Sunday, November 30, 2008

Checking Stuff Off

I love lists. I feel productive making lists, and I feel good when I get to check things off. Consequently, my lists tend to have a lot of detail to them. For example, "pack rolls of TP" was one item on my list (hey, you don't appreciate it until you're in some third world bathroom without it). The list also constantly grows. My to-do list currently stands at 31 items, but I managed to accomplish 16 of them between yesterday and today. Of the nine things I had listed to buy, I polished off 5 of them. I will keep plugging away over the next few hours; I'm pretty sure I can get rid of a few more. (By the way, thank you for the encouragement!)

Needless to say, this did not lead to the most exciting Sunday. I baked mini-pies as a break, using the premade pie dough from Pillsbury. They were pretty tasty. I also spent some time looking for a new job. I live within commuting distance from 4 different cities, and didn't find ANYTHING that got me excited. I guess I just need to start applying for stuff, and see if it looks/feels/sounds better if I get an interview. That was true of my current position--it got infinitely more enticing during the interview. Still, it kills me to see some of the benefits. One job offers only 4 weeks paid maternity leave. Now, I know this is better than nothing, but with my current job, I would get 12 weeks paid, and I could take even more off unpaid. With short term disability insurance, that could equal a hefty amount of time off.

I can't stay another year, though. I really can't. And that would even assume I'd get PG in the next couple of months, and who knows.

This is hard.

I also concluded that Terrific T. and I have to mend our evil ways when we return from vacation. While trying to find stuff like our snorkeling gear, money belts, and a Swiss Army knife, I concluded that we have a serious pack rat problem in this house. There is STUFF EVERYWHERE! We have boxes in the garage, boxes in the basement, boxes in the attic-y storage space off the rooms on the second floor, stuffed drawers, overflowing piles of mail, etc. I have no idea what any of this stuff is, and therefore don't need it. There is no organization system in this house whatsoever. You might find brand new underwear--still in the package--in a box with a hammer and amidst other tools in the garage; a headlamp piled with DVD's next to the television in the living room; premoistened lemon scented facecloths. . .wait, what? Why the hell do I have lemon-scented premoistened faceclothes? Oh, lord knows why, but I do. They come four to a pack, and I have two--TWO!--sets. Ultimately, I also found one set of snorkeling gear hanging in the basement, and the other stuffed under the eaves off our bedroom. The money belts (brand new) were in a box in the garage. The Swiss Army knife was in my husband's golf bag. I won't even get into the treasure hunt that preceded the discovery of all of these items, and more.

It might be easier just to move when we get back.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I am having a hard time motivating myself to do the 84 things that need doing. I currently have 26 things on my pre-vacation "to do" list, and eight things left to buy. I'm slowly trying to chip away at them, but frankly, I just don't feel like it today. I feel good looking at what I accomplished yesterday, when I also didn't feel like it. I know I'll feel good if I can just get myself moving. . .but I really don't feel like it.

Okay, I have to go out. Post office, grocery store, drop something off at friend's house, and a few odds and ends to buy. I can do all of that, right? Ugh. I don't feel like it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Soul-Searching

After a very nice Thanksgiving with family and friends, I was reading in bed last night while watching television. (It drives Terrific T. nuts when I do this, because he says that I cannot possibly do both things at once, but I promise you I can.) I happened upon an Adam Sandler movie that I'd never heard of, called "Click." The basic premise is somewhat akin to Dickens' Christmas Carol. Sandler plays a man who becomes engrossed in his career and looking for short-cuts and solutions, and is given a remote control which allows him to fast forward through parts of his life that are unpleasant. The end result is that he's on "auto-pilot" during the fast forwarded bits, and in doing so alienates his wife and children and he dies unhappy. Of course, he gets a second go at it and ditches the remote and never uses it the second time around. The moral of the story for me was that your life can pass you buy while you're trying to climb the corporate ladder.

