Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm more brilliant in my head

Hey my semi-faithful readers! Did you know that I compose posts in my head at night before I fall asleep? Approximately 0% of those posts actually get written, but I assure you-- they're brilliant! And insightful! And witty!

Tragically for  you, you are stuck with the daytime-me who can barely pull a comb through my hair. It's amazing, you should ask Jedi-- I'm actually super-productive starting at about 10:30pm... but the rest of the day, forget it.

So, all that to say that I had a wonderful post all planned out about how I wanted to put my life more into balance.  Ah! Balance! Or, should I say, "Ooooommmmm" {picture lotus pose here}

Except, I might be inviting more un-balance (ok, I know that's not a word!) into my life.  Because....

..... I just got accepted into "Regional" University to pursue an Ed.D in Higher Ed Administration.

Yippee! Right? (I know you can't see me, but picture Debbie Downer saying, "Yippee" and you've got the picture.)

I mean, yes, this is a good thing. I wouldn't have applied if I hadn't wanted to go. I evaluated my options and this is really the best program for me out there. This one allows me to keep my full time job (a good thing in this economy), take courses over the internet & the equivalent of 1 weekend/month & a few weeks in the summer.  It's relatively quick-- 2 years for the coursework, 1 year for the dissertation.  It's very reasonable, comparatively speaking-- $23,000 for the entire program.

So. All good things. All things that say, "DO THIS."  And I know I will probably do this. Doing this means that I can apply for jobs that pay more money, which is a mostly good thing -(mo' money, mo' problems though... in the management side, I mean. So, I'm actually kind of ambivalent about that.) Doing this means I have more options for the future, so yeah, I should do this.

But. *sigh* on the other hand... balance. I already feel like I've taken on too much between the two-ish jobs I'm doing, the additional (unpaid! yippee) work I've been asked to take on, the church stuff I keep getting voluntold to do, the community work I do, and the after-hours student programs I do.  It wouldn't be a lot for most people, probably (Just do all that and toss a couple kids in the mix, I know...) but I just feel like I need time for reflection.

And, also, I keep thinking-- is this what I want to be when I grow up?  I mean, is it?  It's kind of late to change now, practically speaking. And I like what I do, really, honestly, I'm very lucky to do what I do.  But who, on their deathbed, has ever said, "Gee, I'm so glad I was a mid-level college administrator all my life!"  (Not that I want to be a high-level college administrator; that just leads to lots of headaches.)  It's just that I want my life to be about more than that, and right now it's not.

I keep going back to the idea of writing. But, you know, I've had time to write. Lots of time. And I haven't done it. (And, honestly, I may not even be particularly good at it, but that's ok-- I'm not trying to write a magnum opus or anything.) But I keep having this dream. And I'm paralyzed by fear and indecision.

But I think I've come to a semi-decision.  I have three weeks to accept the offer of admission, in which case I would start in January.  Or, I could defer my start date until the spring.  So, I think that what I will do is devote some serious time in these next 3 weeks to writing.  If it goes well, if I make progress, if I feel like I can keep going... then I'll defer until the spring.  That's a good compromise for now, right? Right.

Now how to find time to go the the gym? Hmmm... maybe we'll stick with only one major life change at a time, eh?

Monday, October 3, 2011

My brain is full

This, I think, is only one aspect of my general inability to commit to any one task or activity (as mentioned below.)

The real problem though is that my brain is full of useless shit.  My brain can't turn itself off and so I think about this useless shit, all the time.  I think about trivial pop culture stuff, like how I used to root for Theresa but it's become increasingly clear that she's the drama-causing nut job.  Or how Jessica Simpson might or might not be pregnant or how she might or might not just be a little fat (or both) and really, whose business is it anyway if it's either or none of those things?  I also worry a lot about things I can't do anything about.  I worry about stories I read about girls in Pakistan being "honor" killed because they were gang raped ... (I worry a lot about this, and other similar stories.  I keep thinking, like Peter Parker, I've been given a great deal in life, and so a great deal will be required of me.  But really? What is a tangible thing I can do?  I support charities like Women for Women International and local DV/SA organizations, but what else?)  I worry about the environment and I worry if I put my plastic bottle in the wrong bin. I worry about the recession (double dip!) and whether or not I"ll have a job in a year.  I worry about our condo and that I'll never be able to sell it. I worry we're going to live in 600 sq ft forever, and if we eventually have kids I worry we won't be able to afford them.

These are mostly minor worries (in my first world existence) I know.  I also know that (most) of these things will find some kind of a resolution without my help.  That's not actually the point I'm trying to get at (though I do think the free-floating anxiety contributes to my chronic depression.)  What I'm really trying to get at is the sensory overload that comes from being constantly connected-- via computer, ipad, tv, phone... etc-- means I have lost any kind of ability to focus.   For example, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read... but how often have I actually sat down to read a full-length book this year? Twice! (And both times on my kindle app!)

All this to say that I am thinking of unplugging for the month of November.  (Or maybe I should start mid-Oct?  Hell! Why not today!?)  The reason I'm thinking this is for nanowrimo.  I mean, yeah getting a go on that writing project I mentioned ... oh, a year and some months ago... would probably be good.  But mostly because I am frittering away my energy and attention on useless things... like hitting the refresh button on facebook a million times.  And for what? To find myself getting more anxious and getting less done.

Now, I know this is easier said than done-- after all, there are some studies (too lazy to look them up here) showing that there are some very true addictions to electronic devices and sites like facebook...  Facebook and email, like slot machines, work on the same pavlovian concepts that make dogs drool at the sound of a bell. Unhooking from them is easier said than done, but I do feel like I should make a real (as opposed to half-assed) effort.

The question is... on what level do I disconnect?  No non-work related internet? (Other than blogging about it????) No internet shopping? NO FACEBOOK. No browsing on phone.    I think I can do that.  I'm hesitant to say no TV, only because the truth is that I don't often watch TV... I mostly just have it on.  But, then again, that in itself is a problem.  On the other hand, I've always done my writing with the TV on in the background, so If I"m planning on writing then maybe I should leave that out of the equation.  On the other hand, maybe I'm just looking for a justification to keep the Real Housewives? Hmmm... what say you?  And, will I do this alone?