get to work out tomorrow. I will get to go out of town for a day and a half this weekend (although the amount and level of family there is stressing me out a little bit, okay, a lot, but whatevs), but the J is coming home this afternoon/tonight, so I'll get to see him, and I should be done with grades by about 10:45 today.

I do sorta feel like just disappearing into my bed for a few days with absolutely no responsibility, no thoughts of work or scholarship, no tv, no books, no human contact. Just a few days to myself. But I'll have to take having the afternoon to myself as a substitute.

Anyway, I'm actually going to do something toward the damn sci-fi article now.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I think I need some valium. I have some. I don't like taking it, but I ran out of my meds on Sunday and just got them refilled this morning, and it's becoming increasingly clear to me that I cannot go without them. I cannot describe how I am feeling right now.

I am ready for the quarter to be done. I am so ready. I think I checked out about two weeks ago. A lot of us feel like this has been hands down one of our worst spring quarters in a long time. I wish the husband were home. I always feel like I'll get more done when he's gone, but it turns out that's not the case. It's like the good part of me goes on vacation and I just sit at home and watch unsolved mysteries until I fall asleep. I am having a ridiculously hard time coping with the enormous stress of this sci fi chapter that I cannot do.It is such a major mental block and I'm scared as hell. Even more daunted by it than I was my dissertation.

I want it to be done.

Perhaps though all will be better once the meds kick back in and I am a sane person again. I do not like how I feel right now. If I could go to bed, I totally would. As a matter of fact, I may just leave and go home. There's no point in my being here.

I'm going to do that. I will feel so much better.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Is it wrong that I'm having yet another day when I want to tell the world to just fuck off? It's weird, because I'm actually in a very good mood. I have the stress of the world in this sci-fi chapter hanging over my head, which I know the best cure for that is to just freaking do it and all will be well.

I'm just so done with this quarter. I really am. I have until Friday though. One class is done. Another is mostly done today. I'm tired of the bullshit here. I'm just tired. I'm looking forward to doing some things that I want to do. I want this summer to be relaxing.

Maybe I'm just still ornery from not getting much sleep Sunday night. My new glasses are a bit tight and I think giving me a headache. I want to go home, have lunch, put my pjs on, and do some work I want to do.

Anyway, that's all I got. I just needed to clear my head out before I started working on some other things. For those of you who are already done, I'm super jelly of you.