Summer’s End

I’m back. I’ve been back for four days, actually. I returned very late Sunday night to a house in full quarantine and spent Monday caring for my sick family. My husband ended up staying home until Wednesday, he was in such bad shape. So far I have managed to avoid this scourge, but caring for everyone else has made it hard to find time to write.

The other thing making it hard to write is my looming to-do list. On the plane ride home it hit me like a sucker punch to the face: I only have two more weeks left with some time to myself on the weekdays. Then one week with me and both kids at home. Then summer is officially over.

It always feels like so much time when the summer starts: a decadent, luxurious expanse of weeks during which so much might get done, but in the end my accomplishments never seem to amount to much. The reality is I only ever have 4-5 hours a day to myself, and when an errand takes 1-2 hours, plus I’m trying to train for half marathon, well that time slips past fast. Not that I’m complaining. Shopping at Cost.co on a weekday morning is as leisurely a way to spend a summer day as I could hope for, and it was wonderful to be able to plan my runs at a time when they didn’t inconvenience anyone else. The truth is I also spent a lot of the summer meeting up with other people, and that is always an aspiration of mine. I guess the point is you can’t have it all, especially when you’re having a lot of really awesome shit like beautiful long runs, lunch and walks with friends, and running errands in the off hours (god I love running errands in the off hours–weekend errands suck!).

So I’m flying home and it hits me that I have two weeks to get the most pertinent things on my summer to-do list done. I drafted a list in my head, then wrote it all down in an app and as soon as the kids went back to camp and daycare on Tuesday I got started. The last couple of days have been a blur of marked off bullet point boxes as I’ve itemized the cloth diapers and put them up on Craigslist, complied the photos from our St. Louis trip and designed the memory book all my aunts requested I make again, researched humane but effective mouse traps (sorry mice, but I can no longer ignore your destructive presence in my garage), culled the kids’ toy boxes and closets, and started actually dropping off out-going bags of crap at their respective final destinations. By the first day of school I want my wardrobe to be reduced to only the essentials, the kitchen to be free of random kids cups and Tupperware without matching lids, my bedroom to be orderly (yes, even my husband’s side), and every last thing I don’t want anymore to be out of my house. I doubt all those things will get done, but a girl can dream.

In the meantime, I’m back to reading blogs again and realizing that one of the reasons it was nice to be away is the lost feeling I get when I’m reading other people’s words, especially when those other people seem to have all the answers. How is it that so many people, most of them not much older than me, seem to know exactly what they are doing in life and I’m still wandering around with way more questions than answers? I have no idea what I want my life to look like, or what long term goals I’m trying to achieve, let alone an action plan for how I might get where I’ll eventually want to go. Instead I read a bunch of people who have all those things, trying to determine if I should follow their lead. The thing is, all of their lives sound really nice, especially since they’re already well on their way to achieving their dreams (or already have achieved them) and it wasn’t even all that hard for them to get there because they are just honoring who they are, not changing to become who they want to be. In the end I just want to be living with intention, but it’s hard to be intentional when you don’t know what you’re intending. I just don’t understand how the question, “who do you want to be?” is still one I’m grappling with, but it absolutely is. And I’m worried I’m not going to know the answer until it’s too late and the habits are too ingrained and there are no opportunities left to change course.

But really, that all sounds more angsty than I actually feel. When it comes down to it I had a really good summer, my husband and I are on great terms, the downtime away from kids and work have allowed me to catch glimpses of myself as the mother I want to be, and I’m no longer just resigned to the new school year, but fostering some hope that it might be worthwhile (and I’m definitely appreciating my full salary (plus a 1.5% raise!) along with the ability to take my daughter to school).

I’m also definitely looking forward to the following school year (2017-18), which feels full of possibility. I have this coming year to really look for a new job, my kids will finally be almost 4 and 7, which seems like it will be much easier than almost 3 and 6, and my birthday will be 7/17/17, on which I will turn 37 and 7 is my lucky number so really, how could it not be a fantastic fucking year?! (Made-up birthday numerology never lies.)

So that is where I’m at. I wanted my first post back to be about the amazing time I had in Colorado with three women that I knew but had never met, but I needed to get this out first (and now that I have, that post should be up quickly). The end of summer is always hard, but I also always find a small seedling of hope sprouting inside me, despite the challenges to come. At the beginning of this summer I felt beat down and broken, but now I feel ready to start again. If that doesn’t suggest a worthwhile six weeks (no matter what officially got done), I don’t know what does.

How was your summer? Do you feel ready for the new school year to begin?

