By the numbers

Things insomnia made me count. In my life I have:

  • Owned 3 houses and rented 5 apartments.
  • Lived in 3 states (4 if you count a vacation home).
  • Had 2 roommates (not counting a few temporary situations of less than a month).
  • Had 1 (common law) husband.
  • Owned 9 cars.
  • Had 6 traffic accidents, 2 of which were ruled my fault.
  • Spent time in 3 countries, including 45 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces.
  • Had sex in at least 24 states.
  • Had phone numbers with 5 area codes.
  • Worked for 3 different full-time employers (though in multiple positions and locations).
  • No brothers or sisters, but 14 first cousins (approximately 12 of whom are still alive).
  • Spent 2 nights in a hospital (not counting when I was born).
  • Been to 0 high school class reunions (with plans to attend 0 more).
  • Had 5 primary home computers (all Macs, which is why I had each one for so long).
  • Had 3 full-time employers (though I had multiple positions in multiple locations for the first two, plus a ton of part-time and freelance employers).
  • Had 4 medical procedures for which I was put completely under.

Dad, age 10 (or so)…

This is my dad, probably age 10 or so. Until tonight, I’d never seen a picture of him as a little boy. I have a baby picture and then just a big gap until he was in the navy, twenty years later.

Interestingly, I have tons of pictures of my mom as a little girl, but none of really anyone from my dad’s side of the family during the same era. Literally none. used to think it was because they were really poor (Great Depression, etc.) but I see now that there actually were pictures. They just all seem to have ended up with his sisters. I guess keeping up with photos was more of a “girl thing” in those days.

I’m glad that’s maybe less true now…

One more day…

…and I’m off to the rational side of the border for my annual October excursion. I didn’t know for sure till the last minute if I’d even be able to go.

I need this trip badly. My stress level is high. I-79 in West Virginia had better watch out.

(Postcard via https://dr.library.brocku.ca/handle/10464/6325)

Ten years in the profession

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the official start of my full-time career as a librarian. It also marks the midpoint of my career, as retirement becomes an option (and one I plan to pursue) at the twenty-year point.

I love my work. It’s essentially an extension of what I’d been doing as a hobby for more than a decade before I entered the profession; I create digital content from historical materials and share it with the world. As a librarian, backed by a university and a lot of grant funding, I just get to do it on a much larger scale, with more resources, and a much bigger content base to start from. It’s great; I was lucky enough to find a position doing exactly what I wanted to be doing when I decided to get my Master’s degree. Now I’m tenured university faculty with a pretty nice life and lots of job security. I think that’s pretty much the last thing most visitors to this site might have expected, say, twenty years ago.

My enthusiasm for my newfound career may literally have saved me from a  meltdown (or worse) in “the dark years” of 2011-2013 when I was simultaneously dealing with the end of my marriage, my mom’s startlingly rapid descent into dementia, and the loss of my dad. My career gave me something I could focus on and feel I had control over at a point when I didn’t really feel I had control over many other parts of my life. And the timing was good, as it coincided with the time I needed to be building up a beefy portfolio to make tenure. I became a bit of an overachiever in this one area, though I may have neglected some other areas in the process. My job, in short, became a bigger part of my life than I hd ever expected (or thought I wanted) it to be.

I’m at a little different point now. I still love my work and have no intention of giving it up, but the past two years (and especially the last few months) have been very challenging for me and really for everyone I work with. I’m finding myself reassessing what’s important to me, personally and professionally. After finally dealing with what was likely a longstanding case of depression a few years back, I learned how to enjoy other things again and stopped relying so much on my work for my happiness in life.

Now I’m once again thinking very seriously about what the next ten years will look like for me, both personally and professionally.

Literally.

This weekend.

It’s not really about the anniversary so much as about some recent issues at work, but this does seem to be an appropriate time to be thinking about this stuff. I’m 55 years old and whether I like it or not, I’m entering a new phase in my life that requires some contemplation. I need to start thinking about what’s important to me personally and then to make the things that are important to me professionally fit into that plan. That may be something of a reversal of the past ten years, or ot may just be a recognition of the fact that the two are not interchangeable.

Either way, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Maybe.

 

Realizations upon hitting another age milestone

Know what’s so great about being 55?

  • Being past most of the sex and love bullshit. No romantic drama, no overactive genitalia getting me in trouble (or wasting my time), no quest for “the love of my life” nor “the lust of my night,” and therefore much less time wasted.
  • I still have enough energy and enthusiasm (and and finally, enough money) to enjoy life. I travel a lot, no longer stay in toilets, always order a side of baba ghanouj even when I’m eating alone, and don’t stress over having to spend an extra twenty bucks on something.
  • Having a decent car.
  • Not giving a shit what anyone thinks about whether I prefer to spend most of my time alone (eat alone, go to movies alone, travel alone, etc.)
  • Loving my job (finally) but not counting on it for all my happiness like I did a few years ago when I was such a basket case.
  • Knowing who my real friends are (though I sort of always did).
  • Not owing anyone anything but maybe gratitude.
  • I’m on the 21st floor looking out at Detroit and you’re not!