monthly updates

October 2017 Goals

Happy October!

So I’m currently on the third day of a three-day weekend, which means I’ve had a little time away from work to clear my head. It’s nice to start a new month this way, since it gives me a chance to think consciously and intentionally about what I want to do with my time.

Here’s what I’m envisioning for October:

Goal #1: Start applying to long-term academic jobs for next year. The academic job cycle is long, and right now is the time to apply for academic jobs that would start in Fall 2018. I’ve gone back and forth over the years about whether I want to pursue an academic career, but after spending 18 months working clinically, I’m feeling like I need a change. I have a lot of positive things to say about clinical work, but it does require a massive amount of social energy, which can be hard for me to muster and sustain on a daily basis. I also miss working on longer-term projects, having more autonomy, and thinking in a more big-picture kind of way. I really want to write a whole blog post about what I would call “macro” vs. “micro” work soon, so stay tuned for that.

Goal #2: Regularly check job postings on Indeed and LinkedIn for new short-term jobs. Even if I were to get an academic job starting in Fall 2018, I am not sure I can make it another 11 months at my current clinical job. I’ve only been at this job since June, but it’s not a great fit, and I wouldn’t have any qualms about quitting if I found a better option. That being said, I want to resist the impulse to spend all my time applying for every clinical job under the sun, especially when I’m trying to focus on thinking longer term (see Goal #1). Jumping into another not-so-great job just to escape this one is not the answer (the devil you know, etc, etc.). So that’s why my goal for now is to just check postings regularly. I don’t want to waste my time applying to a bunch of jobs I’m not excited about, BUT if something promising is posted, I don’t want to miss it.

Goal #3: Cook more. Stop eating out so much. Ok, this one is hard, because there are so many healthy, awesome, amazing casual dining spots in my neighborhood where you can order a big, delicious, filling, amazing salad/sandwich/bowl for $8-$12. (As I type this, I’m realizing that depending on where you live, that may sound like a lot for a single meal, but trust me that in Boston/Cambridge it’s on the cheaper side of normal.) And truly, these takeout meals are probably much better than anything I could make at home. However, when you pay this much for a meal several times a week, the cost does add up. Plus yesterday I had lunch at my friends’ house and we had home-baked bread and a delicious home-cooked fall soup, and I got super inspired to experiment more with cooking.

Goal #4: Read more. Specifically, finish the book I’m reading (Bad Feminist) and start and finish at least one more book. I used to be such a huge reader and now I always feel like I “don’t have time”. (Although, let’s be real: “I don’t have time” often just means “I’d rather spend my free time scrolling through Instagram and watching YouTube videos.”) So yeah, I’d like to work on that.

Goal #5: Meditate every day. I am one of those people who talks a lot about meditating and how it has amazing benefits, but rarely sits down to actually meditate. This needs to change. I’ve been having a bunch of health-related anxiety lately (I’m fine; I’m just prone to having anxiety about my health) and I feel like meditation could help. I know a couple of meditation techniques, I have an app to time me and track my sessions, I have reasons to meditate…there’s really nothing holding me back but my own inertia.

Goal #6: Hold strong against the impending cold. It’s coming. It’s real. Sure, we had a weird, probably climate-change-driven heat wave last week, but October is almost always the month when the temperature starts to drop and I start spending a lot of time and energy trying to figure out ways to stay warm and minimize my Raynaud’s as much as possible. Yesterday I got my hot water bottle out of storage and filled it up for the first time since April. Sitting under a blanket with a fleece-covered hot water bottle in your lap is a great way to warm up, by the way; I highly recommend it. The one I have is something like this (<– affiliate link), in case you’re interested. Anyway, my goal is to stay as positive as possible about the whole cold weather thing because in my experience that can help a lot.

So that’s it for now. Time to get going on some of these projects!

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