Routine: friend or foe?

I turned my thesis in last Monday and while the questionable quality of which has given me some anxiety, it feels so good to be free from the clutches of this graduate program.  They say the grass is always greener on the other side, and I feel that all too keenly bouncing back and forth between student and working stiff.  I have to say that in this moment, getting back into a work routine has been such a relief.  I can’t say I have been doing anything much differently, but the kicker is the fact I don’t have that nagging feeling in the back of my head telling me I need to be working on my thesis.  I also put off writing for myself, I think quite rightly, because any writing should be for school.  Instead, I chose Netflix.

My job situation has been a little precarious to say the least.  I’m juggling three jobs throughout the week and while it hasn’t been ideal, it’s only temporary.  The library jobs will be done at the end of summer which then leaves me 16 hours to fill.  The hospital research job has been stressful, and not because of the nature of the work, but because I have had little to no guidance or help with anything.  There were a few snafus with Garda vetting and payroll, both of which I ended up having to handle on my own.  Given my low tolerance for disorganization and incompetence, I felt very tempted to call the whole thing off and head for the hills.  But, as my mom reminded me, I have a tendency to react strongly in these types of situations initially, then eventually I find my niche and am happy enough in the end.  I’m giving it some time.  The Postdoc will be away on maternity leave starting in August and has talked about me taking over a qualitative study on breastfeeding in her absence.  The prospect of this is extremely appealing;  I’m more than qualified to fill the role and taking ownership of it will give me a sense of purpose I have been lacking this past month.

Life is otherwise going well.  I love my living situation and my neighborhood.  Best of all, I’ve finally reached that state of being that I had been searching for for some time; I’m over dating.  It was a particularly bad Tinder date 3 weeks ago that pushed me over the edge.  The guy was a chauvinist who rubbed me wrong in absolutely all the worst ways but he thought so highly of himself that he was oblivious to this.  Without going into all the details, the whole situation left me completely devoid of any feelings other than annoyance and a general sense of no longer giving a shit.  It’s a little hard to explain, but you can tell yourself you don’t care about being single and not finding anyone but until you reach that point of complete apathy, there’s no convincing yourself.  The feeling was so freeing that I almost wanted to text the guy and thank him for being such an asshole.

I think the manner in which my last relationship ended left me feeling like I needed to fill the void.  I thought that by finding someone else, I would no longer care about what had happened.  This is a classic mistake.  What eventually ended up happening to make me OK with the break-up was getting through the grief and bargaining and those pesky emotions to find reason: our personalities were not compatible and neither of us would have ever been completely happy.  I was willing to overlook things I saw as flaws because I enjoyed being in a relationship.  But that is the snare; comfort and security causes one to sugar-coat things, to flip down the blinders in exchange for carrying on with something that isn’t extraordinary but rather an arrangement that is simply satisfactory.  I don’t want to settle for just alright.  So here I am, happy and feeling empowered again in my singleness.  I’m ultimately fortunate for the bad times in life as they help to remind me I’m a constantly evolving individual, reevaluating my position and learning from the missteps.  Without this I wouldn’t have dodged many of the bullets I’ve realized were hurtling straight for me over the years.

I have a big deal on the horizon, something that will put me in a position of absolute financial freedom.  Since it is still in the works, I’ll save the announcement for when the future of which is more certain.  It’s true that money isn’t everything, but it definitely helps the ol’ mental health to know you’re getting out from under some hefty debt.

So, with all these updates in order, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday night because it starts all over again tomorrow.  For now, routine is a word that no longer scares me.

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