Three months off FB

I’ve been off FB for over three months now, and I feel like I should have something profound to say about that. Except I don’t, really.

I can tell by the way people react when I tell them I’ve deactivated my account that they don’t really get it. They’ve read enough articles (or at least been exposed to the sound bites) to know that people are generally less satisfied with their own lives when they’re on FB a lot, that studies show it doesn’t make people happier, so they can nod their head as they furrow their brows and pretend like they don’t think I’m a weirdo. I think most of them assume I’ll be back, any day now, when I realize what a massive mistake it is to stay away.

I don’t think it’s a mistake, and I plan to stay away, at least for the time being. It’s not that there aren’t things about FB that I miss–I wouldn’t have stayed on for so many years if it had nothing positive to offer–but I can’t help but acknowledge that I’m happier not participating than I was before.

Do I miss seeing pictures of my friends and families and their kids? Yes. Absolutely. I do miss that. Sometimes a lot. But the truth is, one picture every few weeks (or even months) is plenty for me. I don’t need to see every picture of every person that I know, every day. I just don’t. I also don’t need to know all about all the things they are doing. In fact, knowing all that stressed me out, in ways I didn’t even realize.

You could say that I left when I recognized that FB inspired feelings of envy or jealously or coveting, or when I got sick of comparing my life to everyone’s highlight reel. That is probably why I left. But having spent three months away, I realize that the negative effects were far more insidious. The reality is I simply couldn’t process that amount of information. I didn’t know what to do with all the thousands of images and experiences being offered up by everyone I knew. I didn’t have any place to put them. They were constantly bumping against my own ideas, trying to find a space to land, but there simply wasn’t anywhere for them to go. My mind became more crowded and cluttered, while I became distracted and unhappy.

Do I know less about my friends these days… yes! And I actually think that is a good thing. Now when I talk to them we have interesting subjects to cover. Now when they text me a picture I can take the time to enjoy it, and then file it away in a manageable archive devoted to that person. I can take the time to actually think about them and their kids, and process information about their lives in a meaningful way that inspires connection.

And I’ll be honest, it is easier to feel fulfilled in my own life when I’m not constantly bombarded by the highlights of everyone else’s. I’m sure I feel less dissassifyed now that I’m not seeing everyone’s amazing vacations and get togethers with friends. I wish I could consume that kind of information day in and day out and not be negatively affected but it just wasn’t something I could manage. 

Last Sunday was my birthday, my first birthday off of FB. I wondered how it would feel without the 100+ salutations from well-meaning “friends” that I hardly know. I’ve always quite liked and appreciated the birthday wishes on FB, at least from the people who mean something to me, but not having that acknowledgement wasn’t so bad. A few close friends remembered despite not having FB to tell them (and a few close friends forgot, and then felt bad, but I didn’t mind). Birthdays don’t mean that much to me anymore and I’m not upset when a friend, even a good friend, forgets to text me happy birthday. I didn’t even get a handmade card from my own husband or kids so I wasn’t expecting (and didn’t get) much. And you know what, it was fine and now it’s over and I’m not disappointed looking back. It’s just a day, and I don’t need a bunch of people who only know to say Happy Birthday because a website tells them to write something on my wall. 

I do think FB has made us lazier in our connecting with other people. And when someone is not on it, it’s easy to forget them. Which I understand, but I think is sad, in a way. 

The one thing I do recognize as a powerful connecting force on FB are the groups. I hear about the connections people have through their groups and they do sound effective at bringing people together to provide support and understanding. By the time I left I wasn’t a part of any active groups anymore (the ones I were a part of were smaller and fell into disuse), and that is probably why I was ultimately able to leave. Without that more authentic opportunity to connect with people, the site lost it’s ability to truly bring me closer to others in a way I felt was meaningful. 

Not being in FB is a surprisingly powerful gesture–people read into it in ways I didn’t anticipate. I feel like I should have greater insights into how I feel now that I’m not on it anymore, but I don’t. All I know is that I think about going back sometimes, and there are compelling reasons to do so, but in the end I just can’t click the reactivate button. I just can’t commit to the chaos that is FB, especially not in the fraught political landscape of this election year. So for now I’ll stay away, always open to the possibility of retuning. Maybe after a few more months I’ll have something productive to say about my absence from the world’s biggest social media site, but probably not. 

Have you ever taken a break from FB? Would you consider taking one now?

My Week of Media Deprivation

On the first day I danced while doing the dishes.

