I feel like I've had pretty good luck ironing out the basics of my pedagogical goals in relation to composition and rhetoric. I have a syllabus from my previous sections which I think would be ready to go with some minor, but meaningful changes to the curriculum. Having time to think on it and do some reading has been helpful, though I don't think I've hit the point where I've read everything that would be immediately useful to me, so it's an ongoing project - and it likely will be for years to come. It's strange to look at that and feel good about it. I really wasn't in a position either materially or mentally to take 100% of the options available to me while I was a grad student, and most of that has to do with anxiety around a new situation or with my financial stability. I'm traditionally something of a slow learner - or at least I'm slow to get started. Anywhere I'm able to stay and get a firm grip on my situation, I do well in.

Precarious financial states have traditionally been what's been keeping us from doing much that's interesting to talk about, and that issue persists even though we're admittedly doing much better. The unpleasent truth is that we're incredibly backed up on basic repairs and bills so that even though the immediate concerns are taken care of, we have lingering debt that we'll be dealing with for a while, and that eats up all of our spare funds. We've done several projections of where we expect to be the next few months - we're not in a particularly abject state, or anything - and we're not going to have much left over. Recreation is easy, since our hobbies are, like, reading, writing, and cooking. If it's not that, we're like, I don't know, taking walks and shooting photos, and watching movies together. So it's not as though our tastes are expensive, but we're also not going on vacation or anything like that for a while. It makes sense to plan for that in the future because if we overextend, it's possible in theory, but our nerves are very bad about stuff like that. Our luck tends to be particularly bad - I tend to think of luck as something that largely pertains to how much you can rely on others to help you in a tight spot or whether you have the ability to easily account for things that go wrong. Thus, the poor traditionally appear to have awful luck, because they're constantly overextended. "Luck" is when bad things don't affect you. Our margins are incredibly tight, and so when something goes wrong, it's not the kind of irritating but normal thing that happens to everyone - it manifests instead as terrible luck.

So that's why even though things are better, we're still holing up here for a while until things are easier.

But that's the kind of issue that manifests when I'm making lists of fun things to do over the course of the year, too. Like, trying to copy my friend's list of "3X+ Quests before my birthday" thing seems like a great way to give myself a direction after I graduate, which I figured I needed but... frankly, I just don't have the money for a lot of this stuff. We don't really have the time or the money to buy extra stuff to go camping, for example. We don't have the money to cook elaborate dinners for five or more people. We don't have the money (or, more importantly, the time) for a road trip. We don't have the money or space for large glass bottles full of fermenting honey. I already have a direction, but writing up a CV isn't a fun quest and getting hired often feels more like an exhausting trial than a fun "quest," so the stuff I need to do and the stuff I want to do doesn't actually get put on the list. So, without the time incentive, it's just a bucket list - full of cool things, but I literally can't afford to have them take priority over the other things in my life.

The truth is often stranger but more depressing than fiction, but dropping the game I was running and dropping the list of stuff to do has largely been very good for me. These things added a really unnecessary degree of stress for me at a point when I'm trying to let myself concentrate on the work that's important to me and, also, trying to decouple feelings of anxiety and guilt to basic activities like watching a movie or reading for fun. I'm trying to let myself watch one or two TV shows a day and do some recreational reading along with my theory. It's actually been really good for productivity, but that's also this weird thing I'm trying to do - decouple associating every action with if it makes me a better worker for some kind of nebulous, non-existent Other. One thing at a time.
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