Consistency, or a lack thereof

For the past month or so, I have had very little stability as I have been in a state of flux and unknowing. Will I get the job I interviewed for and finally get to officially settle down and start a permanent life? Finally live together with the Grackle and all of our little fur faces and have a consistent life instead of the temporary one I’ve been in for most, if not all of my adult life?

Well, although I don’t have official confirmation, I am 98% sure that isn’t happening. It has been pretty difficult to deal with and pretty depressing. All of my 1 out of 200 rejections are accepted almost as a given but to be 1 out of 5 and get rejected after they meet me, hear about my research and enjoy my sparking personality (to say nothing of my cute shoes) is getting me down about my prospects in academia altogether*

In addition to the soul crushing job market, the snowstorms in my area and a faulty transmission in Grackle’s car have conspired to keep us apart for most of February. I was able to get home this weekend for the first time since Feb 3rd…. but am leaving for field-work on Friday so it will be at least 6 weeks till we see each other again. The whole point of taking a geographically close postdoc was so that we didn’t have to go 3 months without seeing each other!

Given all this, it doesn’t really seem like anything is consistent these days. Who knows what I will be working on come next year, where I might be in 18 months, if I will ever get a job, etc etc. But then as I contemplated just how much of a pity party my writing about continuity really was turning out to be, I thought about what it was we did this weekend.

We sat around our house and were completely boring. We watched sports and worked and played backgammon. The most exciting part of the trip was a visit to the antique mall where we found a three-faced dog planter (see below). Despite the snooze factor, the weekend was exactly like most weekends and has shown just how much consistency/continuity there can be in the mundane aspects of everyday life. This is actually quite comforting. The pets will always provide entertainment, Grackle will always do something sweet** and we will never get as much cleaning done as we plan.

This perspective is helping me accept the results of this years job search and remember that nothing is really so bad. It is fine I didn’t get what I thought was the perfect job and it is fine that weather and work and cars all seem to be working against me. The fundamental aspects of my life remain consistent and that is more than enough.

*I know that on my first year on the market that I am very lucky to have even gotten an interview and am grateful for the experience. Also know that search committees make decisions for all sorts of reasons and it shouldn’t be taken personally. Rejection still stinks, though.

**While out for dog food, he bought me an office chair so we can both sit comfortably while working/watching tv.