Using Curse Words

October 28, 2009

Gosh, darn it.  Oh, shoot.  Fudgsicles.  Horse hay.  Mud puddles.  Fiddle sticks. 

These are the expressions I’ve informed my girls they are allowed to use instead of the ones they started to use after hearing me swear in extreme duress (like the time my husband broke his leg).  Seeing as how I should use these expressions from now on in order to be a good role model, I am reciting them in my head today in the event that I forget them later. 

However, what I want to say are the bad words.  I want the expletives.  I want to rage about my frustrations.  I want to lash out emotionally.  The benign versions of curse words just aren’t satisfying enough for me.  Still, I have small children to think about, to raise into respectful human beings.

What I discovered in curbing my venom was that it dissipated.  Instead, I dug deeper and asked myself why I was feeling so disheartened by the news that I would not find out about a potential job until December.

Financially, we’re doing okay.  Maybe it’s the Universe’s way of telling me I can spend more time with my kids, of letting me continue to work part-time so I can be with them one-on-one two days a week.  Maybe it’s a gift rather than a hinderance.  Perhaps if I look at it that way I can lighten my soul, relieve myself of anxiety and the need for control.

Or, maybe it’s the Universe’s way of telling me to focus on my art instead.  Telling me to go in a new direction.  That there’s more important work elsewhere.  I don’t know what it is, but maybe I ought to start looking.  Maybe I ought to start being open to new paths.

Whatever the case, I am grateful that I didn’t jump into the irrational abyss, that I stopped myself from going over that cliff.  I have so many other things to appreciate; why let a title or a desk get me so off kilter?

Advertisements

Waiting for December

October 28, 2009

I now have to wait until December to find out if there will be a position for me to apply for.  This doesn’t mean I’ll get the job, just that there will be a job available for me to apply to.  At first, I thought I’d know in the middle of September.  Then, I find out that after a big meeting in early October that there’s another meeting that needs to be held in November before everything is official – one way or another.  Now, I have to wait until December for this meeting to happen.

How many of you want to bet on whether this meeting will ever happen and if it does whether or not there will be money to fund me?

I’m beginning to think I am stupid and crazy for waiting this long.  Really, my patience has worn out.  It’s been 2 years.  I think that’s long enough.  Don’t you?

I have been temporarily moved to an office since returning to work, but the move has been interrupted several times by requests to vacate the temporary space for painting and installation of a new carpet.  I get it.  It’s not my office.  It’s just such a hassle to keep moving all my things all the time.  Plus, I have a nanny at home watching the kids and I invariably forget to tell her which number to use in case of an emergency because I don’t always know where I’ll be during the day.  She can call me on my cell phone as long as I’m not in some inner sanctum of the building.

Yesterday, I was told that I would have to move out of the current office, but there is no consensus yet on where I am to go.  Not that I had really moved in, but – yeah – I did set up the laptop and bring some papers I need to read in. 

So, I was a bit annoyed at the news.  (Yes, there are more important things in the world, I know.  Still, I would just like to know where I’m going to hang my hat if I’m going to be here for awhile (which is also still questionable)).  The AO referred to me as the “Little Lost Soul Without a Desk.” 

The office she keeps trying to put me in is waaaay down several dark hallways, fairly far away from the rest of my team.  In addition, I’d share it with a man who seems nice, but our exchanges have been slightly awkward.  Plus, he had taken over the whole office during his time alone there (which I can understand).  I can’t quite figure out if the AO wants to stick me there because it’s the only room she has readily available or if she wants me there because she doesn’t like me.

Anyway, I arrived late to work today because I had to volunteer at my daughter’s preschool as a teacher.  I packed a lunch at home to save money and also to reassure the girls that I’d be home soon, just after nap time.  When I opened my lunch bag, out flew a fruit fly, which I am pretty sure I picked up at home since I noticed some of them flying around our compost bin recently.

‘Uh-oh,’ I thought.  ‘I’ve brought this little bugger in with me.  There’s going to be an infestation in this office.’

Then, I paused and thought, ‘Huh.  Well, I guess that’s one way to express my unhappiness with the situation.  I kind of feel bad for the person who will be taking this office on the one hand, but on the other, I don’t.’

Small and petty of me, I know.  But, really, it’s only one fruit fly.  And, they can’t reproduce without another one around, can they?  Besides, the damn thing is flying around my head and bothering me at the moment.  So, maybe it’s just one more instance of “life passing by,” as my mother always says.

Officially Published

August 29, 2009

I received notification yesterday that the work I did for my master’s has been published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: Vol. 73, pp. 5793-5819!!!!!  The official citation is:

Ruth F. Schulte, Manuel Schilling, Ryo Anma, James Farquhar, Mary F. Horan, Tsuyoshi Komiya, Philip M. Piccoli, Lynnette Pitcher, Richard J. Walker (2009) Chemical and chronological complexity in the convecting upper mantle: Evidence from the Taitao ophiolite, southern Chile.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: Vol. 73, pp. 5793-5819

This is an amazing feat considering I gave birth to my oldest during the first year of graduate school and became pregnant with my second toward the end.  I was in my first trimester and suffering morning sickness when I flew to Tokyo to select appropriate rock samples from the Taitao ophiolite in southern Chile.  It was cheaper to fly to Tokyo and collaborate with my Japanese colleagues than to organize an expedition to Patagonia.  Given that I was pregnant I could not take any medication to help me sleep on the 16-hour plane ride nor could I indulge in the sushi and shashimi for which Japan is renown.  Other than that, my time in Japan was amazing and my hosts were utterly gracious.

Somewhat later, after my first daughter was born, my mother took a cruise around Tierra del Fuego and up along the coast of Chile that brought her closer to my site than I had ever been.  The irony was only slightly bitter.  But while my explorer days were less than glamorous I accomplished the task set before me.  Dutiful person that I am, I simply took one step after another and eventually reached my destination.  For me, this publication is a testimony to my resilience in the face of many challenges, the most difficult being the adjustment to life after the birth of my oldest daughter.

So excuse me while I do a little happy dance …