About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Honey Takes Stock in 2010

Hey everyone, so my sexy Vegas post is coming (ha! get it?) but since I am at work on my lunchbreak at the moment, you’re going to get a new year’s resolution-style posting for the moment.  Like Lance, I am less into pure resolutions at this stage in my life, but there is something I have been noticing since I’ve been working full-time…

There’s an old saying that life is what happens while you’re making other plans.  Well, to a certain extent that’s true, and even a good thing.  OTOH, it’s easy to stop living a conscious life when that happens and lose track of your longer-term goals (or even your shorter-term goals).   My goal, then (if you want to call it  that) is to spend a year taking stock of my life.  Here are the two main categories and questions I’m going to ask myself to get started:

Activities – How I Spend My Time

  • What activities do I participate in on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
  • How much time does each activity take up in absolute terms? Proportional terms?
  • Why do I do these activities?  What am I expecting to get out of them?
  • Am I getting out of the activities what I am expecting?  If not, why, and what is the solution (spend more time on the activity, learn additional skills and/or become more efficient at the activity, find another activity that will achieve the same goal)?
  • How much do I enjoy each of these activities?  That is, do I enjoy them in proportion to the amount of time I spend doing them?  Are there activities that I would like to do less or more of?
  • Are there any activities that I’m not currently participating in that I would like to?  Why would I like to do it?  What do I expect to get out of it?  How much time and energy would I have to devote to each desired activity to reach my goal and/or enjoy the activity in the way that I’d like?  Where will that time and energy come from?

People – Who I Spend My Time With

  • Who do I spend my time with (or, in the case of people I know virtually, interact with)?
  • How much time do I spend interacting with each person/group?
  • Why do I spend my time interacting with these people?  What am I expecting to get out of it?
  • Am I getting what I expect and desire out of the time I am spending with these people?  If not, why, and what is the solution (spend more time with the person, structure the time I spend with them differently, reassess whether my expectations and desires are feasible/possible/compatible with that person)?
  • How much do I enjoy each of these people?  Do I enjoy them in proportion to the amount of time I spend interacting with them?  Are there people that I would like to interact with with more or less than I do currently?
  • Are there any people that I’m not currently spending time with that I would like to?  This could include close friends I know but don’t see frequently, casual acquaintances that I would like to develop further, or categories of people that I’d like to meet (a shopping buddy or a happy hour buddy, just as two examples).  What social niches in my life need to be filled?
  • How can I go about meeting people that will fill the social niches I determine are lacking?  How much time and energy will it take to develop existing relationships or to find and weed through strangers?  Where will that time and energy come from?

As you can see, the common denominator is time – time is finite in a way that limits all of our other possibilities.  I’ve read on another website that you can have whatever you want, but not all that you want.  So what do I want the most, and what am I willing to sacrifice in order to get it?  I plan to do separate postings on each of these so that I can explore them with the depth that they deserve.

I do have one goal for the year that is traditional, and that is to pay off my credit cards once and for all.  According to the payoff schedule that I made in Excel, my target date for this payoff is August 8.  However, a multitude of other factors will affect this.  These include the size of my tax return (if any), whether or not I am offered the assistant professorship at my institution (if hired, my start date would be after my payoff date and not affect things much, but if I don’t get the position then Jake is going to start looking for another job and this is a huge variable since it might entail us moving and me quitting my job), and any other garden-variety emergency that could crop up and derail things.  Ultimately, the math says August 8 and my goal is to beat the math by at least a month :-)

If this post made you want to take stock of your own life, you might also enjoy:

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    A quickie update – I e-mailed the search committee for the assistant professor position, and the chair of the committee said that things are still in flux and they will contact me when they know more. Jake’s and my read of this is that I’m still in the running, but not one of the top two candidates. It’s totally usual for committees to have a short list of say 5 candidates that they’d definitely be interested in hiring, but only invite the top 2 to campus interviews. Then if it doesn’t work out with those folks, they keep moving down the list. This is very nerve-wracking when you are doing a big job search and applying for lots of stuff at once, because then you could end up with a timeline where you have to answer back to your 3rd or 4th choice’s job offer before your 1st and 2nd choices know what’s up with your status. But, since I only applied for the one job, it doesn’t make much difference to me. I’m just stoked because anything that’s not an outright rejection means they liked me!
    .-= Honey´s last blog …Honey Takes Stock in 2010 =-.

  • http://casualencounters.com/blog/ Janak

    This is so organized and ruthless-in-intent it makes me feel tired and inadequate.

    I probably deserve it.
    .-= Janak´s last blog …Polyamory – It’s very complicated. =-.

  • Jonsi

    Academic jobs suck like that; you can apply and interview and then not be told anything for 6 to 9 months, and suddenly they will call you and say “so you are supposed to start work next Monday, and we haven’t heard from you?” I have two $150k industry offers but my top choices would be postdocs in Australia, New Zealand, and Monterrey where I’d only make 1/3 of that. I won’t find out about those others positions for another 6 weeks but have to make decisions this week. I’ve done the same thing: ask those other positions, but due to how committees evaluate candidates they can’t say anything other than “we are interested in you and you are highly qualified but we’ve received several qualified applicants and won’t know until XX date.” They don’t have final rankings or offers out yet, just two piles: pass or fail. And that is after 2 months of evaluation.

    I’m going to kick myself if I take the money but am then offered a 3 year contact in Sydney or Auckland. But I guess that is life and it is a good problem to have.

    Congrats though. Even though you applied for just this job I am sure the experience will pay off down the line; you made a good impression, and that tends to open doors.