13 January 2008

Anxious Days

An unplanned break from blogging. The anxiety of not knowing where I'm going. Now that the holidays are officially over it lodges somewhere in my breast bone. I try to make a schedule of my days, feeling it somewhat empty, but needing to create some sort of structure nonetheless, needing to make sure I get applications in, and get out and exercise in the sun, and keep my sanity. So my schedule for the moment is this, up in the morning for running, currently mostly an indoor activity, then job applications until hunger for lunch over takes me, lunch and then out with the dogs on a hike or a ski or a snowshoe, out where the sun is. I've been dragging my mom with me often on these trips but also often go alone. Then in the afternoon I want to work on publishing my thesis. I haven't actually done that yet, mostly I do more job searches (I'm not keen on interacting with my erstwhile advisor who is sure to tell me what an idiot I am - and who thinks the work should age! Science is not like cheese or wine, generally it does not age well - and so must take myself firmly in hand and get this done). Then an evening walk with the dogs, I've ceded the morning walks to my father to whom they seem more important although I miss them dearly but it seems we both need our alone-time walks with the dogs as grounding moments in the day and you simply cannot tell one dog that it is going to be left behind while the other one goes out.

I've spent many of my evenings with long ago friends, many of whom I haven't seen in 15-17yrs. It's a bit of a shock but it's also grand fun, catching up with these people who I haven't seen in a decade or two although I have a hard time answering that question of what I'm doing now and where I live.

There are things that are hard for me to adjust to: the excessive use of cars as the two ends of the valley are quite interconnected though it takes an hour of driving to get from one end to the other. I miss my bicycle and find it strange when people are shocked if I take the bus, a system which has greatly improved since I last lived here. One of the things I find the strangest of all is that people here seem unable or unwilling to express a firm opinion on something, as if they are afraid to offend someone. I am not sure if this is usual to the rest of the lower 48, or a peculiarity of this particular region, any more as I have been in Alaska too long. Alaska does have it's unique culture and perhaps it is the lifestyle which allows people to express differing opinions and agree to disagree and then get on with it. Or maybe it's something else entirely.

My niece & nephew were up for the weekend, including Friday, and they absorbed all of the time I and their grandparents had to give while my sister & bother-in-law were off to their own devices, mostly skiing. They are perfect mimics of their parents and every now and then it is as if they are challenging their very spirits. I spend hours dragging them outside whether it is a walk with the dogs (and them being pulled on sled for most of the way) or careening down the driveway, or building snow forts. I simply cannot remain for the better part of a day inside when the sun pours in from the south and they are full of wild energy or when the snow comes down in such thick clumps it obscures our footprints before we return. I don't think they are used to all this outdoor time but I simply get itchy the longer the shadows grow and I am indoors.


  1. Yeah, it is remarkably gorgeous country. I loved doing yoga on the deck out back overlooking the mountains where the snow came just up to the edge of the wooden planks. And so warm under that sun!

    The buses do work wonderfully, and of course, as a southern girl, i have no inclination toward driving there. Ah, it would be lovely to be there. But, I'm settling for the east coast and male company this weekend coming! ;)

  2. Best of luck with the thesis and job applications. I hope you're finding interesting positions and opportunities!

  3. you sound so happy, this break, unplanned on the outset, is so clearly working. and the next chapter is just opening up, isn't it.

  4. I've been lurking here for a month or so. I just wanted to wish you luck on your job applications, and hope that something opens up soon to end this period of uncertainty. I understand the stress of employment seeking and uncertainty! And I wanted to say... your writing and pictures are just beautiful.

  5. Transition is hard enough, IMO, but to have to effect the change through concerted effort...

    I wish you much luck!

  6. "What now?" is a familiar question, one I still have trouble answering two years after the fact. Based on personal experience, I have to agree, a certain amount of structure is a good thing. Any goal, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is a purpose, and leads to accomplishment. For me, it has been important to feel useful, or to feel like I was progressing.

    I hear you, support you, and wish you success.

  7. I know it's hard to enjoy unplanned breaks, but it sounds like you've got some wonderful coping activities. Take the time to recharge - work will be back with you soon enough!

  8. Your days sound so heavenly to me....and I agree with you about the attitudes in Alaska. You say what you need to say, and people take it in and move on.

  9. From one job searcher to another I wish you the job of your dreams.

  10. liv, mmm...male company :)

    mad hatter, thanks so much!

    jen, you're right, I am happy, even though I'm nervous. It's like a thousand little weights were lifted from my shoulders that I didn't even know were there. But I did know they were there. So anxious though I may be about the what-nextes it's awfully nice not to have those weights from workplace past.

    bean-mom, thanks for de-lurking!!! And thanks for the sweet compliments.

    julie, thanks! It is tough, a bit scary...almost like too many choices at the grocery store.

    but why, excellent advice. Thanks for reminding me!

    qt, you do? That's good, I was wondering if it was just my perception.

    hele, and you too my dear! you too!


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