I know, I know, most of you probably got a Christmas tree a week ago. Maybe even the day after Thanksgiving. Or put up a fake tree on November 1. I know.
I feel like I have been running behind since school came back in session in August. I don’t know what it is about this semester, but I have been playing catch up.
Tomorrow, though, is my last day of work until January! So I can finally, maybe, breathe a little bit.
Last year, we had a tree delivered by a company I found on Groupon (more on that tomorrow!) In years past, we borrowed a truck from friends to get a tree at one of the many many home improvement stores. This year… I am hoping to pick out a tree at one of the two places nearby that deliver trees. If we can’t get one from either of them, I’ll be screwed.
But, I think the joy of this will outpace the concern and hassle; Baby Girl is old enough to help us pick out the tree (though she certainly doesn’t understand the holiday yet.)
With any luck, I’ll be writing for Together Tuesday about how the Christmas tree shopping goes – the snow in the forecast for Saturday seems to have disappeared, so we should be able to do it then.
Today it is 39 days until Christmas. Can you believe it?
Things have been so hectic (not to mention frustrating) with work, that this semester has just flown by in a way that I can’t even imagine. I’m still reeling from certain changes at work, and Thanksgiving is a week away! So I had to buckle down and take care of that. Luckily, there’s no real pressure on me this year to do things perfectly; I’d rather just have a nice day with my family, and if that means different food comes out at different times, that’s okay.
So back to Christmas. With Thanksgiving all but out of the way (finally), I should be ready to buckle down and plan Chritsmas, but I can’t. I have money on my credit card standing in the way, at least until most of it (hopefully) gets reimbursed. (I do know the bulk of it will, but I refuse to look at the damage closely enough to know if it’s all going to be reimbursed. At this point I can’t be bothered with the extra stress.
Anyway, since I can’t shop yet, I have been in a holding pattern. And for me, that means excessive organization and planning of every detail I can think of. So for the next few days, I am going to be laying out the most obsessive Christmas shopping plan and budget the world has ever seen.
When I am finished, I will be updating this post with the planning worksheets that I ended up using, so you can do the same, if you wish!
When was the last time you updated your resume? I know that it can be easy to forget, especially if you are settled into a permanent (or presumed permanent) job, but believe me when I tell you that you are only doing yourself a favor if you have one ready and waiting with updated information.
Perhaps you moved recently. Or your phone number changed. Or your position had duties added – or the title was changed. That last one happened to me when I was still staff and didn’t really think about such things. They changed the title of the position (I think ostensibly to help me and those who followed me find jobs easier.) and I must have sent out a dozen resumes before I realized I hadn’t updated it. I often wonder if anyone checked my resume against the staff listing at my university and noticed the discrepancy.
These days, I have to update my resume at least once a year, because of the requirements of tenure, promotion, and evaluation. But I like to try to do it at least twice a year (once a semester.) Depending on how frequently things change for you and the relevant information you would have in your resume, you may want to do it more or less frequently.
And that way, you have a resume ready. If you meet someone at a conference who is interested in giving you a new job – you can have it emailed to them that very second (if it’s saved somewhere accessible by smartphone) – and you look very polished and put together. Or, if they’ve announced a new position at your workplace – you can beat the rush.
So much about career advancement and expansion is about timing. Make sure it’s not your resume that makes you fall behind!
My three-year anniversary is a week from today. The internet tells me that the traditional gift for the third anniversary is leather (which we certainly can’t afford, but I understand how that would have been different historically) and the modern gift is crystal/glass (which we wouldn’t want with Baby Girl around, unfortunately.)
With the budget on lockdown, we aren’t going to do gifts anyway. I have relented about cards, only because we’re both sentimental fools and have kept all the cards and letters we’ve given each other over the years. And we are going to celebrate with a nice dinner out – made all the nicer by the fact that we have been denying ourselves take-out because of budget concerns. We will be taking Baby Girl with us, which I know does not delight servers or customers, but we are aware of this and try to take precautions. We ask to be seated away from other customers (if it can be helped), we only take her places where there is a kids’ menu and therefore some expectation that kids will be there, and we tend to ask for the check fairly soon after we get our meals. (We hardly ever order dessert, mainly because there are usually better, separate places to get dessert. Unless there’s cheesecake. That’s a different story.)
I know I should be getting her used to being left with people, but honestly my husband and I don’t have a lot of options and I don’t like the idea of leaving her with a stranger when she’s too young to tell me what happened when I was gone. I also grew up not having babysitters very often (for a myriad of reasons), so I’m super-hesitant about it.
She is getting better at communicating though, and if we can get her schedule to stay fairly sane, babysitters may not be as far in the future as I think!
As for our anniversary, the other thing we’ll be doing is taking anniversary pictures. We missed doing fancy shmancy ones for our first anniversary because baby girl was literally a month old! But we took some last year and even though we did them ourselves, I think they turned out fabulously. So we’re going to do them again this year, at the same place we got married! Weather permitting, we’ll be doing them this weekend, so I will report back about how they turn out!
Hot on the heels of me feeling like I’m under-performing has been this incredible need to re-evaluate my life. I don’t think I’ve changed a lot in the last four years since I moved to my current town and started my career as a faculty librarian, but I would be fooling myself if I thought that I hadn’t changed at all.
Being in a real job in your field, changes you.
Getting married, changes you.
Buying a house, changes you.
Having a baby, changes you.
These are all major life milestones. Any one of these things should have me re-evaluating my life – and they’ve all happened in the space of four years. So, yes, I need to re-evaluate, make sure that the choices I have made are still the right choices for me and what to do about it if they aren’t.
But that involves being able to have some time to myself to think.
I haven’t felt like I’ve had that lately. But starting today, I’m going to try to find some, even if it’s retreating to my office this evening for a half an hour or so before going home. I don’t have to re-evaluate my life all at once, after all! And it might be a good idea to think about “home” at work, and “work” at home – that way I’m away from the little annoyances and can think about things a little more clearly.
I may even develop some worksheets to go along with this! I find everything is easier when I write it down.
So, I am sitting here at work when I should technically be on vacation. No, I hadn’t planned to go anywhere, but it would have been nice to spend today with my family. Instead, I am at the reference desk for four hours (already halfway through, so that’s nice!) because my part-timer had to work at her other job. When I set the hours for the library for this week, she hadn’t got the other job yet, and obviously it would have been bad form to abruptly close the library. So I stepped in for the hours today and she will be working tomorrow, so I at least get one day off!
That being said, Fall Break in the library is incredibly dull. It isn’t completely useless – I’ve seen two students today and one of them had an actual reference question – but it is very very quiet. So I am trying to take this annoyance and turn it into opportunity. I’m running around cleaning the reference desk, getting things sorted out that I have allowed to pile up, and taking things down to my office – which, yes, is unfortunately on a different floor than the library. This building was not built with the library in mind.
Basically, I’m trying to treat it like a organization day and I am hoping that taking this attitude will help me turn around my semester, because boy has this semester been rough so far! So far I’ve got a lot done, and I still have another hour and fifteen minutes to go.
I haven’t posted twice this week, and that’s unheard of for me,but I’ve unexpectedly been very busy whenever I’m near a computer- and very rarely at the computer. In fact, I’m writing this post on my phone while my daughter nurses. Not ideal conditions for substantive posts to be sure.
Hopefully regular posts will resume tomorrow, but if they don’t, please bear with me.