Monday, November 27, 2006

It's cold, and I wander

Not much of a headline for most of you, I'm sure. But it's really cold in here. Apparently, neither the heat nor the air conditioning work in my office building. Not much of a concern most of the time. But, it's somewhere south of 60°F in my office here, and my fingers are stiff on the keyboard. It's grey and rainy outside. I'm half expecting to see my breath. I'll need to bring a space heater in here. Don't get me wrong, I still love having an office.

Not that it solves all my "issues". I've got to work out just what to do with my life. I'd have thought that at 38, I'd have worked that out, know my path, walking firmly. Ah well. I'm happy in many ways. A wonderful wife, two marvelous boys (plans to have a third child, just as soon as we can work out the timing).

Actually, I've made my decisions. I know what I'm working on. It's the uncertainties that bother me. I'm still applying for faculty gigs. Not too many, not too few. Fifteen so far this season. My to-do list is nearly finished for 2006. I've got to finish my lecture notes for tomorrow's guest talk of 3 hours. And I've got one more conference abstract to prepare. I have six more (potential) job applications for January on my beginning of 2007 to-do list.

But what's it all about? I'm feeling closer and closer to the decision that this will be my last full-out academic job search. (I waffle, I know... but I'm not running for office; I'm just trying to get my life in order). Either I get a post this year, or I may just give up on that track. I'm working hard to stay busy, to keep writing. The more I send out, not only job applications, but book proposals, and articles, and grant proposals, and conference abstracts, the more I'm doing, the less I need the faculty job. (Who knows, perhaps when I've given up worrying about it, a job will fall in my lap). But I've got to not need it.

I wonder about continuing to present in conferences, and submit articles to academic journals. Are they just to keep my foot in the academic door? For now, I keep it up. Ah, but there is so much to do, so many ideas. I need to let myself out. Too much energy has been spent on this path with no payback, no rewards. I've got to find my way.

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