Decisions and Goals

Lately I seem to alternate between making a lot of goals, following them closely for a short while, and then abandoning all pretense of self-improvement by spending my precious free time eating ice cream and watching episodes of The Closer on DVD. I think I need more balance in my life. Although, I read the other day that trying to achieve 'balance' is an illusion and that we can never really have balance between all elements of our lives. I think I like that better; I can't be and do everything so I'm not even going to try. The hardest part is figuring out what is essential and what can be pruned and left behind.

Some of my bigger goals for the year are really hopes, because I don't have much control over the outcome. First of all, I want to get a 'real' job, meaning one which has regular daytime hours, decent pay, and benefits. I like both my jobs now; well, I love my library one and I tolerate the other one. However, I feel like I'm holding my breath waiting for the rest of my life to begin. I know that's a false expectation and I need to get rid of it, but I'm not a 'wait and see' kind of person. I like routine, order, and certainty. My current situation is driving me a little nuts, even though every day I make a conscious decision to enjoy the things I have. I'm home quite a lot during the day; I'm almost always here when the kids get home from school and I have a fair amount of flexibility built into my schedule as well as two full days off a week (plus Sundays). Tonight at an adjunct meeting they announced that several permanent, full-time positions will be opening up for next school year. I'm thinking seriously about applying even though I don't know what my chances of getting one will be. The idea of teaching full-time is both appalling and appealing. Appalling because I feel like teaching already takes over my life and my time and teaching even more sections feels like torture; appealing because I would have my evenings free again (and possibly work most of my schedule during elementary school hours) and I would have a salary and actual office time to grade and prepare lesson plans. I guess I'll have to apply for the job and see what happens. It might be the best thing to do for the next few years until the kids are older and are all in school full-time. 

I'm also trying to make a decision about what to do with my tax return money this year. Due to a variety of factors, I'm receiving a fair amount of money. For right now I'm sitting on it in savings because I don't have health insurance and it's best to be prepared for emergencies. I have been dreaming of other things I could do with it. The most sensible thing would probably be paying off my student loan--it would be nice to be free from that. After that, the next possibility on the list is replacing the gutters on the house because they leak all over every time it rains or snows. After that, well, my mind is full of ideas. Ideas that tempt me to not fully pay off the student loan. Like redecorating some rooms in the house, buying a new bicycle, a new camera, a new dryer, fixing up the backyard, traveling, and so on. It's amazing how easy it is to thing of things I 'need'. Most of the time I'm pretty content with my life and the things I have, and yet it is also so simple to decide it isn't enough.

And, as much as I'd love a new dryer or a fancy new bike, one of my main goals for this year is to get P.Bibby potty trained by the end of December. As long as I'm wishing for things that aren't totally in my control. I guess in that vein, my final 'goal' for 2012 is to go on a date before the end of the year. I've still got ten months: how much do you think I can accomplish?


rantipoler said…
Maybe teaching full time would mean health insurance, and then you could use that money for something fun! :)
M said…
Teaching full time has been good for me. Grading is MADNESS with a 4-4 load, but I do it when kids are asleep, which is nice. I haven't made great dissertation progress, but it's working for us.

It's really nice to have office space/hours, and good benefits (when Bee broke her arm last summer, 2 days after my new insurance kicked in thank goodness, we only ended up paying about $250 out of pocket - and I can take J to the doctor for his recurring ear infections without worrying that it will break the bank since it's covered).

My two cents. :-)
FoxyJ said…
It is a benefitted position, with a 4-4 load. The idea of grading 80+ papers five times a semester makes me want to cry, but health insurance, an actual office, and a good schedule are really powerful incentives. I don't want to teach freshman composition for the rest of my life, but I could handle it for a few years until the kids are older. I don't know what the competition for the open positions is, but I'm willing to find out.

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