When Life Gets In The Way

See into the trees, Find the girl
Credit: flickr / jblndl

If insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results then I am clearly insane. For some reason, I thought I could finish at IBM, fly to Europe the following (early!) morning, have a great holiday and stick to my posting schedule.

I did not manage the great holiday, because life got in the way, but I nearly managed the posting schedule… until I returned to Canada. I was running around like a headless chicken once I got back (I flew in Monday, and drove to Kitchener on Thursday, and in the meantime had a full A4 list of tasks I needed to do). Finally, Friday night I dealt with something that had been weighing on me, got an email from the girl leaving the apartment I want saying not to worry, she was telling people it was rented, and slept for 12 hours.

And now – finally – I feel like I can write about what has been going on.

In Europe, 3 things were weighing on me. The first was a family thing, the second was/is a long story I can’t quite retell yet, and the third was that I did not get a TA (uOttawa TA’s are extremely unionized, and I hate it), my apartment building got bought, and on impulse I decided I may as well move to Kitchener sooner and gave notice. I can’t do anything about the family thing in any country, but the second two I needed to be in Canada to fix, and I wasn’t. As someone who likes to fix things, this was very stressful to me and I ended up reading a huge stack of novels and not really doing much of what I’d planned – maybe I needed the break.

I was also getting incessant emails from a private security firm who are doing my background check – everywhere I’ve spent more than a month for the last SEVEN years – you don’t need to know me that well to appreciate what a giant pain that has been! In the context of security and access to personal data, it is completely understandable and as a user I’m glad that employees are subject to these checks. However as someone who every time I put in a Visa application worries I’ll be deported, I’m angsting about that time I didn’t get paid and accidentally overdrew my bank account, and identity theft.

Now, the first, family thing, I can’t do anything about and is still the same. The second has an outcome (although mostly just a process) that I am not delighted with but is done, I’m not going to fight it. The third I have in hand. The background check, I’m trying to think of a way to get them to tell me when I have the all clear that doesn’t make it sound like I’m trying to hide anything or am insane, or alternatively just be less bonkers about it.

Now – as a good grad student – I can worry about my thesis. And about moving to a new city.

For my thesis, I need a plan. I’m going to meet with my co-supervisor, plough through my reading list, and aim to be back on weekly goals after GHC (Grace Hopper), so the first week of October.

For relocating, I also need a plan. And – importantly, as I’ll be working from home on my thesis mostly, to work on getting a social circle.

Priority 1: Somewhere to live. In hand. Found a great loft really close to the office – just waiting for lease.

Priority 2: Social circle. Trying to get introductions, and look for things to get involved in. Connecting with people on Twitter.

Priority 3: Infrastructure. Found a gym and connected with them about a trainer. Got recommendation for a chiropractor, a hairdresser/spa and hot yoga. Need to find kickboxing. And grocery store!

When I moved to Ottawa I did it at such short notice and just made it up as I went along. This time I have more notice and I’m not going as far, so I hope it will be easier. That said, it’s harder to meet people when you’re no longer a student so there’s that challenge.

I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile if you have any tips for relocating, or if you know anyone in the Kitchener/Waterloo area – let me know!

4 thoughts on “When Life Gets In The Way

      1. Nice topic; I even didn’t know there were scientific studies on the subject (Totally not my usual topics, please forgive me!). Hey, if there are already big references about that, could you share them somehow (by being in an academic environment also, I will be able to access them)? I would also be glad to be able to get some insight in your next work ;-).

        By the way, you’ve a nice website and a nice blog that I like to follow. Please go on!
        Best!

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