I'm home full time, and I've accepted the fact that there's little chance that the dream academic job is going to open up within a 30 minute commute from my house. I haven't yet taken the files of conference presentations and published papers from my file cabinet, but it will happen soon. I'm moving on.
So, what's next for me? I could transition to university administration or take a position at a policy think tank or a foundation. Those are the best options, if I don't want to take the PhD off my resume. Those options are fine solutions and I might do that in a year or two, when things get easier with the kids, but I don't love those ideas well enough to deal with the upheaval in the family.
It would also be terribly expensive, because I would have to hire a nanny willing to watch a kid with special needs. She would have to get here at 7:00 to get the kids to school and then work from 3 to 6 or 7. She would have to be available at all times to deal with school closings and sudden illnesses. She would have to drive Ian to social skills class and spend two hours helping him with homework. It would probably cost about $30,000 per year.
There are other options that would involve removing the PhD from the resume. I am over qualified for just about any other type of job. My friend, Margie, and I have discussed that option and rejected it. How would we explain that enormous gap of time?
I might be interested in teaching high school, but even if I overcame the revulsion of having to go back to school for two years to get my certification, I probably wouldn't even get a job. A school district would have to pay me at the top of the pay scale, and they would prefer a cheaper 21 year old.
I am tyring to make the most out of my at-home status. After recovering from some back problems, I'm back to running at the gym. I'm doing a little volunteer work for the school. I'm taking the time to have lunch with friends. I've also been writing a lot.
I've written a lot on this blog over the years. In fact, I think I've developed a compulsive writing problem. Last month, I started looking for broad themes in my blog archives with the plan of piecing together blog posts to create a quickie book. I'm sure that many bloggers hope that their blogs could be assembled into a book. However, blogging doesn't add up to a book.
I spent a Saturday digging through the archives and doing a lot of cutting and pasting. Without much effort, I had assembled a 60 page single spaced document. Another hour of work would have doubled the size. But the pieces didn't fit neatly together like a puzzle. There was too much text. It was redundant. Key pieces were missing. It was too hard to edit. So, I'm starting from scratch. I'll sift through the old posts later to see if there are any elegant phrases to copy, but I abandoned the 60-page behemoth.
Along with blocking out an hour at the gym, I'm now blocking out one hour at the local library for the writing. It's a good way to get out of the house and "be with the people" as my friend, Erin, says. It also takes me away from distractions.
Ian has a half day today, so I have to squeeze in my gym and library time right now. I love having a plan.