Sunday, June 10, 2012

Plan of Attack

I was wandering down the court on which I reside this morning, indulging in wide yawns as I followed Chienne through the coolish early morning air.

"Oh, no," I said mildly when a yapping-dustmop-dog sprinted toward us when we passed one of the prettier lawns in the neighborhood.  I knew said yapping-dustmop-dog was restrained and rather enjoyed its jerk back when he reached the end of his cord.

I rarely meet dogs I don't like, but this one - and his smaller friend - are awful.  They're outright mean to my friendly Chienne and stupid-looking to boot.  But when the smaller friend joined the melee and was nipping at my hound while growling ferociously, I joined the battle and used my feet, arms and voice to try to defend my girl.

She fought reasonably effectively, short hair standing on end and teeth bared in the scariest growl I've heard her use.  Loose-yapping-dustmop-dog started to yipe rather than yap, nearly screaming in some mixture of rage and fear as its person joined me in trying to separate our canines.

"Wow," I said when it was over, leaning down to soothe Chienne while offering a number of glares at the trio standing in the neatly-manicured yard.  I don't remember what the woman said or how I replied - I do recall apologizing to Chienne as she panted, otherwise still as she attempted to keep track of the yapping-dustmop-dogs.

In other battles, I have arranged travel for my first interview in years.  I need to read up on some grad school topics I've not really used since 2002.  I should refresh my memory of interviewing tips - did I not write a post or two?

I've learned since my last interview experience that it's fine to spend some money.  I picked the flights that were the most convenient for my schedule, though they were massively costly.  I selected the top TripAdvisor hotel for the city - it wasn't overly expensive but it's nicer than the chain they suggested that's just near the office.  I'll enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps take some photos if there's sufficient prettiness.  Then I'll go speak with some people about how wonderful I am.

I'm afraid, honestly.  Not of the interview, though I'm sure I'll be nervous.  But over what this decision could mean for my future.  Of how I want to balance family and career.  I'm not in a mental place where I feel capable of deciding this presently.  So I worry.

I've found that disruptions in my schedule can contribute to mental instability.  As I'm already feeling rather fragile, I looked at my plans - east coast x 2, Japan, Europe - all in the next 4 weeks, I freaked out a bit.

So I emailed Adam and suggested using some technology to allow me to participate without crossing the Pacific.  And while I could tell he wasn't particularly happy with my request, he agreed to my plan and is instead sending Sibling to Japan.

Sibling is thrilled.  I'm relieved.  So I'm working to disregard Adam's disappointment in me and feel good that I found a workable solution.  And I'll buy a guidebook for Amsterdam so that I know what to see and can look forward to Europe - a continent I'm much more confident visiting solo.

I find I struggle to think past that European trip in early-mid July.  I can plan days before it nearly down to the minute, but after that?  Nothing.

I had a dream last night that I was taking my family on vacation, but we were running miserably late.  As I was frantically trying to check us in, paging through stacks of documents, a man came and said it was now or never.

"But I'm not quite ready," I protested.  "5 minutes - I just need five minutes to settle and think!"  But he refused and climbed some steps to shut the doors while my parents and brother looked on with disappointment.  I choked on the feeling of failure, barely able to breathe, and kept attempting to find an alternate plan.

"I don't want to do this," I wept as I called Friend last week.  And she soothed and reasoned until I calmed.  But the distractions - the exquisite plans - help to distract from the encompassing sadness of losing a parent.  I just find I'm unable to have them last forever.

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