It has been cool and wet today; the kind of day when I just want to curl up and read, sleep, or watch TV. Instead I checked the job boards, dusted one of my many book cases, and cleaned out my strawberry plants. We brought them in with the cold weather and hope they will thrive inside over winter. Of the other plants we had only the begonias are still outside. Nothing seemed to do well outside this year. Our tomatoes were small and seemed to barely hang on. The rosemary and thyme was drowned by a long and unseasonable period of rain in September. Even the begonias are not as luxuriant as we have come to expect. The weather went between very dry and very wet, unseasonably hot or unseasonably cool.
The weather this year somewhat reflects my moods: generally discontented and adrift with short periods of optimism. I realize that for the last decade I have been looking for something and can't quite define it. Or rather part of it can be defined: I would like a job that pays enough to live on and leaves me enough time and energy to enjoy the life I am working to support. With only a couple of interludes, amounting to about two years, nothing has met that goal. So much of what I have done has paid so little, either because of low wages or few hours, that I couldn't make ends meet. For almost four years I either combined schooling and a job or combined two or more jobs. The schedules left me exhausted, depressed and bitchy as hell.
Another part, and probably not the only other part, is that I have been changing and things that once were important, interesting, or necessary are no longer. Ten years ago I was engaged in trying to write a dissertation and finish a Ph.D. in history. I still like to read history but am no longer interested in academic history. My brief foray into job hunting (about a year) in the history field was disappointing and I realized that the Ph.D. was a means to an end (an academic job.) When the end proved illusory the means became irrelevant. I haven't yet sorted out all the changes.