Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A little consolation

So, here I sit reading... on Will's Coffee House, the lament of a teacher grading papers; On ABDMom, the frustration of a "dissertatin' mama" ready to scream over a seemingly unproductive day, and I realize that though I haven't much to show for today (at least as far as my CV is concerned) to be honest, I don't feel too bad about it. And I think... you know, I'm THIS close. I could go either way. I've got no attachments (professionally that is).

I could... open a restaurant; get a real estate license; start up a landscaping business (again, that's how I paid my way through my undergrad years); or ... just about anything. It's not that I will, mind you, or that I have any imminent plans. See, the point for me is not what I WILL do, but what I COULD do. It's all about captaining my own ship. And, today, well, you know, I feel like I'm at the helm. So what, I got a couple rejection letters?

It was a beautiful day. I recorded some birds chirping, and edited the sound file to serve as my "Start Windows" sound. Then, I decided to make a clip of #2 giggling into my "Exit Windows" sound. (I would have posted them both here, but it doesn't seem that Blogger yet allows uploading of sound files. Too bad.)

I spent some time playing with both boys, took #1 to the dentist, cuddled and soothed him when his fever sapped his energy and patience. I read books to them, and played baloon keep-up, and "daddy gym" (essentially they both climb on me, and I lift them with my arms or legs, or whatever's handy, until we all fall onto the floor giggling).

I made a creative meal of leftovers. I hugged and kissed my wife when she got home. I started thinking about what I could plant in the garden this spring (even though we're just renting this house). I spent some time in the garage, cleaning up and clearing space. I'm hoping to make a real work space in there, so I can be more productive when I work out of the house, since when I'm in plain sight, the boys will always gravitate to me, rather than play with the au pair.

And here's the consolation: you know, I've got it pretty good. We're not going hungry. We've got a decent place to live. I've got a talented, intelligent, and beautiful wife, and two luscious kids. I've got my books, and my laptop. And, for now at least, I'm free. If I choose to take a day off, or a week, or a month, there's nothing stopping me.

This is no exercise in Schadenfreude. I'd like to think that's beneath me. I could thumb my nose at all my bloggic friends here, reciting my lack of commitments; or I could dwell on how ABDMom is exhausted because she just returned from campus visit #4 (when I've yet to receive a single telephone interview this year), or how ProfessorMe already has a job lined up for the fall, or resent my friend who is halfway through his year teaching in the post I almost got last year. In short, I could worry about a host of things. But, if I'm going to compare myself to others, I should be fair about it. We've all got our triumphs and our laments. I've been pretty good at lamenting lately. I think today, I'll rest on my laurels. Here isn't such a bad place after all.

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