The article I was reading was by Suzy Welch, via Oprah. It was titled "Getting Unstuck," and basically talked about women in their 30's and 40's who realize that they have worked their butts off and achieved "success," but are still professionally dissatisified. Welch opines in the article that after doing thousands of interviews, she believes that in order to be truly happy, it is important to continually ask yourself five questions. The answers obviously ebb and flow over the course of time. So, without further ado, the questions, and what I thought of them.

1. Does this job allow me to work with "my people"--individuals who share my sensibilities about life--or do I have to put on a persona to get through the day?

I thought this was an interesting question. For a long time, I felt like a square peg in my current job. I think I've changed a lot as a person while I've been there, which is something of a mixed bag. I guess I would say that I still tend to be much more liberal than my colleagues, and more devoted to serving my community and making the world a better place. For many people, I think working in my office may simply be a rung toward personal gain. I think this actually accounts for much of the discord--if people were merely making decisions because they were the "right thing to do," I would be much happier. My two complaints with my current job are that there is too much work, and I'm not treated well sometimes. The occasions when I'm not treated well involve personal agendas that are definitely driven by personal gain (or the desire for others to avoid taking personal responsibility for problems, which obviously results in personal gain by not taking hits for mistakes and/or problems), and a failure to attempt to do what is truly the right thing.

2. Does this job challenge, stretch, change, and otherwise make me smarter--or does it leave my brain in neutral?

I am definitely challenged on a regular basis. On the other hand, I am not as challenged as I once was, because I work in a fairly specific area, and I've been doing it for a number of years now. In any case, my brain is NEVER left in neutral, and I doubt it would ever get to that point with my current employer. This is not so much of an issue.

3. Does this job, because of the company's "brand" or my level of responsibility, open the door to future jobs?

Yes. No question about that. The challenge at this point is taking full advantage of this. Truthfully, there are days when I am so tired and worn down that I just want to bail. But I've put all of this time and effort in for so many years, I really need to take advantage of my position and use it as a launching pad to something even better. It's really hard to stick with it right now, though. My tank is empty. The other challenge for me is that I don't want many of the jobs that my current job typically opens the door to. That's not to say that my job can't or won't be a launching pad to other types of jobs--just that it's not frequently done, so it's hard for me to figure out how to get from here to there (especially when I'm not quite sure yet where "there" is).

4. Does this job represent a considerable compromise for the sake of my family, and if so, do I sincerely accept that deal with all of its consequences?

This job represents a considerable compromise at the expense of my family, and no, I don't sincerely accept the deal with all of its consequences. It's one of the biggest reasons why I need to leave, in fact.

5. Does this job--the stuff I actually do day-to-day--touch my heart and feed my soul in meaningful ways?

Some days. Many days? At its core, the work that I do and the people that I benefit touch my heart and nourish my soul. But, the work environment and the office politics are draining and soul-sucking. I guess in the final analysis, I feel like I could be more appreciated and less abused. I feel like I could find a job that is more upside, with fewer costs. My current job costs too much for the benefits to be worth it any more.

When I look at my answers to these questions, I feel like there are many pieces of them that I can respond positively to, which I guess explains why I love my job so much. There are also pieces that I don't respond so well to, which could also explain my current dissatisfaction. Food for thought.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

While a cranberry apple walnut pie bakes in the oven, I've been blog reading this morning. I was reading about Pam's experience with her brother this past week, and she referred back to an old post of hers in which she discussed a tarot card reading she got online. I remembered the old post, and clicked on through to the tarot site, because I'm really struggling right now and seeking guidance and insight wherever I can find it. The site asks you to focus your mind on a question, and my question of course focused on my new career path, and what I should do. You don't actually type the question in--you just keep it in your head. So, the computer has no way of knowing what your question is. Keep in mind, as you read about these cards that came up, that I've just finished up the Big Project, which is widely regarded as a success (although I don't feel that way about it at all), and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Oh, and we're still trying to have a baby or two.

