I was listening to Lindsay Mack’s Tarot for the Wild Soul monthly medicine podcast for June, and she suggested that this is a great time for review because we’re coming up on being halfway through the year. Then I read the Astrostyle horoscope for my sun sign, Cancer, that said it was a good time to think about what I want to bring into the next year of my life, since my birthday is coming up soon. (About six weeks to go!) These are both great examples of the value I find in woo woo stuff - an invitation to consider what’s already within me and set my intentions for moving forward. I embraced the synchronicity of these two suggestions and decided to look back over the year so far, and then start making plans for what I want to bring into my 38th year on earth. (I’ll be turning 37. My dad will correct me if I call it my 37th year, since I had a whole year here before my first birthday, so.)
Before we make plans for the future, though, let’s look to the past!
I have a bad habit of telling myself nasty narratives about my own value: specifically, of thinking I don’t do anything. Life as a hybrid stay-at-home-mom/grad-student-working-on-comps is weird. You don’t go into an office. You don’t go to class. You theoretically set your own schedule. You spend a lot of time doing what your kid thinks sounds fun. You need to be ready to be interrupted at every moment of your day, yes even when someone else is taking care of the kid. It’s easy for me to let this unstructured amorphous blob of a life I have lead me to believe that I just sit around all day goofing off on the internet. I’m wrong; I know I’m wrong; but it helps to have documented evidence to remind me I’m wrong.
So here was my review process: I sat down with my bullet journals for 2018 and made a list of any metric I thought was interesting. I’ll be sharing those metrics here along with some additional notes. Categories are ad hoc.
Submitted paper proposals: 2. One conference paper, one contest paper. The conference paper was rejected but I received some valuable feedback, Reviewer 2 Syndrome notwithstanding. (And honestly, Reviewer 1 was pretty harsh, too. Reviewer 3 was very encouraging, though.)
Submitted IRB applications: 1. Approved!
Comps prepared: See my earlier posts for notes on this.
Professional development modules drafted: 1.
Presentations given: 3.
Webinars attended: 1.
Job applications completed: 1. I’m not on the market, but there are a very few (okay maybe 2?) jobs that I would jump at regardless of my life circumstances, and one of them came open recently. I applied. I haven’t heard back beyond a confirmation that they received my application, but I’m not devastated because, as I mentioned, I’m not actually on the market.
Well Child Appointments: 1. And really, anyone who takes a toddler to the doctor should get a gold star, because they’re squirmy af and getting a weight/height measurement is always tricky. But my kid is done with vaccines until he goes to school!
Trips Taken: 3. At the end of February, M. and I accompanied W. on a work trip to Knoxville, TN. At the beginning of April, I took a whirlwind tour with my sibs, bro-in-law, and M., stopping in Savannah and Melbourne on our way to celebrate my grandmother’s life (she died in November at age 98) and then stopping in Melbourne and Atlanta on the way back (spending a couple of nights in Melbourne with my other grandmother, and a couple of hours in Atlanta with one of my bffs - remember that a best friend is a tier, not a person). WOOF. And then at the beginning of May, we took a much briefer trip just down the road to Greensboro, again accompanying W. for work travel. We went to the Children’s Museum and the Science Center. FUN!
Adjusted to new childcare situation. This has been huge. It’s taken a lot longer than I anticipated, but I think we’re hitting our stride. M. and I became members at Nido, a coworking space/Montessori school community. In the first few weeks, he was so demanding that they were devoting one teacher exclusively to him, which obviously was not sustainable. He threw a tantrum every time I left him. He would go on nap strike rather than sleep there. We were both stressed out by the whole thing. Now, he happily waves bye bye to me and takes two hour naps there. It’s been a long transformation, but what a big one! Next step: me leveraging my time there to get a lot more work done.
Health crises managed: 2. M. woke up with a slightly swollen eye one morning and by the next morning it was swollen shut. We had to figure out how to get him to take antibiotics. It turns out the least sneaky way is the most effective: squirt them inside his cheek and exhort him to swallow. Also, my dad had a pretty major surgery (it went well!) and I didn’t contribute much, but it still had a pretty big impact on how the day-to-day went for us during his recovery.
Podcast episodes recorded: 3
Podcast episodes edited: 2
Journal pages filled: About 300. It’s worth noting that these are bullet journal pages, so this is a lot more lists and brain dumps and a lot less long-form writing than you might think. And a lot of this is notes that overlap with the comps preparation mentioned above. Still. 300 pages. It’s not nothing.
Blog posts made: 167 (including imports of old Instagram photos)
Doodles made: 2 so far. Keep up on Instagram for more.
RPGs played: I’ve got two running. One is face-to-face and one is via Slack.
Books read: 9 (Including a couple of re-reads)
Haven’t tracked podcasts listened to or TV watched or articles read, but: a lot.
Crises managed/in progress: 3. Got into a car accident (my fault). My wallet was stolen. There’s a big deal leak in our house, apparently from a flaw in our waterproofing somewhere (i.e. when it rains, we get water damage). I haven’t actually finished handling any of these, but I’m in the process on all of them and have taken steps.
That’s a lot more than nothing, am I right? I should probably cut myself a break and stop thinking that I’m someone who takes up space but does not help. And I didn’t even mention all the invisible labor of parenting and adulting: meal planning, food prep, ordering diapers, clothes shopping, noticing which things we run out of and setting up Amazon subscriptions for them, figuring out developmentally appropriate activities, deciding how to spend the day… (I should note that I have a partner who recognizes a lot of this labor, rendering it visible which thank goodness, and who does a bunch of invisible parenting/adulting labor himself - laundry, dishes, yardwork, sweeping, mopping, reading to the kid while I make a smoothie - thank him. So when I call it invisible I’m referring as much to my own tendency to devalue this work as anything else.) Plus basic self-care, which I occasionally manage: showering, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, washing my face, putting on clothes, remembering to eat, remembering to take my medicine and supplements…
Honestly, we all do a lot, don’t we? Just to live in this world?
Let’s give ourselves some credit. I will if you will! (I will even if you won’t. But I hope you will.)