Just not in shape at the moment to write anything with transition sentences. After a summer of mostly Richard Armitage, this is mostly me. I should be able to get back to my planned writing projects regarding Armitage tomorrow or the next day, I think; they’re still important to me on their own terms and as self-exploration. These are all things I’d like to say more about but at the moment I just need get them all down and out.
- Not sure what I’d have done this summer without Obscura to meet up with every now and then — who gave me a wonderful long sendoff, as always her ears and shoulder, and also some delicious home-canned tomato juice.
- Drive was fine. I didn’t start it soon enough so the end was rough but I made it. Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes — I am always grateful for them.
- For those who asked: long drive soundtrack was mostly Richard Armitage’s reading of Venetia, which I fell in love with all over again, plus Will You Tolerate This? and Parent Hood. Oh, Armitage. How am I grateful to thee? Let me count the ways.
- I probably should say — for those who hadn’t already guessed it — that the job I took was an administrative position at my previous university. I’d been asked by my chair to apply after a pending retirement in the spring, although it was not my initial choice of what to do next. It involves no teaching and no research, which were two basic criteria for any job I took this year. Whether to do this and how was a matter of stomach-grinding anxiety on every level all summer and eventually I’ll try to explain as I publish the rest of the retroactive posts — taking this job and the decision to go to London were things that I juggled in mind every day for weeks — but probably the blog will only make sense going forward if you continue to know this little but significant fact.
- So yeah. I moved all the way home in June, and now I just moved all the way back. I am aggravated about this but that’s how public institutions work.
- I am sad not to be in Wisconsin. Sadder than most people around me realize.
- I am happy to have health insurance. The uncertainty in the Supreme Court decisions this summer meant that it was possible I might not qualify for subsidized health insurance while living in Wisconsin. For the record I am a big fan of the ACA but the lawmakers need to get their act together or it’s not going to help the people who need it most (of whom I am not even one — because I don’t have huge difficulties finding work that includes health insurance).
- I am happy to be resumé building and trying something different and looking forward to learning new things. This is a much more geographically portable role than professor was.
- What I absolutely have to write about soon is the whole question of career and identity vs the question of being an actor — I’ve approached this a few times this summer but I found myself thinking about it today and it is imperative that I explore that.
- Happy to have my favorite synagogue, my favorite bar, good colleagues, good work atmosphere (mostly) and Pesky back in my immediate ambit.
- I’m really worried about having left Dad. We have a couple of new mechanisms in place to help him out but I am worried they won’t work. However, we’re giving it a shot.
- Summary of the summer — my father and I are better friends than we were in June. There were a lot of rough moments. He hasn’t changed. But mom is gone. I need to write about this more, but it seems to me there were two consequences — first, she wasn’t counting on me to fight with him to get her home from the hospital (which I failed at, anyway), so I wasn’t approaching him all the time assuming conflict. That’s not surprising; the bigger realization is the second thing, which is that without mom present all the time, I could see the way that historically, she set me up for conflict with him. He still does not — and will never — see me for who I am, or have any respect for my choices. But mom’s self-imposed isolation due to the alcoholism meant that she set me up as her best friend on that level; for a long time I was the only person she could talk about it with, and those confidences meant that I was set up to dislike many things about him that were separate from that issue. Without her there it is easier for me to look at him clearly and realize that there are things I do like about him.
- Now in town again, I need to rent an apartment and surprisingly, I am finding myself drawn to options that are not the cheapest ones. I always just rented a box with a lock on the door. But if I am going to work forty hours a week I will have free time in the larger sense and maybe my surroundings are more important than I have realized in the last two decades.
- It’s only been one day, but I can already feel the possibility that without my emotional energies constantly engaged either by my research or my students and my worries about them — as they were when I was a professor — more creative energy will be available to be unleashed. It’s going to take some adjustment to the schedule, but ultimately I will have something like twenty-five more hours a week once I get used to it. I’m not going to escape emotional involvement, either by the nature of the work, or by nature of my personality, and of course there will be crunch periods as in any job: but I can see a life without a constant current of negative emotion that eventually takes up all my energy to suppress.
- So I can pursue implementation of the next phase of my hopes for 2014 — “no more shame, no more guilt” — no more nagging worries about everything I am not doing for my students or my research. Or — let us be honest — my father, who threatened to take up that space this summer. I am going to spend six months exploring and learning how not to be motivated by guilt, and to continue to be motivated by desire, my desire for creativity and flow.
More remains to be said but that much was necessary anyway. I should be back at the usual in a day or so. Thanks for listening.
At amazon. November??
Great article on Kristin Scott Thomas and career changes, via Old Vic Theatre on FB.
Got my relics.
I feel like Peter Jackson is better at this. And I need one of these!