I approached the week of media deprivation with only mild curiosity. I didn’t have high expectations, but I also didn’t have much else to do. In the end I figured, why not?

I don’t even know if it really counted, the week of media deprivation. I was texting with people and I read The BFG aloud to my daughter. In the end I only had a few emails to read and respond to. Really, I was abstaining from blogs, audiobooks and podcasts. To be fair, I do spend quite a bit of every day listening to and reading stuff, so even with the texts and read-aloud with my daughter, it felt like I was attempting media deprivation of some sort.

Music was allowed, which was a relief because running with nothing would have been wretched. The thing is I don’t listen to music anymore, like hardly ever. It used to be such a tremendously important part of my life, but as the years have passed I stopped listening to melodies and started listening to stories.

On the first day I stared at Spotify for fifteen minutes; I had no idea what I should listen to.

Then I pulled up a Spanish song one of my students shared last year that I remembered liking and listened to that. It was great. I listened to it again. I listened to more songs by that artist. Before I knew it I was dancing around my kitchen.

I never dance. It’s just not something I like doing, but that first day I couldn’t help myself. It was fun.

I had to admit that I never would have danced in my kitchen if I weren’t trying to avoid reading, and I decided that maybe there really was something to this media deprivation idea.

On the second day I noticed houses I’d never seen before on the walk to the train station. Houses I’ve passed a hundred times in the past four years, that somehow I never really saw. I noticed other things too. Beautiful things. Magical things. Ordinary things that upon greater inspection were actually extraordinary.

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I heard birds, smelled flowers, caught glimpses of conversations that piqued my interest. I looked into the faces of the people that passed me on the sidewalk. I actually experienced the world around me. What a concept!

On the third day I invented games with my kids at the playground. I talked to them while I pushed them on the swings and chased after them instead of looking down at my phone.

On the fourth day I finished a puzzle in silence. I was really itching to read or watch something that night, but I knew I shouldn’t. I had done all the dishes for my husband, hoping we could hang out, but he was busy with other stuff so I had him make me a cocktail and I pulled out a 200 piece puzzle of the solar system that we had never attempted. Then I slowly, methodically, finished it (and the cocktail) without saying a word. It was an extremely meditative experience.

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On the fifth day I went out to dinner with my husband and had really great sex. I realized it was easier to be present and engaged in a conversation when I didn’t have so much random information bouncing around in my head. We also had a lot to talk about because I was totally ignorant of all the interesting things that had been happening in the world that week. It was one of the more genuinely enjoyable conversations we’ve had in a long while. Then we went home, put our kids to bed, and had some fantastic sex–which I attribute to the feelings of affection and connection inspired by the great conversation at dinner.

On the sixth day I chatted with friends at the park for three hours. All week I was much more inclined to reach out to people and make plans knowing that I couldn’t fall back on “interacting with others” by reading and commenting on blogs. I ended up having lunch with one friend, coffee with another, taking a walk with a third and meeting up for playdate with some more. I don’t know if I would have prompted any of those meet-ups if I’d had blogs and audiobooks to distract me and help stave off the loneliness.

On the seventh day I ran my fastest tempo splits of my half-marathon training. I had been perfecting a mix of great songs to run to and I noticed that I run faster to music that pushes me than I do when I’m listening to audiobooks or podcasts. Running with music is much more meditative (I don’t really think about anything except my body in that moment) and I feel more invigorated after I run with music than I do if I’m listening to talking of some kind.

Yesterday morning I woke up excited to be able to read again, but quickly felt overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of words and ideas bouncing around in my head. I really do think that all the reading I do makes me significantly more distracted and less aware of my actual life. Knowing so much about everyone else’s experiences makes it hard for me to unravel how I feel about my own. That is not to say that I get nothing positive from writing here and reading blogs and listening to audiobooks, but I know now that I have to drastically overhaul the ways in which I consume other people’s words to take advantage of the good while avoiding the bad. I’m not quite sure what changes I’m going to make, but I am sure that I don’t want to go back to consuming media in the ways I used to. I’ve felt more settled and less anxious in the past week than I have in a long time, and I hope to find a way to protect this feeling, while still enjoying the connective power of the written word. There has to be a way to balance the good and the bad. I will keep you informed of my attempts.

Would you consider a week of media deprivation? What do you think you’d learn?

Trip Recap: Highs and Lows

The trip to St. Louis was a heady mixture of highs and lows. I want to record them because I might need a little reminding if we try to go again next year.

