Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Few random things

* I have to go home and do a workout (and I have Board Meeting tonight.) I am getting close to saying "Forget it, I'll just DEAL with GI issues and get up early to work out" because it is kind of a drag to try to make a half-hour or 40 minutes to do it at the end of the day. It really shouldn't be that way but it is. (I should feel more secure leaving a little early seeing as I come in at 7 am).

* Suddenly, it seems the concept of hygge is everywhere - this is a Danish thing, perhaps a bit like the German Gemutlichkeit  or English "coziness" but not quite. It's this undefinable concept of comfort and warmth and being at home and having people around that you care about. And much is made of how happy the Danes are. And I admit, I feel a little "outside looking in" on the hygge thing - I bought a little book on it and apparently other people are a necessary feature of it, and for someone who (a) lives far from family, (b) doesn't have a lot of close-by friends and (c) tends not to be that comfortable letting people into her house, it doesn't look really possible for me.

I don't know. I guess we're all searching for something that will make us happy. I was also thinking about the Marie Kondo stuff again today - and how really, that kind of minimalist, uncluttered mentality is a product of extreme privilege, in the sense that many of us cannot just divest ourselves of stuff we "might need someday" and then rebuy it when we need it. (The jar of nails and screws in the garage, the old t-shirts that could come in handy if I have to paint something). And I think of someone who lived in the dorm when I lived there (note that I did not refer to her as a friend). When winter came, she threw out all her fall clothes - "I don't want to drag them back to Colorado with me at the end of the school year, I can just buy new ones." A friend (my next-door dorm neighbor) and I pulled a late-night raid on the trashcan (thankfully nothing dirty had been thrown in there on top of them) and took them to a local thrift shop to drop off - because while neither of us wanted them, it seemed to us wasteful in the extreme to just throw out barely-worn clothes.

And actually, there's another dimension there - the effort in decluttering, sometimes. I had a colleague once comment to me "You know, you could have recycled that" one day when I threw a piece of paper in the trash.  But recycling here is a challenge - for one thing, paper must be shredded, and for another, larger volumes must be *taken* somewhere. And this was a bad day in a string of bad days and I admit I was hard pressed not to say "You know, YOU could go soak your head" in response. Because it was one of those "you haven't walked a mile in my shoes"

SO yeah, maybe it was dumb of that rich girl to throw her clothes in the trash, I don't know, but I will also say I have a stack of stuff at home I don't wear but haven't got to the Goodwill because of the effort of getting it down there.

But I guess we are all searching. And I find the idea of seeking hygge more appealing than the idea of sorting through every single possession I own and scanning my soul to see if it sparks joy in me, and pitching it if it does not.

* Ongoing follies in getting what I need for lab. The place that supplies the stuff dropped the ball in late December (after I had left). I called them again to re-get a quote. It took quite a while. Then they sent one - no item number and a cost of $0.00.

Now, I know it wasn't that I was going to get the chemicals I needed for free. But I thought, "Crud, does that mean they can't get them?" So I called to check. Turns out someone had a brain-cramp but still - that was the third time I had to call, and I think my secretary has called them twice. This is one of the real hidden costs of having a reduced support staff like we do - everyone else takes on extra jobs, and instead of there being one person who is good at this, and whose job it is to keep calling the suppliers and reminding them (and who maybe is good at being forceful and doesn't hate the phone), you get someone like me who's doing three or four different things having to remember to call too, and it takes a lot of emotional energy for me because I hate the phone and hate feeling like a "bother" even though it was the company's mess-up.

I just want this sorted.

* I also have to finish my post-tenure review packet. It needs to be in by Monday so I better do it all tomorrow and Friday. It's hard for me because it is very much "selling yourself" and I realized that I have a very hard time playing up things I feel like "everyone should be doing" (when actually not everyone does, at least not everyone in other departments) and I also feel very much like this is making Dorodango (or, there's a much coarser metaphor about polishing something....) because nothing I've really done is that great or exciting or outstanding. I mean, I haven't OBSTRUCTED progress but I'm also not a superstar, and it's hard in the way the world works now for me to feel like I'm worth keeping on when I'm not a superstar. I have done what needed to be done, taught all my classes, covered all the material, published a few papers - and yet, it just feels like I could have done MORE, somehow.

(*He is also up for post-tenure review. And yes, this is supposed to be a low-stress process and I am probably making it out to be worse than it is, but I'm still running a little scared after seeing that one colleague be let go last year. I have trust issues; I cannot quite trust that tenure will protect me or that what I've done in the past is good enough, I have a fear I have some Permanent Record somewhere where I am on double secret probation and I am one refusal to do some recruiting event or one mistake in class away from being out on my ear....not because of my department, I trust them, but some nebulous higher-up who controls the purse strings)

Doesn't help that the model packet I have is from a colleague who IS kind of a superstar, and so I look at it and go "Well, crud. I haven't done 10% of this. Why am I still even employed?" Another colleague talked me in a bit from the ledge when I confessed to him the other day* that I felt very inadequate compared to FishMan. And my colleague said, "You are aware, aren't you, that he's a freak of nature?" meaning he does far more than is expected and more than the rest of us.

But still. I'm dragging my feet worse on this than on anything because I do feel inadequate. I always see what I could have done but did not.

Tomorrow. I have to put this all together tomorrow. I have my old evaluation packets (well, two of the three - the third I can probably cobble back up from my computer's memory), and my letter, and my vita, and that's all I need, and I just need to hole-punch it and put it in a binder. Once it's done I'll feel better.

Though yeah. I wish I had someone who would cheerlead me a little and tell me I'm really okay and I need to not worry about this.

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I love the "you know he is a freak of nature" comment.

You CAN do this, You ARE good at this. I know it.