The Scamp Crosses Two Off the List

I think we can all agree that 2020 blows. When I made the list of things that I wanted to do in 2020, I had no idea that COVID19 would laugh and basically change all of my plans. I gave up on the travel related aspects of the list, but I thought that there were a lot of things that I could still accomplish.

Well, COVID has other ideas. I had been accepted to a conference for September, which would have allowed me to cross number 2 off the list, but unfortunately, that has now been cancelled. I know there is still time for me to get accepted to another conference, but I was a little sad about losing that one.

The good news is I have some that I can cross off the list. The meal prep is still going strong, and whilst I have not lost any weight yet, I do feel stronger and have lost a few inches here and there, so I am hopeful that I can still eventually lose some weight.

The first one that gets crossed off the list is number 13: Celebrating passing my viva. I didn’t actually celebrate passing the viva, however, I did celebrate graduating. Two of my favorite people came over for tacos and chocolate cake and we had an enjoyable evening eating and chatting and stuffing our faces. I also celebrated by buying myself a couple of pieces of jewelry. Those were for me to have a tangible reminder that I survived the process and almost came out the other side a better person. I am looking forward to next summer when I can hopefully celebrate with my family.

The other activity that I am crossing off the list (although I am going to keep going with it) is number 7: Make a dent in my student loan. This one is actually an unexpected positive of the pandemic. I’ve had numerous trips cancelled, I’m saving lots of money on travel, and I had been stocking money away each month to pay towards my yearly rail pass. Since I am not going to have buy that for awhile (if at all this year), I took a good chunk of the money in my savings and put it on my student loans. To date, almost $6,000 has been paid back. This means that I am very close to completely clearing three loans. Once those are cleared, I will only have to pay back the loans for Cal State Fullerton.

I’m extra proud of this one because all of that money has been mine. There has been no financial assistance from my parents so far with this loan. All of the money that has gone to these loans has been money that I earned and saved. My mom really helped me pay off my MSc a couple of years ago, but I did not want her to have to keep supporting me. The US Government has told me that I will not be debt free until 2035. I’m hoping if I can live cheaply, do a bit of a better job saving (there has been a lot of depression shopping at the moment) and continue to make large payments, then I might be able to reduce that number significantly.

So the list as it stands now (the bold one are the ones that probably won’t be happening due to the pandemic):

  1. Visit 3 new countries
  2. Present at an academic conference
  3. Solo author a paper
  4. Lose the 20lbs I gained in the last year due to bad choices and stress
  5. Do yoga at least twice a week
  6. Write at least one new post a week that has nothing to do with work
  7. Make a dent in my student loan
  8. Finally get my UK driving license
  9. Participate in No Screen Sunday and stay off my phone and all social media on Sundays (starting today because I have not done it at all this month)
  10. Keep the toxic people from returning to my bubble
  11. Ride in a hot air balloon
  12. Go camping
  13. Celebrate passing my viva
  14. Improve my Spanish proficiency
  15. Meal prep to help balance my diet (and to help with number 4)
  16. Get on an academic committee
  17. Officially change my name on all my documents without crying
  18. Go a full 48 hours without being negative
  19. Don’t cancel plans with friends once I’ve made them (especially not the day of)
  20. Finally get my artwork from California to Scotland (although not through FedEx)

The Scamp and Fast Cars and Freedom

When the cat’s away, the mice will play….or at least that it my motto for the next 24 hours. My mom was nice enough to accompany my dad to the mountains to do a little work on the cabin (I like to think the world revolves around me, so her choice to go was to help me out). That’s right, this girl has the house to herself until tomorrow morning. That means I don’t have to wear my headphones to listen to music while I work, I won’t be distracted by the TV, or have to hide from baseball, and the best part of being alone overnight:

I don’t have to wear pants.

…and now a quick pause for my happy dance

I wish I could say that I am spending the day lounging by the pool or laying on the couch watching TV. Instead I am locked to my desk (well, the desk I have now claimed as mine) trying to write the introduction to my dissertation. I’m about 2,000 words in, and I have to say, I think it is complete rubbish. Luckily it does not have to be a perfect little gem right now. I have to say it is nice to be able to take a break from doing research and reading other people’s writing. I’ve been reading some crap studies lately. The only good thing about that is that it gives me hope that someone will actually want to publish my work. I currently have 3,000 words written, which means I am only 12,000 from my goal. I got a little distracted today with a trip to the gym, and currently Top Gear U.K. has my attention, so it might be time to call it a day on the writing.

I am going to spend the evening trying to rearrange my room and clean it up. Right now it is full of boxes, shoes and books on teaching, and that is making it hard for me to focus. Right now, I need all the focus I can get. I have been home for about a month and have yet to settle into a normal sleep schedule, and have yet to secure gainful employment. I’m starting to feel like this:

morning-coffee-20-1

 

I know this will change…in fact, I am hoping that it changes on Thursday. I finally managed to get an interview for an instructor position at Fullerton college. Hopefully they will be dazzled by my wits and my red pen and they will hire me on the spot. I have a lot of bills to pay, and would like to have some money coming in to pay those down. My mom told me the other day that she would like me to keep living with them until I pay off my loans, but since it will be at least 10 years before that happens, I can’t see that happening. I have no desire to stay in the U.S. after I graduate…..especially when New Zealand needs English teachers and I could supplement my income by working at a place like this:

http://www.sheepworldfarm.co.nz/

Really, that would be enough to cure my wanderlust for awhile.