Wednesday, May 31, 2017

almost home time

Well, it's always complicated.

My mom wrote down the 29th as my departure day on the calendar, and then made a doctor's appointment for my dad. (Because of his eyes, specifically lack of peripheral vision in the left eye, he doesn't really drive any more).

But when she tried to change it, the next open time was in August. (I guess I am lucky with my doctor; then again, she is a DO instead of a specialist, and I think most of her practice is fairly young people). So we figured we'd wing it...

Then my train time got changed, from 4:04 pm to 5:04 pm. Okay then - probably enough time for her to get back here, drop me off, and all. Now it's 4:54, and as of NOW it's supposed to get in at 4:49. So I'm sweating a little, though my mom said she could leave my dad at the doctor's, and if things get REALLY bad I can call the financial secretary at their church (a friend of theirs), and SHE will take me over. (As I said: extremely complicated. And this is something I always have to adapt to when visiting any family - conflicting schedules and also things like people who cannot decide if they want to go out to eat for Italian or at a steakhouse, when I am perfectly OK with either)

I found out the "travel change" I faced is fairly minor: trackwork means I get off at Longview, get on a bus for an hour, get driven to Mineola. That's okay; that's easier than coming up was.

Except my suitcase seems heavier despite dropping off a few things (gifts) and even mailing back a couple books and some clothing. I did acquire two new dresses: the one I made and also a super-amazing deal from the Von Maur (a blue patterned knit dress with a pleated skirt that was originally $128, on sale for $32 because it's apparently out of season, but the style is simple enough that it won't look dated).

And a latch-hook kit. I found the 18" x 24" zebra latch hook kit that I think I started in high school, and I decided to finish it up now and take it home and turn it into a little floor mat to go beside my bed. (It probably holds the record for the project I've worked on - well, mostly off - for the longest).

Two other pieces of good news:

- I start piano lessons next Thursday for the summer. I was concerned that my teacher wouldn't be available given the long delay (I never got in touch with her when we started DST, which is the normal "start evening lessons back up" time)

- AND: that paper I worked so hard on over spring break, and so I didn't travel? Was accepted with revisions. And I can get right on those when I get back, since I don't have summer classes to teach. I'm glad I did it now - at first I didn't think I would have enough information for it, and I didn't bother to write one, until my old graduate advisor (who is the editor of the proceedings) e-mailed me and asked me if I could write something up.

And I admit I thought, "How humiliated will I feel after he asked me and what I turn out isn't good enough?" but I think something I need to learn - something I need to get used to - is being less afraid of "failure" in that sense. A colleague mentioned something towards the end of the semester that struck me, because I never thought of things that way so much. He noted that some of his students seem very uptight about the papers they write, and that they fear he will dislike them if they write a poor paper or earn a poor grade. And he said, with some frustration: "I wish they could learn that writing one poor paper doesn't make them a bad person."

Okay. Epiphany time, because that's kind of how I've thought. Well, maybe not "bad" person (in the sense of morally bad; to be a "bad" person in that way over a paper would require writing one inciting violence or that was plagiarized). But somehow, that doing less than a stellar job on everything makes me somehow a less-respectable person, and lessens me in people's eyes.

And that's....probably not true. (And maybe that's one of the reasons, without realizing it, that I love my time at church so much; I know the people there love me for me and not for what I've done). For so long I've gone along feeling like I'm only as good as my last achievement, and when that starts to fade, I have to do something ELSE really well so that people will still respect me. (And I think it's probably tied up with the "do thankless tasks for other people so they will like you" mentality I've had since I was a schoolgirl).

So I don't know. Maybe I have to somehow teach myself that "one poor paper is just one poor paper" and to take more risks with submit more write-ups of research where I think there's "not enough," to do more small studies that seem too simple, maybe even to push forward and try for grants that it doesn't seem likely I would get. And that failure isn't disgrace, it's just....things not having been right for whatever to work out. I don't mean that's license for me to do things in a slipshod way, but there are times when I COULD have done something but was too afraid of failing at it to want to try it....I don't know.

At any rate: in a couple hours I will be on my way home. I have things to do but at least will have a schedule this summer largely of my own making.

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