THE HIGHS

The actual farm was amazing. The quarry lake was incredibly beautiful, and the water was perfect. The house was gorgeous, and so big (8,400 sq ft!–you could fit the living space of my house in it SEVEN TIMES!) that even with over 20 people there it never felt crowded. The little pool was a fun alternative to the quarry, and the creeks were great escapes to explore.

There is a ton of fun stuff to do in St. Louis, and a lot of is free (or cheap). We hit up the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, the City Museum, the Science Center and this incredible neighborhood pool that has two water slides and a great kid’s water area.

On the days when it wasn’t raining the weather was really beautiful. My kids are born and raised in San Francisco where it is cool and dry all year long; anything over 80* feels stifling to them. We went out on the last day and with the humidity the “real feel” was well into the high 90’s and they were wilting just two steps out the front door. They really would have struggled if it had been that hot the whole time (which it was for the two weeks before we got there).

It was great to see my aunts, uncles and cousins for such an extended period. We were even in town when my oldest cousin’s third son was born–a much hoped for little boy (after two girls). It was exciting to meet him only days after his arrival.

I was able to get my five runs in with no problem, and I really appreciate that time away from my kids. Most of the runs weren’t even that hot and I only had to run in the rain once.

“The cousins”–my kids and my cousin’s kids–got along amazingly well. My daughter and her cousin B are the same age and have already spent other summers playing together really well, but you never know how a year (and a lot of growing up) will change the dynamic. The two girls were immediately best of friends again and didn’t have any issues until the very last day of the trip (and they were minor). My son was only 6 months old the last time we were in St. Louis (and he’s only two so he doesn’t really play with his “friends” much anyway) so I wasn’t sure if the boys were going to play much together. To my surprise they were instant friends and actually interacted with each other animatedly the entire time. My cousin’s son is almost a year older than mine, but they really played great, which was awesome. My daughter didn’t stop “parallel playing” until she was four or five so I was really surprised by how much actual interacting they did. It was great.

THE LOWS

It rained. And it rained. And it rained. It rained a shit ton, and it was rarely the kind of rain you could go play in. It was either light rain but too cold (mid-60’s) or warm out but a torrential down pour (with intermittent thunder and lightening to spice things up). Basically the rain kept us inside for about 2/3’s of the 10 day trip, which was hard when pretty much everything we wanted to do was outside.

Of course when we were outside there were the bugs to contend with. A family of wasps warred with us over domination of the dock at the quarry. Mosquitos attacked in droves every chance they got. Chiggers left itchy red bumps after a walk in the grass. By the time I got home every part of my body had multiple bites. I’m still scratching weeks later!

Sleeping in the same room with my two kids was seriously challenging. At my grandmother’s house there was barely room to shuffle around the beds once my son’s blow up bed was out. At the farm there was way more space for us, but the real difficulty was the nightly ritual of my kids refusing to go to sleep for 2-3 hours. Of course they never really got off California time, so we weren’t even attempting bedtime until 9pm, which meant they weren’t actually asleep until 11pm or midnight, and I missed most of the fun evening festivities. This was a huge bummer at the farm, where I could hear my cousins laughing and having a merry time while I wordlessly deposited my maniacal two year old back into his blow up bed over and over and over again. It takes me kids 2+ hours to fall asleep at home every night too, but at least at home I can just leave their room and let them mess around until sleep finally overtakes them. In St. Louis I had to stay with them for the entire excruciating 2+ hours every night, otherwise they would go through drawers and topple expensive lamps as they climbed all over everything. It was NOT FUN.

My grandmother is 90 years old and not doing well. Her dementia is pretty bad and mostly she just says the same ten things on repeat. Her house cannot comfortably accommodate my family of four, plus my parents and sister, but she would be absolutely devastated if we stayed somewhere else. She doesn’t really know how to interact with my kids and is constantly saying things to them that makes me feel frustrated or uncomfortable. We spent over half of the trip at her house and it was very stressful. I don’t think I can handle staying there again.

Being with my parents on a trip like this can be awkward. My mother says she will help but she doesn’t end up being all that helpful. She is amazing with my kids when she has them for a weekend or overnight–totally capable and unfazed–but when I’m around she doesn’t quite know how to step in and be useful. My husband was only with us for four of the ten days and he didn’t fly with us in either direction, so I was mostly on my own with my two kids for half of the trip. (To be fair, my mother did accompany me to the City Museum and the Science Center, both of which would have been impossible to navigate with two kids of such different ages and abilities, especially with how crowded both spaces were–we went on rainy days when everyone else was trying to escape the rain too–I was VERY grateful for that).

