Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resisting the Maxim "If you aren't working, you're sleeping"

Lately the only time that I have felt grounded and present has been when I'm on my yoga mat. And as I have only been able to get around to that once a week for the past month it means that I am not spending nearly enough of my time in a present state of mind.

It isn't that I am thinking about the past or that my mind is wandering.....I've just been so mentally busy with work that there hasn't been much past that. I've forgotten how to deal with myself when I have time that is unscheduled. This is a problem with being a workaholic. All of your time is scheduled out and when you aren't working, you're sleeping..... Back in my archaeologist days my dig director, in an attempt to raise morale that tragically backfired, announced at dinner one night that "if we weren't working, we should be sleeping". I was appalled at that comment. So now, 9 years later I ask myself....what the hell changed? Cause that is sorta where I live at the moment.
It's quite sad really.

I've been tempted to ruthlessly schedule out free time activities for myself.....but that is just about as sad as not knowing how to deal with free time in the first place.
I've also decided that I hate it when you get advice such as "oh, you can take 15 minutes out of your day to do (insert activity here)". Yeah, I could take 15 minutes out of my day.....but there are WAY too many things that I would want to take 15 minutes a day many that I can't figure out what I want to do first.

Anyway.....Earlier this week I met a woman that I've had many people tell me that I should meet. She lives locally and she's Turkish. Most of the time when I am around Turkish speakers I don't let on that I can speak....but that is mostly because the Turkish speakers I come across are male. She and I hit it off and we are going to meet for coffee and gossip in Turkish. I've been trying to review some, I am very very rusty. I also bought a new Turkish album this weekend. One of the songs just transported me back to hot summers on the rooftop of that dreary little motel in Bismil. I loved that rooftop. I loved how new things felt and I even love how naive I was. It took me back to a time where blogging was still taboo and I wrote poetry everyday.
Sounds like I need to go back to basics, doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Tragic End to MEC Outreach Awesomeness

It been over a year now since I left the Middle East Center and it still amazes me at how events that happen there still affect me.....albeit in a very distant way. For the most part whenever something bad happens, such as the director being caught for plagiarism and being put on paid administrative leave, I am filled with a sense of karmic justice. But that that I had heard discretely earlier in the week became public. The latest victim of the decline of the MEC is the Outreach program.

The years I worked at the MEC and more specifically the Outreach Program itself will always be treasured. I had wanted my career to be in Middle East Outreach and it was only due to the Director that I had to make a major job change. There will always be some bitterness when I think of how the administration handled the Outreach program and the directorship of it when I was still employed there. And I was very upset when the woman who replaced me as assistant was made Outreach Director after less than a year there and being less qualified than I. But fate, the universe, and whatnot work in mysterious ways and while I retain a smidgen of angst over how I was forced to leave the MEC, I know that I am in an infinitely better place now- work-wise, career-wise, and mental health-wise.

Having said that, I am truly sorry to see the MEC Outreach Program dissolved. Not only was it a needed program but it was an effective one as well. Complaining about how things are being run is one thing, but actually seeing the loss is something altogether different. This truly is a tragedy.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

I've Apparently Misplaced the Entire Month of March

And I'll be damned if I can find where I put it.

No exciting stories....unless you consider the death of a vacuum an exciting story. The death of a vaccuum used to be a horrific event because it would mean that there was some big to-do to be had in trying to find a way to pay for a new one. This would normally involve a desperate scramble with calling all of my credit cards to see if I had any credit on them.....which normally wasn't the case....and then I would have to go buy an overpriced one at RCWilley cause I had store credit there. And it also seemed that I would have one of those overpriced vacuums die on me every year about 2 days after the warranty was up. Paying for a new one this time wasn't nearly as dramatic. I paid for a small one....with cash! The only real hassle in the entire endeavor was the horrible service I got at the Bountiful Kmart where I bought the thing. There was only one register open and the checker (whose nametag announced that she was the lead supervisor) seemed to be dead. It was only the occasional eyeblink that let you know that she was alive. Clearly, she hated her job. Oddly enough, I was forced to answer a customer service question on the debit machine before she could ring me up. The question was "how much would you recommend this Kmart based on your shopping experience?". I chose the "I would never recommend this store" option on the pinpad. If the checker knew my response, it sure had no effect on the speed in which she was checking anyone out.

Did you know that it has been exactly four years since my bankruptcy was discharged? It seems like forever and then it seems like it only happened yesterday. Unfortunately my free credit reports don't tell me what my credit score is, but I am hoping that it is improving with the three and a half years of steady student loan payments I have been making. Now if only I could manage to get the student loan interest rate lower, it would actually look like I'm making progress on those payments instead of only a fifth of my payment going to the principle balance.
One battle at a time I guess.
And I won this one with the vacuum. :)