14 September 2011

When the sun comes out

I really like this picture of our garden, for some reason. My life, simply put.
After a miserable Sunday, the sun seems to have come out, metaphorically and literally. The good things that have happened included:
  • A positive meeting with my supervisors in which we agreed to an endgame. Just tell me what to do next and I'll do it. If you let me off by myself I do this: I write a shoddy thesis draft. Well, now we have timescales and clear writing assignments to do.1 August submission deadline goal, leading to completion by the end of September. So...if I hit all my goals, I'll be there next summer. My main supervisor told me, however, that I was too defensive. She's right. I am too defensive. I immediately started trying to defend myself: Hey! I'm not defensive! I'm insecure! It would be much easier to complain if my supervisors weren't so good. They are very good at what they do: as I always say to people, all you want out of a supervisor is someone who gets the best work out of you.
  • The first writing task (of three) that they gave me to complete for our next supervision has also been really good in helping me get over a hump. Made clear what I'm doing and how I might better present my analysis. The thing is, in my shoddy thesis draft...it's all there, it's just obscured. I think, when it comes time to write-up the real thing for them, although they weren't happy with my initial draft (or what they saw of it), it will put me well ahead.
  • International Visual Methods conference at the OU, which I have been stewarding for. This involves wearing a dumb-looking purple shirt and helping people. I am not good at a lot things, but putting on a dumb purple shirt and giving directions around campus? Well, I don't want to brag, but... No, it's been fun. I'm such a social butterfly--it really suits me, I think. Is this a job I could get? Like Wal-mart greeter?
  • Every day is a new country that we might move to. Japan? Spain? Sweden? UAE? Finland? I was talking about this to the main organiser of the conference, What do I do? I asked. Every day it's something different. I'm going to drive my wife CRAZY. You do what you're doing, he said: You put out all your feelers and you go with the one that works out. And then, in 20 years time, you have a career.
  • I stopped weighing myself and am keeping a more vague count of kCal intake. Really nice. Really feel like I have adjusted to normal life. Normal people don't weigh everything they eat. They don't think about food constantly. The practice of it was great. I learned a lot. I have so much more knowledge when I eat now. But my new normal is healthy and I can trust that. I don't have to work out everyday. I can have a bagel. I feel much, much better. I don't want to be X kgs with X amount of body fat, I decided. I want to be healthy and happy and eat well without thinking about it. 
Wearing a bow tie makes everyone around you 10% happier. This is, I think, empirically testable. 

Now, back to directing people around: Can I help you?