The first card was The Lovers.
Here's what it says:

Follow your passion

You have the opportunity to look deeply into your own heart and ask yourself if you are living a life full of passion and love. What gives you deep joy and fulfillment in your life? Whatever it is, are you pursuing it? When you are living an authentic life, pursuing your deepest passions, it is easy to love yourself and then to love others. If you have a choice to make, remember that the Lovers call upon you to always follow your heart's desire.

You can also click through to learn more about the cards. When I did this on the first card, this is what I got (with my annotations in bold):

The Lovers celebrate the sacred feast of Beltane (May Day) in their greenwood bower, attended by the swan of Aphrodite and her twin doves. (Oh, you know what I am thinking about the meaning of the "twin doves").

He is resplendent as the sun and she, green as the growing earth. He is crowned with leaves, she with May-flowers — hawthorn blossoms, which remind us to “follow our bliss” when there are choices to be made (yes, but what exactly IS my bliss??? Coincidentally, when I left my last job, and announced to my former employer that I was leaving and why I was leaving, she responded by telling me that I had to "follow my bliss.").Between them they hold the blood-red wild rose of summer, symbol of the sweetness and the sting of passion. A bumblebee hovers near the rose, waiting the chance to drink deeply of its nectar. (What's the bumblebee? An RE?)

For a moment, they have turned away from being caught up in each other’s gaze to look outward together in the same direction.

The second card was The Seeker (aka The Fool):

A new beginning

You are being challenged to take a risk and begin again. It's time to hit the road, either metaphorically or literally. Every time you set out on a journey, even if it's only a one-day hike, you embark on a spiritual journey as well. Be open to all the twists and curves in the road ahead. Be ready for surprises. Keep your heart open and maintain an attitude of innocence, trust and spontaneity. Take a risk! Before you is a brand new adventure — the chance for a fresh start and endless possibilities.

When I clicked through on this one, it said

This Fool is much more a Seeker than a Clown or Jester. She begins a journey, taking a moment to contemplate the road ahead before setting off down the hillside. (Oh, I can take this both literally and metaphorically.) She travels lightly, carrying all that she needs in her bundle. (Incidentally, her bundle is the exact same shade of blue as the backpack that I am taking on our trip.) She has embroidered a butterfly on the back of her vest, signifying her delight in taking wing and setting out on her own path.

The Great Mountain rises in the east, and the River slowly meanders on its own journey, from the mountain range down to the bay and the ocean beyond.

The Seeker is at that stage of life between childhood and adulthood when anything is possible, and her life lies before her like a page waiting to be written. With Fox as her trickster companion, who knows what surprises await her? Swallows and Swallowtails flit and flutter around her, guiding her way.

The third and final card was The Sun:
Radiant joy

Resolution comes with letting your light shine in the world. You may find a big smile on your face. With a huge burst of energy, your spirit is shouting out a great big YES! Perhaps you have accomplished a long term goal or are receiving accolades and attention for the good work you have done. You are healthy, energetic and enthusiastic with a warm and generous heart. It's time to celebrate and get out and play in the sunshine. Sing, dance, make love, let your creativity flow. Shine on!

And when I clicked through:

From the shadows of the Moon, we move into the clear light of day. A woman dances for joy at the peak of the sun’s power, at noon on Summer Solstice. Even the sunflowers behind her are radiating happiness. There are no hidden agendas here (I could go on and on and on about horrid people and hidden agendas this week), no sadness or darkness or stress (um, 'sadness, darkness and stress' pretty much sum up my job in a nutshell right now), just the sheer joy of being alive.

I'm going to be thinking about these all day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random Musings

I've been thinking and thinking and thinking about what I want to do next with my life, but no epiphany. I don't really know how to go about deciding what to do next. I am left wondering how other people decide, when they have a number of options, which one they should choose. It strikes me that it is much easier to go out and look for a new job when you know the "what"--ie, what it is you will be doing. In thinking about all of my friends who have left my office, they all pretty much did the same thing, and took the same kind of position, when they left. It seems like it was a "no brainer" for them--the next step is "X".

