Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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T: Amazing Husband
ST: Three-year-old Wonder
Prof. G: Advisor I
Prof. C: Advisor II
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Bill: Grumbling BIL
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
A Post For the Sake of Posting
I am in a seriously bad mood right now, and I'm not sure why. I don't think I've been in a worse mood since the summer, and I really need to get out of it. I don't like feeling cranky because it infects everything I do, every interaction I have, every task that I must complete. But nevertheless, if I were you I wouldn't mess with me today.

Selected Sources of Crabbiness

1.) My day with ST yesterday wasn't too great. I mean, we had fun and he is, of course, absolutely adorable, but I just felt detached from him, too concerned with the dissertation to really think about what we could do together. He was good most of the day, but then when we did the grocery shopping he was a bit of a nightmare while checking out. And I got to display some ineffectual parenting through physical weakness: I told ST that he could stay out of the cart IF he didn't touch anything. He made it all the way through the store, but couldn't resist some pencils with fuzzy tops at the checkout, and started grabbing at them and playing with them. I told him that was not OK and that if he continued to do it, he would have to sit in the cart. He grabbed another pencil and so I picked him up and tried to get him into the cart to follow through on my warning, but for the life of me I could not get this huge kid into the front of the cart (the back was full of groceries). I felt so ridiculous. Why did I think I could get a 40lb. toddler into a tiny cart seat? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

2.) I emailed my draft chapter to my advisors on Tuesday night, and still haven't heard back from either of them. I don't expect a detailed report on the chapter, but they're both usually good at at least acknowledging receipt of the email and attachment. That's annoying to me. And it actually makes me worried that they're angry with me for some reason. (Because, you know, they couldn't possibly have anything else to do than respond to my emails!)

3.) T and I belong to a supper club, where we and four other couples get together on a monthly basis to make dinner together and socialize. Each month one couple is the host, and they decide on a theme and are responsible for making the entree and providing the beverages. Then the rest of us pick a part of the meal to make and bring, following the theme -- appetizer, bread and salad, side dish, or dessert. Three of the couples have children. In the past, the kids have always been included, as they are all around the same age and have fun playing together. If the theme is such that kids aren't included, we discuss it in advance so everyone can make arrangements. (For example, T and I did a murder mystery one time, and requested that kids not be there. We made that explicit a month in advance.)

Our next meeting is this Saturday, and we have been telling ST all about it. Yesterday all he could talk about was getting to play with his two friends at supper club. Last night I received an email from one couple saying that they decided not to bring their kids. Then this morning, the other couple (the hosts) said that they were sending their daughter to her grandparents for the evening. So, two days before the event, T and I have to find someone to watch ST because he's not going to have any fun if no kids are there, and he's probably not welcome anyway.

This really makes me angry. The other two couples have family in the area so it's easy for them to call up a grandparent or an aunt or cousin to babysit. Our families are at least eight hours away. We have to plan to have a night out -- we have to ask friends, usually friends with children around ST's age, and then we agree to babysit for them later. Our friends know this. I'm just angry at their inconsiderateness: it's fine that kids aren't invited, but for goodness' sake, tell us at least a week in advance so we can make arrangements! Now I have to scrounge up a babysitter (the friends who usually watch him are out, since they now have a newborn in the house) AND disappoint ST. Grr.

4.) I have to go to campus. I hate going to campus because I feel so disconnected from it. I haven't been there on a regular basis since October, when I was there a lot getting ready for my trip to Europe. And then November I was gone, December I was doing my campus visits and the holidays, and January I've been writing. But, I should pop in to at least see my advisors (if they're around), pick up any mail, and pick up some books from the law library. I just hate getting all set to go there -- it's a 25 minute drive from my house, I have to find a parking space, blah, blah, blah. It's just so much more effort than I want to put forth today.

5.) I've had a headache for two days -- not a severe headache, but one that is just lingering behind my eyes. Ibuprofen is not touching it. I'm sure it's because I've been doing too much reading and staring at the computer screen, and my eyes tire quickly because I have uncorrectable problems with my eyes. (Basically legally blind in my left eye, which means an overworked right eye.) I feel like I just need a nap.

Ah, that's enough whining from me today, I guess. Bad days really hit me hard because, in all honesty, I don't have many of them. I'm typically a very upbeat, happy and positive person, but today I just can't pull it off. I'm going to allow myself this crankiness for the day and look forward to a better tomorrow.

UPDATE: Thanks, ABD Me and Articulate Dad for your kind words in the comments! They made me smile, which is precisely what I needed. I just returned from campus, where I had a lovely chat with both of my advisors (who didn't email me because one is preparing for his wife's surgery and another is preparing to move to Best Research Institution in My Discipline), talked with some friends I hadn't seen since October, and picked up a bunch of copies of potential textbooks for next fall. I also went to both the main library and the law library to pick up some ILL books, so I'm feeling much better. AND I got gas (hate doing that) AND mailed a small package to a dear friend in Australia (yes, Nicole, I only managed to mail to TODAY!). Now I just need to eat some lunch, step up the headache medication to naproxen sodium, and sit down with Chapter One again for the overhaul.

But, on my drive home from campus, I did think of one additional source of crabbiness, and that is MON. Where are you? Don't you know that I would be much happier if you posted so I could complete my morning read of the blogs? Silly, silly woman. Just send the doggone chapter already, will you?! (Hah!)
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 2/09/2006 09:36:00 AM  
4 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger phd me said…

    Sometimes you just need to be a grouch. And you sound like me: I'm much more likely to get crabby over lots of little things than one big thing. So, be irritable, feel free to fume, even sulk a little - but do something enjoyable for yourself tonight and start all over tomorrow. :)

     
  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    I'm with ABD Me... allow yourself the space today. Do what you have to, but don't hold it against yourself for being crabby. You know going into it that you're having a bad day. Try to warn people you must interact with. But take it easy, go for a nice long walk or something. Get by yourself, and let yourself fume. Venting on your blog is good. That's what we're here for.

    You are a cheerful, upbeat person! We all know that. It doesn't make you a worse person for having bad days (or fits of ineffectual parenting, or impatience with your committee, or frustration with your friends for their discourtesy, or a headache, or...). No, all those things just make you human. And being human is pretty good.

     
  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger MusicalMom said…

    Ohhhh--sounds like you need some ooey, gooey, chocolate goodness! That was the title of today's blog entry of mine. Until...well, the story is what I posted instead. Grrrrrrr.

    I'm sorry about your shopping experience, but it did make me chuckle a bit. Btdt too many times. :)

    And what a pain about the supper club! It sounds fun, but I hear you on the sitters. My mother-in-law lives fairly close, but she's in her 70's and watches grandkids all day (don't get me started!), so we try not to use her unless it's a true emergency.

    Is your headache a sinus headache? I had one of those for three weeks in Dec/Jan and it was no fun at all!

    I'm glad things are looking up a bit for you. Good luck with the overhaul.

     
  • At 12:35 AM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    I'm sorry MOM. I think I picked up your bad mood from way over here. After I sent that thing off yesterday I didn't want to be anywhere NEAR a computer again.

    I did think of you often--seriously! I assumed you were doing well since that chapter was done--my bad. But glad we are both in better spirits now. I'll be busy this weekend, but I'm going to leave you plenty to read tonight so just space out your reading time for me!!

     
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