Friday, November 16, 2007


That was quite a month. I think I mentioned - before the chaos and general insanity began - that I managed to drum up some freelance work. I sent out marketing materials for my book indexing business (one advantage to being a former academic is knowing plenty of people who will write books in the future) and it yielded some editing (and later, indexing) work. For the last six weeks or so I have been helping an old colleague edit a book, the topic of which was so closely connected to my own research that it may as well have been my own. And, to sum it up, it was awesome (and tiring).

At first, it sort of made my head hurt, this whole "thinking" thing. It had been a while. But then I got into a groove and I was just digging it. Sure, I neglected Eli a bit (two days ago, in the heat of the final crunch, he was introduced to the joys of Blockbuster, which I utilized to plant him on the couch for a morning) and he didn't love that every spare second brought me to my computer, but given that I pretty much just covered his preschool tuition for next year, I think he'll forgive me. Which brings me to the other awesome part: this whole working thing? They pay you for it. You work, and then they give you money. It is remarkable how easy it is to forget how good that feels. But now I remember. And I'm hooked.

Money has been so tight for us recently that the money I just earned is pretty much already spoken for (preschool tuition, some car repairs, things like that) but in the midst of it all I did manage a couple of splurges. First, instead of regular coffee, I got lattes - not every time, but often enough. (That had been a place where I cut back. I just love going out and buying a hot cup of coffee but couldn't justify $4.50+ for a drink, so I went to the regular American stuff.) Yum, lattes. And, I also bought myself a pair of expensive jeans. Oh, how I love my jeans.

There's a store in Boston's North End which has a reputation for being able to find the perfect pair of jeans for your body. So, one weekend afternoon when there was a lull in the work, I took off in search of my destiny. Unfortunately, the first pair was a miss. I got them home and just though, "eh." So, I took matters into my own hands and emailed the store owner (hey, if you don't want emails, don't put your address on your store's site!). She was very gracious and told me when she'd be there and said she'd be happy to help. And help she did. I love, love, love my ridiculously overpriced denim.

Somehow, another benefit of all this work was some clarity in thinking about the whole grow-this-family plan. We haven't made a final decision yet, but we're leaning very heavily toward raising Eli as an only. Lately I've been increasingly aware of the sense of relief (combined with a healthy dose of disappointment, but still) that I feel each month when there's no pregnancy. I know I'd still be thrilled if it happened, but there's a part of me - a significant part of me, it seems - that would look forward to a family of three. That, combined with the fact that the largest age difference we would like is four years, and the fact that I will be 41 in four months, has led us to believe that we'll probably try for a few more months and then call it a family.

Oh! And I was talking with the woman for whom I was working all these weeks about raising an only child, because that is what she is currently doing (a 15-year-old daughter) and her solution: get a dog. It might sound ridiculous initially, but think about it: She was saying that her therapist's opinion is that her daughter needed not to be so much the center of things, needed for someone else in the family to also "need." A dog accomplishes that. And for some reason, when she shared this with me, a weight was lifted, as if I suddenly knew how I was going to pull this off.

Anyway, that's where things stand right now. I'm looking forward to getting back to this blog in a meaningful way, and with that in mind, I'm changing formats a little - or at least introducing a new one. It occurred to me that I often put off writing because I feel like I'm writing to "you," (the small group of people who find their way here), and then I suddenly feel pressure, and I just don't write. My primary purpose in writing anything is so that Eli has a record of what his crazy mother was up to way back when. So, from this point on, many of my entries will start with "Dear Eli." I thought about switching blogs, primarily because I had all kinds of fun ideas for titles (like "The Eli Papers") but I'll stick with this. I want the option to have other kinds of posts and he's already going to have weed through about 12 different on-line sources to get the whole story (if he even cares), so it seems the kind thing to do.

So, coming soon: Letters to Eli.

And p.s., no that is not my butt in that photo. Ha! As if.

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Loved reading this post and catching up with what you've been up to. I'd love to know what area of research you're in. Are you allowed to give hints? My Dad is an academic and both my sisters work in Universities so the academic life fascinates me. My Dad always said I should have 'done more' with my study and career but I have no regrets. I have been a Deputy Prinicipal of quite a big Primary School and I know I'm good at what I that is enough. Glad you got some good jeans. I need to lose 5kg before I buy any new clothes!!
Signed :Fat Bottomed Old Cow.
(see my latest post!)