Let’s try to think up a song while we’re waiting

cat-waitingI do not like winter.

I don’t remember if I ever mentioned this to you or not but I really, really don’t like winter — with its cold and its dark and its short days and going home after sunset. Given that I don’t like winter, I think you’ll probably agree that I live in the wrong part of the world: upstate New York.

I should move, shouldn’t I?

Well, just between us, that’s the plan.

See, I want rather badly to go to graduate school. Specifically, I want rather badly to go to the graduate program in anthropology at the University of North Carolina and study with Professor Rudi Colleredo-Mansfeld. Or, if not there, then I’d like to go to the University of South Carolina to study with Professor Courtney Lewis. I have applied to both schools and I am not waiting to hear from either or both of them. I expect that to happen in February sometime. Possibly even as late as March, especially if I go ahead and submit an application to my #3 school choice of University of Kentucky.

If I don’t get in anywhere, which seems unlikely to me at this point, then I’ll immediately start looking for a job down there. Sometime between March and June, I hope to have found something so that I can move as originally planned, in late June/early July.

All of which simply establishes one thing: I’m waiting for stuff.

I am no better at waiting for stuff now than I was at this time last year, four successful bouts of gestation notwithstanding.

So, this is when I take the advice of my old friend, Mister Rogers, and try to think of something to do while I’m waiting.

One of the things I do is to find ways to make the time seem to go faster. For example, last night, I went to this web site and looked up sun rises and sunsets through April. I learned that the sun, which sets at about a quarter to five right now, would be setting at around 5:45 or so by the end of January. I’ll be able to drive home when it’s still light outside, which is already significantly less depressing. By the end of February, sunset won’t happen until almost 6pm — and by that time, I’ll have heard from schools! Time really does fly.

Or, I can focus on my workouts. As I mentioned yesterday, my next #transformationtuesday picture is scheduled for February 16th, which is a Tuesday around mid-month. By then, I will either have heard from schools already or I will be hearing from them any day.

Or I can focus on my income taxes and resulting refund that I’m expecting. Right now, I’m waiting for two pieces of paper, one from my boss and one from the health care marketplace for NY, before I can finalize my taxes and get ready to submit them. You can tell people who expect refunds because they are always in a hurry to file, while people who expect to have to pay taxes always want to dawdle and file at the last minute. I expect that I’ll be filing late this month and that I’ll be getting my refund sometimes around the middle of February … when I’m getting my picture taken by my personal trainer and when I’ll be hearing from my graduate schools.

All of these things may sound silly to you but they work for me because they each have the power to distract me from thinking about and biting my nails over those pending graduate school applications. If I’m not distracting myself from them, then I’m obsessing over them. And we all know that when we obsess like that, our brains present us with all kinds of reasons why we’re going to fail to get what we want.

I’m also expecting to hear about whether or not I won the fellowship I applied for in March sometime. March! By then, days will be longer, weather will start to think about warming up (maybe), and there will be significantly less uncertainty in my life than there is right now.

Truth to tell, the greatest trials in my life come when large life decisions are out of my hands and I have nothing to do but sit around and wait. I’m not constitutionally suited to it.

Meanwhile, eventually, spring will come. I just have to wait for it.