My kids are both “spirited” and “high energy” and they do best with routines and structure. Obviously there was little of either on this trip and they both responded with challenging behaviors. There was a ton of bribing, cajoling, and begging through gritted teeth. (There was also a ton of screen time, especially on the rainy days). I wondered a lot what my extended family thought. I think it was the first time my mother really got to see why I find parenting so challenging (my daughter behaves very differently at her grandparents’ houses). She had actually been giving me a hard time for putting my daughter in so many camps this summer, but at the end of the trip she came over of her own accord and whispered, “Well, now I know why you have her in so many camps, and I don’t blame you!” I will admit, I did appreciate the validation.

We really felt the loss of my aunt on this trip, as we would have spent a lot of time with her if she were still with us. My mom did spend a lot of time with her husband, who is not doing well at all (not surprisingly). It was just really hard to make space for grief and mourning on top of everything else.

 

So that was our trip. The take away seems to be stay a day or two less than you think you’ll want, get direct flights no matter what the costs (we had direct flights and I was SO THANKFUL), keep expectations reasonable and remember THE WEATHER MAY NOT COOPERATE. But also remember: even if that happens, it will be okay.

Deep in the Solitaire 

Tomorrow I start a media deprivation week. No reading (except emails that require a response and texts) or podcasts or TV for a week. I’m working through The Artist’s Way and the power and possibility of a week of media deprivation is heavily touted. I’m terrified, which means I definitely need to do it. 

When I told my husband he laughed and responded: So…you’ll be deep in the Solitaire then. 

The thing is I’m already deep in the Solitaire. I still play over a dozen games a day. It’s the mindless way I pass the time when there are no posts to read. It is still the filler that has taken the place of FB, which I left over three months ago. 

There are only so many games of Solitaire a person can play. Even if that person is me. 

What will I do with myself if I can’t ingest other people’s words?! I have absolutely no idea, and honestly I’m not all that excited to find out. But I want to see this through, because I know I am addicted to the distraction and I need to break the habit, at least for a little while. 

I have some projects to tackle around the house. I might ask my parents if they have some 1000 piece puzzle lying around. I’ll ask friends out for lunch. I’ll listen to music. 

God, it’s been a LONG time since I listened to music. 

And I’ll write. I’m sure I’ll write. Quite possibly a lot. But I won’t be publishing my posts because I can’t read the comments to respond and I don’t like not responding to comments. So I’ll write and put the posts up later. 

The hardest part will not be reading posts in my reader. That is why I’m even putting this out there, so you all know why I’m not commenting. I promise I’ll catch up after next week. I’m sorry I won’t be around until then. 

Deep in the Solitaire. That’s where I’ll be. 

Re-entry 

We’re back from St. Louis. We got home last night. I was so very ready to come home.

In the end the trip was fine. It wasn’t what I hoped it would be, but I got to experience bits and pieces of what I was looking forward to. I intend to write a post about what was awesome and what was…less so, because I do want to remember how I felt during this trip so I might have more realistic expectations for the next time we go. 

This weekend will be about slowly detoxing the kids from the treats and screen time. I’m weening them off slowly. There will be some rough moments but we’ll get through. 

Monday is a big day. My daughter starts a new four-week camp and my son starts in the bigger-kid room. He isn’t actually three yet but they are moving him up because they think he does better with older children who model more mature behavior. He spends most of his time with his 6-year-old sister so I’m not worried about them moving him up early, but I know he’s going to miss his old teachers a lot. (I suspect they are also trying to separate him from the boy he has bit four times, which I appreciate immensely.)

It’s strange to be back from our trip, which was the “thing” we were looking toward for so many months. Now that it’s over the only thing to look toward is the start of the new school year, and I still can’t do that without feeling depressed. I have a fun trip planned in a couple weeks so I’m focusing on that, and everything I want to get done around the house before the summer is over. There is so much to get done, and now that I’ve endured, I mean enjoyed, my vacation, and I can make some headway. 

There are five weeks of summer left. I intend to make the best of them. 

The Farm

My uncle’s farm is the most amazing place. It’s truly a hidden paradise. 


We got here on Friday and the weather was beautiful. We swam in the quarry and took out the boat. 

We woke up on Saturday to pouring rain and it’s still raining now on Sunday. It’s surprisingly too cold to play outside, but the house is big and the kids are playing with their cousins. The weather is supposed to get better tomorrow. 

This house is amazing, but I can’t wait for the sun to come out tomorrow. 

