In which I give a bit of an update

Not that there is a whole lot to update on, but let me tell you that any movement feels like significant progress at the moment. I’ve been trapped for months.

1. My stuff is shipping from the US! And not only my stuff, but some additional stuff too, which makes it seem that the ridiculous delay was all Fate and not Me Being Rubbish. This is a happy-sad thing, though. Yes, I am very happy that I’ll get my books, bike, writing paper, boots, jackets, bags, CDs, as well as a sofa, futon, armchair, dining table and chairs. But, the reason I’m getting the furniture is that M has moved out of our apartment and into Manhattan. Even if I wasn’t living there, I liked knowing the apartment was still there, because I loved it and it was the place that meant home. Now I know it’s closed, quiet and empty, and that really is the end of the chapter.

2. I am on the shortlist for the PhD in Sheffield. I have to submit a 6,000 word sample of academic writing, and, in no more than 500 words, answer a question that the supervisors will send out on June 15. All to be submitted by June 24, final decision to be made w/b June 27. I don’t know how many other people are shortlisted, because I was too gobsmacked to ask.

3. Obviously, I have back up plans for if #2 doesn’t work out. I was listing them individually as Plans B-H, but then I started to lose track and decided to collapse them all into one general plan, known in my head as Plan Getting the Hell out of Dodge. Over the last few weeks I’ve been forced to participate in organised ‘fun’, work with spread sheets and am in imminent danger of having to start doing financial planning and budgeting. (Whimper.) It is therefore safe to assume that even I don’t know what I might do in a moment of desperation. Past experience suggests it will be a swift, efficient evaluation of opportunities and risks, and that I will then think ‘Oh, fuck it’ and deliberately leap at the least sensible option anyway.

4. My mother (who went loopy back in November and had to be locked up and doped up in a Cretan psychiatric hospital) is almost fully recovered. Even better, she and my stepfather are back in England and have just been given a flat by the council, which means they will no longer be living with my sister. They have been there for, what, 7-8 months? My sister and brother-in-law ought to be beatified for that.

5. I still haven’t found a new flat, but I extended the tenancy by a month on this one, thereby removing some of the immediate pressure. If I don’t get the PhD then I work on the assumption that I’m staying around here and I’ll still have time to find somewhere new to live. Of course, the stuff that’s being shipped ought to be here before I move, and more furniture will not fit into this fully furnished flat; but really, the problem of finding somewhere to put it for a bit seems incidental in the light of all the other uncertainties!

6. Running seems to be working for me. This is weird and surprising but I’ve been using the Podrunner podcasts, a programme to get you from 0-5k in 9 weeks. I’m up to week 5. I am being a bit lazy because I can already run 5k, at least on a treadmill, but it’s the boredom of running that I have to tackle as much as the required fitness. The podcasts are great, though. They are exactly the sort of high energy music I don’t own and can’t get familiar with, and anyway, you only use each podcast three times and then move on to the next. They’re broken down into manageable intervals of walking and running so I never get to the miserable ‘Why am I doing this, it sucks, ok I’ll stop’ point. I’ve found a good loop that takes me through the Parks, through Mesopotamia and out to St Clements. Then I walk back through my favourite parts of town, which probably adds a couple of miles walking on as well. I’m sure it’s not coincidental that I’ve taken up running again, just when the rest of my life is at standstill.

All tiny, tiny steps and nothing is moving fast enough for me. But, I do begin to think that one day soon my mind will be able to stop racing around like a cat stuck in a box!


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I've run out of books. Again.

8 thoughts on “In which I give a bit of an update”

  1. Oh good luck with that phd shortlist!!! On a book/running related note, have you read Murakami’s book about running? I’m not a runner, and haven’t, but it might interest you if you haven’t already taken a look at it. Fingers crossed for you, xoxo, L

  2. I’m glad you’ve got your current flat for one more month; it sounds like that will make things a lot easier. Enjoy getting all your stuff! You’ll have great fun looking over all those books, I’m sure.

  3. TIny steps maybe, but from the outside it looks like you’re being proactive and getting stuff done. I hope you get accepted for the PhD! Meanwhile I’m holding your hand metaphorically on the running – I just ran my first race (a huge 8.4K) and it felt great.

  4. A shortlist for a PhD? I had no idea… I’ll be crossing my fingers for you too. Sounds like you’re managing all this uncertainty really well, I’d be out sneering at kittens and shouting at old ladies because I can’t bear it.

    And great news about your mother.

  5. Lily – Thanks! I’m aware of the Harukami book but I’ve never considered myself a runner and so not thought about reading it. I’ll put it on my list (and see if I keep up the running).

    Dor- Seriously, you probably have more of an idea of what books I have right now than I have! Enjoy the bookcases!

    Charlotte – I am so impressed with your running, because I still can’t imagine running that far. So well done!

    Helen – Aha, I have you fooled… There is definitely an amount of sneering and shouting going on, because although I’m quite good at handling uncertainty, this is a lot even for me. I am self-medicating with Wispas.

  6. Things only ever move in tiny steps in my experience – just as well, gives you time to think over the next move (literally in your case!). I’ve got my fingers crossed for the PhD shortlist, that’s very exciting, and I’m so relieved to hear your mother is doing much better. And hurray to having your stuff around you – the nest of comfort is so vital, whichever walls house it!

  7. The most important thing is that you’ll be getting all your books (well, with the exception of a few that happen to be residing in Pennsylvania at the moment). That can’t help but cheer up your life, no matter what kind of flux you may be in. My fingers are double crossed for you for the PhD shortlist, and you’re tempting me to check out Podrunner. (Then again, maybe I’ll just drink that gin and tonic you passed up in order to go running the other day.)

  8. Litlove – I guess they do, but I usually manage to make things happen more quickly. The last few months have been an exercise in patience and what I’ve learned is, I don’t have any patience! But you are so right about the nesting.
    Emily – I have books all over, apparently. Tell you what, I’ll run for you too, and you can drink g&t for me!

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