Thursday, September 1, 2011

One income - let the challenge begin

The sun goes down on my income generating years, for now

We are now officially down to one income. I am, of course, extremely nervous. I have been employed since the age of 13. I have my own money my entire teen and adult life. Now, I have to rely on someone else to parcel out cash to me. Given that I spent most of my last pay cheque preparing Go bags and an emergency pantry, H will be rolling out money to me faster than he might think.

This period is supposed to be temporary for us. I am defending soon and desperately searching for a post-doctoral position. If all goes well, I will have landed a job by January. Still, I've been on 4 interviews already and nothing has stuck. I keep getting offers and new potential employers contact me almost every day, but none of the positions are the right ones. The P.I.s are unfocused, or are looking for someone who can pipette without thinking. While most grad students work for their advisors for a few months after they graduate, this is not an option for me. My bosses are abusive, unproductive and have gotten a taste for free labour. I might feel better about it if my bosses could get off their butts and respond to any of my emails about finishing the paper. That is a drama for another day.

I would be lying if I told you that the thought of me never finding a postdoc position had not occurred to me. My anxiety about this is such that I have started dreaming about P.I.s that have rejected me hugging me. That's messed up, right?

In anycase, whether I am ready or not, whether I want to or not, I am now completely at the mercy of someone else's income and job performance. H is great at what he does, but I've never been in this position before. I bought some almonds and dried mango on the way home today. It occurred to me that I will have rethink every little pit stop like that.

So onward and upward. I planned on this day, but have decided to make the following immediate emergency measures to make life easier. From now until January I will

a) limit restaurant visits
b) enjoy a drink or food when I go out with my friends, but not both
c) I will eat before going over to a friend's, running errands, or attending meetings so as to not have a painful discussion about why I can't get a bite to eat
d) I will not split courses at a restaurant with anyone other than H
e) shop grocery sales
f) be more vigilant about power usage
g) use Skype more often to speak to family and complete post-doc interviews
h) limit the purchase of special drinks i.e. coconut water, skinny water etc.
i) set a budget and list of new clothing items for the Fall/Winter and not stray from it
j) make more $5 meals
k) limit house parties to a single small one in four months
l) still put 10% of whatever H gives me each month into savings :)

Any other ideas? I still have this last semester of tuition to pay :(

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