Archive for February, 2016

Handling It

February 25, 2016

In January we flew in one long continuous trip from Tirana to Cusco, 36 hours of travel, 5 flights, 4 international border crossings. We got up at 4:00 a.m. in Tirana to catch a flight to Rome, then Amsterdam, then Bogotá, Lima, and finally Cusco. The worst layover was in Lima (1:00 a.m. local time, 7:00 a.m. by our body clocks though we’d slept barely at all that night). The kids were insanely wired and tired. We were too in our own way. Both Gimli and I felt like the floor and walls were moving even when we were standing still. When we landed in Lima, I had to shake the kids awake from deep sleep. With his eyes still closed, Oz cried “I can’t handle this, not even a little bit.”

But we did it. I doubt we’ll ever do it again, though, not with all four of us, and definitely not while the kids are still kids.

I’m still trying to figure out what we’re doing here, when we don’t really want to be here and we don’t really feel wanted. We moved into a new apartment and it was a little bit of a boost, a fresh start in some ways, and I’ve been deliberately trying to think about and approach my work in new ways. But I feel like I’m handling it only a little bit. People ask me if I feel at home yet in Bogotá, or how I like living in Colombia, and I never know what to say. I mention the good things – how people sitting on a bus will graciously hold packages or bags for people standing, or the abundance of fresh tropical fruits. But really my heart isn’t in it, not even a little bit.

This is going to be a historic year for the country, no matter what happens – peace accords right around the corner, high probability of a TRC process, the possibility for profound social and political change exists. And I feel strangely detached from the whole thing. I can’t engage emotionally. I’m here, but I’m not here. The past three years have felt like one long present moment. I’m not moving, I’m floating. The organization I work for has been deeply committed to the peace processes, and I’m deeply committed to limiting my time on Facebook.

So Gimli and I have agreed to stay until December, but I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around being here past August.


remembering how

February 19, 2016

Type, delete; type, delete… we have date night tonight, and I’m excited about enjoying some really good food somewhere.

I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands this week, so used some of it to read academic articles in my field. Also to catch up on some neglected projects at work. Did not use it to unpack and organize the house; we have all the basics in place but I cannot put my hands on my set of knitting needles so I’m grumpy about that.

I’ve been listening to my IF playlist off and on on iTunes. It’s funny to me how tenuous the connection of some of the songs is to infertility, but at the time it all made sense in my head. It also reminds me of how painful it all was.

Last year at this time I was writing dissertation revisions. I am so completely glad that I am not doing that right now. Or ever again.

I’m hoping that by randomly posting whatever is in my head I will remember how to do this blog thing again…

more random blather

February 11, 2016

I guess my goal is to blog more, not necessarily to say anything. But I realized that even High Albania has a whole section on vampires. Should I move on to zombies? How was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (the book)? I read most of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter but never read the last chapter because it was just getting too gory, and I’d figured out the ending. Oddly enough, it’s one of the very, very few books I never finished. I’m kind of OCD about finishing books. The only other book I can remember deliberately walking away from was Tess of the D’Ubervilles, which for some reason really annoyed me. I’m not sure I even remember why.

How it’s going

February 9, 2016

So, the goals. I recognize they were pretty ambitious. I did great for a week, and then we moved, and I let the stress of that be my excuse for falling off the proverbial wagon (especially the computer games, journaling, and blogging goals). But this is a slow week at work, just now, so I’m ready to take it up again.

I love our new apartment. It’s high and warm and full of light. It’s a much longer walk to school, we clocked 28 minutes door to door today, but it’s good for all of us to get the additional exercise. It’s also forcing Illyria to face her fear of dogs as there are a lot of dogs en route. Mostly on leashes but not always.

A good friend from grad school contacted me yesterday about putting together a proposal for a special issue of an anthro journal, so that’s fun to think about – and scary. But that’s a small step towards the publishing goal, so that’s good. A necessary if not sufficient condition.

I’ve put a time limit on “time-wasting” web sites (it’s a browser extension called “Waste No Time,” it’s not perfect but I’ve been able to make it work for me. I used it throughout my dissertation writing to prevent getting distracted.

And, I faced a really awkward and difficult conversation at work today, someone I directly supervise, and it went really well! They weren’t defensive and agreed to change the thing they’re doing that was bugging other people at the office. So I feel good about that.

In terms of reading more books, I tallied up that I read seven books in January. But only one was a new read (Dracula). The rest were all re-reads (and every single one had at least one vampire in it… not sure what that says about me…). So now I’m reading Edith Durham’s High Albania, published in 1908. It is fascinating! She traveled as a single English woman in her late 30s all over some really rough terrain where very few outsiders ever went. Truly badass, and very smart. I have a shelf full of books to read next… I almost want to put together a syllabus for myself for the next 3 months and treat it like a university course.

Gimli is in Budapest this week and I’m insanely jealous.