But for me, the next step is not going to be "X". Probably. I can't say that the perfect position in "X" doesn't exist, and if it did, I might consider it. But, that probably won't be what I do next. And I have absolutely no idea how to figure out what my "Y" or "Z" options might be. What do I want to do? What am I good at? And how do those things translate into an actual job where people will pay me money and give me health insurance and let me take a maternity leave? Ugh. This is really hard.

In other news, I have bought almost everything that we need for the trip. I still need a new digital camera, though. I want something relatively inexpensive (in case it gets eaten by a crocodile), and small. It would be nice if it was waterproof, but my biggest concern is getting good pic's. I'm still deciding, so if you have assvice, I'm all ears.

As far as my trip to-do list goes, we have our shots. I've made arrangements for the furkids. I've done most of the research necessary to figure out where, generally, we are going, and what we'll likely do. I have made reservations for the beginning and end of the trip, in the proximity of the airport. Terrific T. received his new passport. (We had a little last-minute passport panic, when we realized his had expired. . .thankfully, you can pay a whopping fee and get the new one expedited). So. . .we're almost ready to go! I can't believe it's here.

And thank you to everyone who said I wouldn't die. I really appreciate that. Because frankly, the naysayers were really starting to get on my nerves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The "Baby or Bust" Part

I just realized that I'm going to have to change the title of my blog soon, because "Borneo" will be behind us. Hmmm. If you have a suggestion, let me know.

In terms of where we are on the baby front, I've been scouring the internet for the effects of the vaccines, the malaria med's, and the various insecticides we'll be using while abroad. Ever wondered what the half life of DEET was? No??? Color me neurotic.

To briefly summarize, the vaccination form I signed said I shouldn't get pregnant for 30 days after receiving the vaccines. I don't want to get pregnant while taking the malaria med's, and I have to take them for 4 weeks after returning. Those seem to pose the biggest obstacles. That basically puts us into February before we will be trying again. Maybe I shoulda thought this vacation through a little better. If only I was normal, and had planned a trip to Hawaii like Terrific T. wanted. No, I don't really wish that. I'm excited to go. I've wanted to do this trip for so long, it hardly feels real that's it's planned. Now, if people would only stop telling me I'm going to die down there. It's weighing on me somewhat, I have to tell you.

But let's not linger over thoughts of death. . .Back to TTC, and the benefits of waiting a couple more months. I still need to gain some weight, and I want to feel healthy before we try again, so the time will be good for us. Oddly enough, I seem to be O-ing like a normal person. The monitor said "low" today when I tested, but it's been asking for test sticks for days and I didn't have any. I'm pretty sure that I'm o-ing--CM and O pain present. And it's CD14! Last month was a 28 day cycle, and I think I O'd around day 14. Hopefully, I'll continue on this pattern.

I just realized that we will be fast approaching the two year mark, by the time we get going again. I was sure I was wrong, when it first hit me, but it's true. Never in a million years did I think it would go down like this, when we started on this process. If we manage to get pregnant this spring, I will be well past the cut-off for AMA by the time we deliver. How did I get here, again?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Misc. Junk and a Sex Poll

It's freezing here, like it seems like it is in much of the country. What kind of weather is this for November???

We got our shots this week, in preparation for our upcoming vacation. Everyone talks about how much tetanus shots hurt, but I have to say, the hepatitis shot was the worst. I swear she jammed the needle into my arm bone. It hurt when I got it, and it hurt even more in the hours after. The shot actually burned, going in. Although, two days later, the hepatitis doesn't hurt, and the tetanus now does. Go figure. We got like a bazillion immunications. Hopefully, they will keep us well. If Terrific T. gets sick, he's never going to let me live it down. And you know how sick I was all spring and summer. . .I must be crazy for planning this vacation. We leave in a couple of weeks!