AWOL

I’m going to be AWOL for a bit I think. There isn’t much time for writing here in St. Louis. The kids aren’t sleeping much and we’re all sharing a room. You know how these things go. 

Of course it’s supposed to rain with thunderstorms for the entire five days we’re at “the farm,” where every fun activity involves being outside. I don’t mind the rain, as it will still be warm, but we can’t be out in it if there is lightening. 

One of the reasons I haven’t been writing much is I’m just in a bummer place. Not even having a shot at getting that job really took me down. It’s taken a few days for me to get resigned enough about my schedule next year so that I don’t cry every time I think about it. I’m just so disappointed in myself, mired in regret, for not trying to get a new job this spring, for not trying to get a new job five years ago, for waiting so long I might never be able to take the pay cut and make the move. 

But I still have a job, one that pays well and is secure (at least having some position within the district is secure, if not what I actually teach) and after watching my dad suffer six years of unemployed, I don’t take that for granted. 

For now I’m trying to focus on our trip and seeing family. The weather may interfere with our plans, and we may be getting no sleep, but I do appreciate seeing my aunts, uncles and cousins. 

At least there’s that. 

Filled

Thank you all for your advice on following up after submitting my application.

I sent a follow up email this morning and immediately got an Out of Office reply. This seemed like a good sign; the principal had been gone for the past week and would return soon. Maybe then I’d hear from her.

Instead I got a response an hour later: The position has already been filled but best of luck to you.

I’m really disappointed to miss out on such a unique position in which I think I’d really excel, but in the end the real devastation lies in my nightmare schedule and the fact that now it is my definitive reality for next year. There is not one bright spot in my entire week. It’s going to be such a long year.

I know I’ll eventually turn around my thinking and start to focus on how I can make this a learning year that benefits me in some way…

But right now I’m just feeling sad. Really, really sad. I didn’t realize that the possibility of this other job was keeping the anger and disappointment about next year at bay, but now that the possibility is gone I am feeling the weight of it, heavy on my heart. My schedule is a disaster. Most of my friends have left. Our entire campus is under construction. This school year will rival, if not surpass, my worst experiences teaching.

I guess I better enjoy my summer.

 

Submitted

I submitted my application yesterday afternoon.

My principal friend recommended I wait until Monday in the hopes that my former principal would pull through with the letter of rec (just as you all did). She also gave me a few notes on my cover letter, so I made those changes.

Surprisingly, my former principal responded to a text I sent Sunday afternoon, saying he’d get me the letter Monday morning. I finally received it at 2pm, and immediately submitted my application.

It feels good to have it done.

I know I probably won’t even get an interview, but I’m proud of myself for finally applying. That is a big step, one I’ve avoided for years.

I looked online to see if/when one should follow up on an application submission. Of course the advice was totally contradictory. One article said to follow up with a phone call 48-72 hours later. Another suggested something less intrusive (like an email) after about a week. One was vehemently opposed to any kind of follow up. The only advice I’m sure I’ll follow is to check my spam folder regularly, in case any kind of response ends up there.

In the meantime, I have plenty to focus on at home. Today I cleaned out the garage, which desperately needed it. Tomorrow I plan on hitting up Cost.co (so excited to go on a week day morning!) and looking for a new bathing suit (ugh!). I plan on KonMari-ing all the junk in my house, which should be interesting. I’m going to take a giant bag and just dump any miscellaneous shit from drawers, counter tops, and random receptacles and dump it all on the floor of the living room. Hopefully, a couple hours later most of it will be in the trash. Also, my mother has requested I go through the last of my boxes at her house and for some reason is adamant I do that this week, so that fun task is on the docket. I might have jury duty (I have to recheck every afternoon for a week), which is an ever present source of anxiety. And of course I need to pack for our two weeks in St. Louis. Yes, there will be plenty to keep me occupied, and hopefully by the time we get back from our trip, I’ll have forgotten I even applied for a job.

I think right now I’m balancing the tension well, delicately maintaining the scales between hoping I get it enough to maintain the conviction necessary to accept the pay cut and take the job, if it’s offered, and not wanting it so much that I’ll be devastated when I have to return to my horrible job this fall. The reality is I’ll be devastated at my old job no matter what this year, I don’t need to disappointed of not getting this job to magnify it.

It’s definitely easier now that the hard work is done, and I don’t need to glorify the position to keep myself motivated enough to push through the torture that is writing and rewriting a cover letter. Now I can let it all fall into the background, and watch to see how long it take the small floating candle of hope to extinguish.

I’m guessing it’s got three to four weeks.