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[personal profile] flea
New Year's has turned into a difficult holiday for me the last few years. Instead of a happy taking stock and striving for new accomplishments in the coming year, it tends to be "sum up all your failures of the year, and oh by the way the things you plan to resolve are exactly the same things you resolved and failed at the last 4 years in a row." What the hell kind of holiday is that?

It's exacerbated by the fact that most of the most active people I follow on twitter (classics and digital humanities types) are currently attending national conferences (AIA/APA, MLA, and AHA are all this weekend) and I feel like a professional failure. I know that in the long term the odds of my career continuing and being satisfactory are good, but I am having a hard time keeping my eye on the long term. On a day-to-day basis I am keeping busy (personally), and keeping an oar in professionally (I attended two by-invitation professional meetings this year, was asked to review grant proposals for a prestigious funding body, and have been asked to develop a summer week-long course). But every couple of weeks I have panics that I don't actually have a JOB and may never again. Work and busy-ness is nice, but so is money, everyday feedback, coworkers, and professional esteem.

The year overall was good. The kids are attending a school that is better for them than last year's, and they are doing well. They are good kids. mr. flea is happy at work and seems well-regarded, and this year managed to become An International Expert in His Field (was invited to lecture in China.) Me not working means less stress on me and everybody, and we've dealt just fine with the lower income. Our house in Georgia is rented through July, and maybe it will sell this spring. We've set up 529 college funds for the kids, thanks to some family generosity. We have nice things, a safe and warm and fairly pleasant place to live, plenty to eat, and more wealth and security as the average family. I am not a failure; I am doing my best to balance what's good for my family and myself in the face of a challenging economy and the stresses of middle-class life. Right?

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July 2016

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