So, I have researched and researched like the compulsive Type-A that I am, but I wasn't able to make any decisions about important details like "where" or "when." I thought a lot about our best trips, and they've always been where we had a list of stuff we wanted to do, but no real plan as to where and when. So, I decided that I'm not going to make any formal plans (gasp!). We have reservations for our first couple of nights and our last couple of nights, and that's it. We're winging it, baby. (Well, with a guidebook and a giant list.)

On a completely different subject, I have a sex question, so of course I'm going to ask y'all. While hanging with the girls this week, I opined that sex wasn't a particularly important criteria for dating someone, because great sex can be had just about anywhere, with the appropriate knowledge and/or props. Every woman at the table not only disagreed, but looked at me like I was out of my head. So, take the poll located on the sidebar. Cause, I wanna know if I'm nuts (or some kind of Kama Sutra-esque sex goddess).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Struggling

I know this is going to sound a little defensive, and I swear I'm not. I had a conversation last night with a work friend who knows me pretty well, and I know he was trying to be helpful. Parts of the conversation got under my skin, mostly because of the conclusions my friend seemed to draw. I don't talk about personal stuff much at work, so it was a fairly unusual conversation to have. I guess I'm surprised that despite knowing me as he does, he reached the conclusions he reached.

So anyway, the conversation last night inevitably turned to where I am at professionally and where I am headed next. I was explaining how hard this is for me, because (as he well knows), I really love my job, and I don't know what to do next. In a nice way, he told me that he thinks my life lacks balance. Less nice was the suggestion that I haven't made my home life a priority because it's not important. He essentially said that if it was important, I would simply take another job that is less consuming.

As I told him, it's not quite that simple. I am sure there are people who take jobs that they don't love because they pay well, or take jobs for the primary reason that the hours work around their personal lives. I can't take a job based solely on those characteristics. I have a deep-seated need to get personal satisfaction out of my job. I need to be passionate about what I do. I need to love it. The fact that I haven't thrown up my hands in the air and walked out on my job for something less crazy isn't a reflection of how much I love my husband (although, the fact that he stays and supports me through it all IS a reflection of how much he loves me).

I love my husband. He's my best friend. We talk about absolutely everything (including, despite the fact that he was in bed when I got home last night, this conversation I'd had). But I am a completely separate person from my husband, and part of my identity and satisfaction (gasp!) doesn't come from him. It's fascinating to me that people look at our relationship and think there must be something wrong with it, because I am sort of hard-charging and have a time consuming, high stress job. When was the last time you heard that about some male politician or CEO? No one looks at a man and thinks, "gee, he's not home enough. His marriage must suck." No one looks at men in top positions and thinks, "His priorities aren't in order." Rather, the stereotype is that such a man is a "good provider." No one tells the men in my office that they really should be home more, or that maybe their families aren't important to them. It was somewhat shocking to me to hear this from a friend of mine.

I mean, I get it. My friend doesn't work in my office, but in another office that I collaborate with a lot, so he sees how much I work. We've worked together enough that there are weeks that I've seen far, far more of him than I have my own husband. My profession can unfortunately be like that, and his most certainly is like that. Although we are friends, we mostly talk about work-stuff. We don't sit around and talk about our feelings. I mean frankly, I mostly work with men, and we work in a high-stress environment. I am there for loads of ridiculous conversations, but most of them are not group hugs. Anyone who works with a lot of men in a high stress environment will probably get what I'm talking about. I mean, I know who's been circumcised and that eating at particular restaurants makes this one or that one poop too much. . .but we (mostly) don't cry on each other's shoulders. Nonetheless, I don't automatically assume that because this particular friend works for who he works for, his family must suffer. I don't assume that his marriage is in shambles. I don't assume his personal life isn't important to him. I mostly assume that it's probably fine, but we don't talk about it. I don't really talk about any of my male work friend's personal lives. Not that I don't care. . .but we don't really go there. I don't jump to conclusions, though.

