Hello, work-life balance
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 - 9:35 am.

I didn't update last weekend because I couldn't make the time for it. It's not that I didn't have time, I just kept investing it in other activities. None of those were work-related, mind you. My work responsibilities have increased but I still shut the door in their face when the weekend comes. It is my aspiration in life that I continue to do so until I retire, if I make it that far.

My workdays are now filled with meetings and academic activities besides me sitting and writing papers all day. I often get a bit desperate because it doesn't feel like I'm getting any real work done, but all those meetings and errands are work too, aren't they? And it feels good to get out of the office and walk around campus.

Speaking of campus, a coffee cart has made it home in the middle of it. I'm elated. It's proper coffee and the aesthetic of the cart reminds me of Sheffield, with lightbulbs and plants and the menu written in colorful chalk on a blackboard (it's not a Sheffield thing but an independent crafter thing, I'd say, but I was first exposed to that aesthetic there). The guy running the cart serves coffee non-stop and there's always a line.

But I digress. Outside those breaks, I have more work as I prepare to get my grant, and also because since our boss and colleague M died (still a bit surreal, all of it), we confirmed how much work she took up. A lot of her posts and responsibilities are now for those of us who worked with her. She was a big fish in uni, however, so many of those jobs are above our pay grade.

But also, this situation shows the gatekeeping in uni, and possibly in academia in general. A few people hoard a lot of posts and titles while the rest of us are minions. Then one of the big fish is gone and we come to find that there's not enough people with the qualifications to take their place. I know that in the Psych Department where I am now, no one cared to invest in putting younger generations on tenure track to continue the work of the academics who are about to retire (and the one who died).

Anyway. There is a life outside work, and I'm living it. Andrew and I celebrated our anniversary on Tuesday, we went on a really nice date. And we went to the movies last night. We saw Wakanda Forever, and I can't believe we consume bland copaganda like Captain America when there exist the vibrant worlds of Black Panther and Namor. The point is, Andrew and are enjoying life.

Suck it, stupid psychologist who denied us adopting a kid because we dared to spend our time holed up in our home during the pandemic.

On that note, the adoption process will be delayed even more because it turns out Andrew's not clicking with his psychologist. That means he has to start over and find another one to work on the objectives set by the adoption agency and the stupid psychologist...but no one (not ourselves, not our therapists) had any clarity on what those objectives are, which just makes the whole thing harder.

We do want a child, maybe even two, but Andrew and I are now wondering if it isn't too late for that. We'll be 40 in a couple of years and we've found too many hurdles over excruciatingly year-long waiting periods, with no end to this in sight.

More heartbreaking news: my parents got really sick. It wasn't covid, but it might as well had been. I'm afraid my mom will break down and die first, which would mostly piss me off. My dad magnifies his illness and sucks up all of the air in the room, meaning time, attention, and resources for his health. My siblings and I know that, but my mom still falls for that so not only my dad bulldozes her well-being by making everything about himself (she was sick too!), but she goes along with it.

Also, Helen is going through a health scare with her gallbladder. She's had issues with it for a long time, but she's never been considered "an emergency", and even when she was nearly dying of pain earlier this year (or last year?), she was put on a waiting list. So much for the Canadian health care system. She's decided to get private care in our home country and she will get that thing removed in a couple of weeks. But she's in pain again, so here's hoping it doesn't get worse that until she can get her surgery.

Also, no news on the house we wanted to buy. It's been a few weeks since we made our offer. The owners are either taking their sweet fucking time or they simply changed their mind about selling it and are not telling us. Whatever. We'll keep saving money.

Well, time to go live that life I've been telling you about. Doing online grocery shopping with Andrew, working on my little comic strip, we even have a birthday party tonight! Shit, I'm making *friends* at work! Not deep friendships like the ones we make in earlier life stages, but it's nice getting to know other people from work outside of the workplace (and this colleague is queer, God bless!).

Be well and stay safe.

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