So, as it snows...and snows...and snows...AND SNOWS outside, I have about 5000 (almost exactly) things to do, and no time to do them, but am TAKING time (out of snow-rage) to write a blog entry. Going to try the ol' "Sunday" blog day again, and see if that sparks me to keep writing. I have TONS of writing to do, but sometimes I find a bit of fun writing is necessary to keep the ol' brain alive!
I'm back in Kamloops again, after eight lovely, strange, amazing, work-filled months in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The Brodie-McDavid Mission Home for Wayward Folklorists was a wonderful respite from the chaos of no job, living with family (like, rooms next to each other!!), and trying to figure out what the hell I was doing with my life. I wasn't sure what living with a 6-year-old would be like, but must say I enjoyed it immensely! I hope like hell the brain of a highly intelligent grade-one-r remembers me over time, as I'd like to keep up my friendship with this amazing little dude, and my good buddy. Jackson taught me a lot about Mario Bros, and how to make up a fast "young Minecraft Steve" story, and I laughed a lot. He was definitely a huge balm to my raw nerves.
Jodi and Ian were peaches, keeping me generally fed and alive, as well as helping me find great work teaching and researching and interviewing, and Ian helped get me set for thesis writing. Hope and the thought of actually being able to do the thing you had been terrified you could never in a million years do is an amazing thing. Who needs drugs when you've got the high of the graduate-student thought: "I think I might be able to pull this out of my ass!" You know it's a graduate student 'cause you still put that "I think" in there, as you're never really sure until it's done.
Had some great time with my pals in Halifax, and thanks again to Anya for putting me up a few times, and Steve for some delicious waffles and game time, and Whitney for a great movie, and Anne for a delicious lunch convo! I also went to Saskatchewan in August and got to meet some fantastic researchers there with the project I was working on, and that was amazing. Hard work and a lot of head filling stuff at a workshop, and yet still really fun.
The AFS 2014 conference in Santa Fe was a hoot, and I saw some great papers, and got to meet/reconnect with some wonderful folks. It's super great that 2015 will be in Long Beach, CA, meaning it's on my precious West Coast when I'm on this side of the country! Boo yeah!
I've been speaking with a few people, and it's funny how sometimes things seem to really BE happening all over at the same damn time! Like, everyone feeling kind of zippy, or down, or broke, all over the place, all in the same month or week. 2015, for whatever reason, seems to be the year of "realism." I've had a few years in the recent past where I said to myself, "This will be the year of ME! I will do amazing things! The planets will align and I will do everything I set my mind to!" And then...well...I don't know WHOSE year it was, but it certainly wasn't mine!
Now, this doesn't mean good things didn't happen in these years! Of course there were the usually ups and downs and sideways and below-stairs and garrets and all manner of "ways" that went on. But in general...things were not the grandiose years they honestly and truly felt they were going to be in my fat head.
And it's not just me! Several pals and family have stated the same thing: thoughts of grandeur and high hopes at the start of the past few years slowly fizzling to wading slowly through the slog of poop that was seeping through the foundation by the end of the year. Perhaps that's WHY we all kept making these grand statements. "Ok, my shoes are filled with some pretty disgusting poop here, so I guess I'm as low as I'm going to get, so hey, it's got to be better next year, right? Yeah...of course! No where to go but up! Yeah...YAH!!! Up we go! THIS is going to be the year of ME!"
Finally, so many people I've spoken to are in the same boat this year: "Well...I was slogging through some pretty disgusting poop this year, and my shoes all got pretty ruined. But hey, I guess my pants didn't get TOO saturated, and that's pretty good. I think this year I'm going to just manage things, and ensure the poop just gently kisses the floor, making it a bit sticky, and yeah, I'm not going to want to walk around with socks on, but I'll get those good rubber-soled shoes, and it's going to be ok! Yep! Just some small puddles of poop, and it will all be well."
Yes, I do have hope that not only will there be NO POOP (I mean, GAWD! It's a pretty gross metaphor, already!), but also lots of wonderful sunshine-y rainbow kitten kisses! However, if the poop leaks in and just kisses the floor, and I can pull on some good rubber-soled shoes, and still keep trodding along ok, I'm going to be just fine with that!
Realism wins. Good thing I'm a Virgo and we thrive on realism and highly critical expectations! Especially during a bloody Winter Snowpocolypse Storm that's not supposed to end for DAYS!
Happy New Year, everyone, and here's to Poop! Small, manageable amounts of poop.
And good shoes.