Everybody's marriage is different. Everybody decides what works for them, and finds a way to make it work under the circumstances that they choose. I know of couples who don't even live in the same city, for long periods of time. They make it work. If you have open lines of communication and you make the effort, it does work. I didn't get home last night until 9, but I had coffee with Terrific T. yesterday morning, and lunch with him in the afternoon, knowing that I was going to be working late. It's part of how we make it work. We talk on the telephone a lot during the day. Is it perfect? Of course not. But is anyone's situation, anyone's marriage "perfect"? Of course not. (And if you think yours is, please don't tell me.)

I guess this gets under my skin so much because as I try to make choices about my professional future, I've been wondering a lot lately whether you really CAN have it all. Can you be a successful professional woman AND have a family? Is it possible to coexist successfully in both worlds? I watch my female friends who have kids and careers, and they seem to struggle much more than any man I know. And the fact that this friend of mine, who has worked so closely with me for so long, assumed that my personal life takes a back seat to my career really strikes at the heart of my anxiety over my ability to have both. I want both. I NEED both.

It's certainly true that my friend last night is not the only one who has pointed out the personal cost of my job, and the fact that it is very taxing. I value those opinions, and I appreciate the friends that are looking out for me by asking me to consider those issues. I know they have my best interests at heart. The question I am left asking myself is whether any of these people are having the same conversation with my male colleagues. Do people question THEIR commitment to their personal lives? Do my male colleagues secretly struggle with balancing careers and families? Is the struggle going on, but just unspoken? I think I'm going to ask them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Things I've Never Had a Problem With

Thanks to JamieD for nominating me for the Speak Out, Speak Up Award! The Angry Infertile has this great post with the list of criteria for the Award. I have discovered that I meet all of them, except for the ones about shopping. I'm back to being okay with that. Of course, I have periods when I'm not. But let's skim over that for now.

I'm going to nominate everyone who reads this post, because I'm lazy. And because if you're reading this, you are likely walking down the road beside me.

Speaking of which. . .one of the other problems with leaving my job (yes, I'm still obsessing) is the health insurance. I am one of those rare people who has GREAT infertility coverage. My insurance pretty much covers it all. I could COBRA for up to 18 months, but what if that's not long enough? Argh. Every time I sit and think, there is another consideration for me to struggle with. It's positively maddening, this decision.

Oh, and good news. The great health insurance also apparently will cover all of the immunizations we will be needing for CA. We get our jabs later this week. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So, there is only one person IRL that I have had any sort of discussion with about TTC. She's one of my closest friends. She actually figured out on her own that we had miscarried last summer, and let me know that she was there if ever I wanted to talk about it (I generally don't, because that's what the internet is for :). She conceived the last of her multiple children the first month she tried, so she hasn't been there herself, but I know she gets it. She's clearly had other friends who have ridden the roller coaster. She's supportive without being intrusive. Still, I don't talk about it much, even with her.

Terrific T. was really upset after the miscarriage, and although he knew that I didn't want people to know, I get the sense that he has talked to A LOT of people about it. I can't exactly take him to task for talking to his own friends and family about something that has bothered him tremendously. But still, I would like it if people would pretend in front of me that they don't know. I don't like the idea of people knowing that we are trying. Even more, I don't like the idea of people knowing that we are failing. I just don't feel like dealing with anyone else's baggage on this topic.

My MIL is one of the people who he's obviously talked to, as she's obliquely referenced it a number of times. I ignored the references, and she's gradually stopped mentioning it. Plus, I told T. I didn't want to talk about it, and I think he may have told her to stop. So, I can pretend the elephant isn't in the room.

