Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sent off, etc.

I sent my application materials out this afternoon! I feel good about the new cover letter, including specific references to the school in question, ideas about collaborations, and a good deal more detail about my research and teaching. The feedback I got here and in RL were abundantly helpful.

Number One came with me to the post office to priority mail it. Both boys & I spent the morning together, going for a long walk down the hill to the local bagel shop. It was great fun. We left around 8:00, and arrived there around 8:45 or so. At 9:15, after bagels and donuts, I called the au pair to come rescue us (especially as, halfway there, I realized Number Two needed a change, and I didn't have the diaper bag). But I wanted to get back and get to work. I'm proud of myself though for really letting go, and concentrating on just being a dad. Getting out the house helps me avoid the distractions.

But, Number One was terribly upset when the van showed up around 9:30. He had wanted to walk back home. And he weepily insisted that I not work today. It breaks my heart. I explained that I love spending time with him, but that it's best for people to have well-rounded lives, meaning we do a variety of things. Sometimes we spend time with family, and sometimes we work.

It's a fine balance, though. And I'm not always convinced I've settled it yet. My schedule and my life are always in flux, so there's always room for tweaking. At times I do forget to let myself enjoy the parts of my life that really are wonderful. I decided yesterday to institute a new policy, but I haven't figured out the details yet. My mistress and I have to spend less time with each other in the evenings. (Okay, stop gasping... the mistress is not a woman but a computer, my Dell Inspiron), whom we affectionately call "Di". I want to make a commitment that I can and will keep, one that's realistic. Something along the lines of no computing from 5:30 until after the boys are asleep, is what I'm thinking. But I want to make sure that accomodates quality time with my wife also.

Maybe I should just cut it out entirely in the evenings. But I don't have access to a printer on campus (one reason why I sometimes work at home, like today). So, I have to make sure I can get things printed when I need to. Typically, I watch the boys in the mornings (usually until 8:00 or 10:00/10:30, sometimes until noon) and in the afternoons (normally from about 4:00 to about 5:30/6:00, when my wife gets home, and I make dinner). The au pair watches them about 40 hours a week (including time for a weekly date for me und die Frau). But I sometimes want a little time for myself when she gets home, and I justify that it's good for the boys to spend some time just with mom.

Well, I'll work it out, and let you know. Any thoughts of what works for you?

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