Thursday, 10 February 2011

too busy too be bored; too happy in the north to want to move south

I have some friends who are unemployed and looking for work who complain on certain social media sites that they are bored. My contract ended with the end of December, so, technically, I am also unemployed, but I am far, far too busy to be bored (as people might be able to guess if they compared frequency of my posts before and after the contract ending).

What am I doing to keep busy? I'm getting close to done processing the data I generated during the last couple of weeks before I left; I should be able to actually begin the writing process within a week. I'm settling into a new home with a new partner in a new country, and trying to learn a new language. Our evenings are full with folk dance classes, choir practice, gaming with friends, visiting a local climbing wall, martial arts practice, and, of course Medieval Re-enactment. My days are full with finishing up my last research project, trying to keep up with personal correspondence, studying my new language and attending class for that, dealing with the bureaucracy at the Uni (why do they need copies of my highschool, BS, and Master's transcripts before they approve my enrolment in a beginning language class when they have my PhD transcripts? (Doesn't the one sort of imply the existence of the others?) I am also starting the paperwork for appropriate visas to actually be able to stay here.

I'm also continuing the job search, but now that there are two of us to consider I'm being a bit fussier about the jobs for which I will apply—I have never been interested in hot climates, but had been applying for interesting sounding jobs located in such places anyway, with the thought that I could endure hot weather for a short time and then when I have more experience move on to someplace with good weather. Now that I'm happily living somewhere far enough north to have real winter I am much less inclined to consider locations without winter, and my partner, like me, loves the snow and cold weather.

I listen to friends who live in more southern locations complain about winter—that it is cold, dark, wet, and depressing. I am convinced that the reason they think this is because they are too far south. Up here in the north (though still south of the Arctic Circle) winter may be cold, but it isn't wet, and it isn't dark or depressing. Instead the snow reflects light beautifully, making even overcast days brighter than their counterpart down south. And day, like today, when there are no clouds, are sometimes overwhelmingly bright. Yes, the sun does set early, but we are living in a town, which means that there are street-lights, which means that the snow is reflecting that light all night long, so visibility is good and it is neither dark, nor depressing.

I have been saying for a decade that I really miss real winter. Now that I have it again I don't wish to move somewhere without it. Now for the fun part: either finding an academic job which will let me do interesting research and live in the north (but with mountains, too, please!), or obtain funding which will let me choose my own location to live and do research…

1 comment:

Jude said...

I learned a long time ago not to stay in a job if it was making me unhappy. So I quit my job without any firm plans about how to support my family. I haven't been bored a moment since. I am happy. I am selectively applying for new jobs; if I get one, fine. This isn't a practical long-term way to live, but it's so much more fun.