But not everyone has been so graceful. I was somewhat taken aback recently at dinner with friends of T's, when a woman I'd never met before brought it up. Because I am such a bad wife, Terrific T. has a number of friends that I've never met. These particular friends he met several years ago through another friend, and they live some distance from us. His friendship with them has grown over the last few years, but I never seem to be around when they are in town, and I haven't been able to travel to see them on any of the occasions when T. has gone to visit. With my work schedule, it has just never worked out. (Yes, I know this sounds a little crazy, but I'm a busy modern woman. What can I say?) So anyway, they were in town a few weeks ago, and I was not working that night, so we met them for dinner. The husband had gone to use the bathroom, and all of a sudden, the wife turned to me and said very ernestly, "you know, we're really pulling for you." And it went from there, and she told me about the troubles she'd had conceiving. Turns out, all she had to do was prop her hips up. Yep, I kid you not. She was really very sweet about it, and I know she meant well. She and her husband clearly think the world of T., and I'm glad he has become friends with such nice people. But seriously. I tried to be gracious and changed the subject.

During a rough patch recently, I was upset about something that had everything to do with career stuff, and nothing at all to do with TTC. I was talking to my friend who knows about the TTC stuff. I think I had said something about how focused my life had become on my stupid job. She made an offhand comment about how that wasn't entirely true, and that I had her kids, and how much they adored me. It totally killed me.

There are days when the comments of well-meaning people grate like shards of glass on my soul.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I went out with work friends last night to celebrate their success on something, and ended up getting home later than I intended. Terrific T. was less than enthusiastic. But it got me thinking, do other women go out with work friends without their spouses? I know that it happens a lot in my line of work, but is this how it is for other people? Let me know, because I'll be pondering this for days. I think most of Terrific T's friend's wives do not do this, and it annoys him that I do (particularly on the heels of the Big Project, when I was gone so much). On the other hand, Terrific T's friend's wives are mostly "retired," shall we say.

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do next (other than become a parent). There are a lot of things that I could do; deciding what I want to do is an entirely different story. I can't be bored. I need to love my job. I need it to be something I can be passionate about. The difficulty is that I am totally that Type A personality that gets utterly consumed by whatever I am passionate about, and that can be very damaging to my relationships. Terrific T. has been patient enough over the next year. He'd like me to find a job where I work a lot less.

I don't know how to make a decision. I know what my skills are; I know what I'm good at; I know what I'm interested in. Those things are not leading me to any readily identifiable options. Should I leave my field entirely? Should I do something slightly different? I'm thinking about doing some grant-writing and coming up with my own nonprofit. It would be a ton of work and absolutely no money, but I like the idea of creating something. I like the idea of being in charge, and of not answering to many people other than myself. I could make my own hours. I don't know why I'm so optimistic about being able to secure funds in this crappy economy, but I feel pretty positive about my ability to make it happen. But, I'm not entirely sure that is what I want, either.

I just don't know. The list of things that I am sure I don't want to do is much longer than the list of things that I think I might want to do. But even that is subject to change, since I am so very fickle. And frankly, I still love my job. Even knowing how much is has cost me, even knowing how much complete and utter horridness has transpired of late, even knowing how truly awful I have been treated by some, I still value the work that I do, and I still love the job. Not necessarily some of the people or the institution, but the job. How do you leave something that you love? How do you walk away from something knowing that you may never love anything else as much? I look at my friends who have left, and none of them seem to love what they are doing now as much as they loved doing what I do. I don't want to look back on my life decades from now and think that my best job happened in my 30's. Ideally, I'd like this job to be a springboard into another job that I also treasure. Ugh. It's so hard. I talked to one of my work friends last night about leaving, and he was like, "stay for one more project." He thinks I'm good at my job, and doesn't want to see me go. It only makes it that much harder. I know I'm good at it. I really am good at it. If only it didn't cost so much.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moving On

Wow, am I tired. I went away for the weekend, and all I did was sleep and eat, and I'm STILL tired. I haven't been sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night at most for months now, but for some reason, I thought I'd bounce right back after the Big Project ended. Not so much.

Ditto for my health. I was sure those 10 pounds I want to gain would jump right back on board, but I haven't gained a thing. And I ate eggs and bacon and homefries and toast and muffins each morning for the last four days. And pie and steak and on and on. I feel really rotten (and it's not from the high cholesterol weekend).

The good news is that I just finished a normal 28 day cycle. It figures that I would have a textbook cycle right as the BP was ending, when I was in no shape to make good use of it. On the baby front, we're out until 2009, sadly. I neglected to pay attention to the medication regimen that will be necessary for our trip, and malaria med's and all sorts of vaccinations are in order. ("Typhoid?" the medical assistant at my doctor's office said. "I'm not sure there's a vaccination for that." Indeed there is, and the CDC recommends it for Central America.) I'm sure there are women who mix malaria and pregnancy, but I don't really want to be one of them. Given my recent checkered medical history, I think the vaccinations are in order. And anyway, I need to rest up and bulk up and spend some time getting my head together before we get on the roller coaster again.

And getting my house together. Boy, is it a disaster. Between the BP and the ongoing major renovations, it's just a mess. There are oceans of old mail floating around, in need of filing, mountains of dry cleaning, and the odd bit of wiring sticking out all over, waiting for fixtures to be attached. And missing walls and torn up floors and. . .oh, you get the idea. So, Terrific T. and I decided that we would do a small project together each weekend. We will alternate weekends, in terms of who gets to choose the project. The other person can't say no to the project. I get to go first. I am deleriously excited at the prospect, and can hardly decide what to do first. (Did I mention that I am NOT AT ALL handy? Terrific T., on the other hand, is a professional. Marital spats are sure to ensue, and I will surely be back here whining about this very agreement. But for now, all looks rosy and exciting.) I have two projects I would like to see happen first: one, pulling everything out of my very messy bedroom closet, which is getting slightly enlarged. A new wall needs to go in, and then I'd like to go to I.K.EA and get one of their closet storage systems and make my closet fabulously organized. So sad how exciting I find this, actually. The other project I want to do is tile the back hallway. But I haven't found the perfect tile for that yet, and I want something really cool and unusual. If you know a good floor tile source, let me know, because I'm in the market. Maybe we'll do the closet this weekend, and then the hallway in a couple of weeks when it's my turn again.

In the midst of renovation, I've been thinking a lot about my nursery. I can't help it. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. I have completely and totally fallen for this crib. It's ridiculously expensive, but I love it. Given how far away any possible baby is, I'm guessing it will probably go on sale before I'll need it. My desire for this crib is either really pathetic, or really optimistic. I can't decide which.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

100th Post: The End

The Big Project is officially over. It's hard to believe, frankly. I've devoted so much to it, and I've sacrificed so much for it. And truth be told, I'm not sure it was worth it. What is right is not always what is easy. I have learned over these recent months just how much it would cost me to do what I thought was right. It was so hard. I am proud of myself that I could do it and I am proud of the work that I did, but I have to admit, I hurt. It was so much harder than I ever imagined.

I have booked our trip. We leave in a few weeks, and I am really excited. I am thrilled beyond words to spend time with Terrific T., who I have barely seen of late. I am thrilled to do things I have only dreamed of. I am thrilled to take a trip that I have long wanted to do. And I am thrilled to have the chance to heal.

I'm also taking anothe trip tomorrow, this time without Terrific T. I need some time away, to myself, to contemplate what's next for me. I have decided that I will be leaving my current job, which I love. It is so much a part of the fabric of me that it is incredibly painful to say that I am leaving. But with this last Big Project, I have finally recognized just how much it costs me, and the costs have become too great. It is so hard to walk away from something that means so much, but I know that I need to. I just don't know how. I'm completely terrified.