Life in the Fast Lane

Things have been crazy for me since July. If you’re new here, just click on “select a month” over to the right under Previous Posts, pick July, and skim through until you’re caught up. You don’t have to do it now–the posts will be there later. The point is, that because of all that’s happened in the last few months, I am one busy grown-ass man.

Back in January, I blogged about upcoming changes in Georgia schools revolving around career clusters. Since that post, I’ve been following the situation closely and keeping the Dean of our college informed. Last week, because of those updates, she called to ask me if I would serve as Assistant to the Dean for Family and Consumer Sciences Education. She allocated half my time to the new role. The title makes me feel really important, but mostly means more work and reporting directly to her instead of to my department head.

Split assignments are common in academia. Most faculty divide their time between teaching and research. Some, like me, have outreach appointments. Until recently, I’ve always been one hundred percent outreach including portions of my time assigned to grants. Department heads and other unit heads will have a percentage assigned to administration. The challenge is keeping each part from consuming more than it’s allocated share of time. In other words, my full-time job just doubled.

Becoming a published author is like having another full-time job. The hard part is finding big enough blocks of time to really focus on writing so I can make progress on my next book. I’ve managed to carve out several big blocks of time since I’ve had the house to myself and am now better than ninety percent finished with the massive revision I started a few weeks ago. Once that’s done, I should be within sight of the end–a place I need to get to ASAP so I can get it submitted, hopefully before I start working on edits for Until Thanksgiving.

Buying and selling a house has been at least a part-time job, and in the next month, getting ready to move will consume ever larger portions of my time. Keeping the house ready to show all the time is really getting old. Showing the house is a pain in the ass. I got up an hour early Friday because someone was supposed to look while I was at work. Fortunately, I don’t have to take the dogs with me–they don’t bark when they’re kenneled. I could have slept in–they didn’t show.

Last weekend, I was too busy to get a run in. I vowed that wasn’t going to happen this weekend. I also needed to mow the yard, make progress on my work in progress, do some laundry, and get in a good workout. So when my realtor texted me last night to say the dude that cancelled on me wanted to see the house at eleven this morning, I said no. After half a dozen texts back and forth, we agreed he could come at 2:30–plenty of time for me to write, get in a run, and spiff up the house for showing.

I got up at five o’clock this morning, started a load of laundry, and read the paper. By six I’d started writing, and I didn’t look up until after ten. I moved the wet clothes to the dryer, started another load, and changed into my running shorts and shoes.

Normally when I run, I use my iPod Nano. It’s small, I can listen to music or books, and it has the Nike Trainer app which tracks my progress. But today I was excited to take my iPhone with me. I have an App that uses GPS to keep track of exactly how far I run, my pace, and other useful information I can’t get from my Nano. And it posts to Facebook and Twitter!

I put the earbuds in, selected my Zumba playlist, hit “record” on the running App, and set out for my run. Though chilly, it was still nice enough to run without a shirt. Honestly, I’m so used to running without one I’m wondering how big an adjustment wearing a shirt will be when it gets colder.

My shins hurt like hell, but I knew if I just kept running, after a mile or so the pain would go away and the run would become enjoyable. Just as I reached that point, I heard a chime indicating a text message. It was my realtor. The dude that cancelled who was supposed to come at 2:30 wanted to let me know he’d be at the house at 1:45 instead.

I ain’t gonna lie. I was pissed. I fired back a text message that I was having to rush to be ready at 2:30, and if he kept pushing, I’d make him wait until tomorrow. We grown ass men can do things like that.

Then I get a message that she’d told him I was working on my book. “I had to say something to make him stop asking for an earlier time.” Excuse me???   Since when do I owe him or anyone else an explanation? I fired off an immediate response informing her in no uncertain terms that this pushy realtor had just f’ed up the first run I’d been able to squeeze in for weeks, and that in the future, if someone wanted to know why I couldn’t show the house, the correct answer would be because it’s not convenient for me.

As I ran home, I thought about staying at the house instead of leaving. I ‘d confront the pushy bastard and ask him why he thought I owed him some kind of explanation for not being available at his beck and call. The nerve!

My fury abated somewhat when I got home. The running App informed me that, despite having cut my run short, I’d covered more than four miles. I had no idea! The pedometer on my Nano is notoriously inaccurate–just read about my first 5K. That means on the days when I get a really good run in, I must be running eight miles or more when I thought I’d never hit six. Damn I’m good!

After a shower, I took the dogs outside to play and waited until time to leave for the showing. I got my car washed, had a Subway sandwich, and lifted weights for more than an hour. At long last, I’m starting to see results. Well, feel really. I’m hard in places that have never been hard before. Feeling my biceps turns me on a little–it’s weird, but very motivating.

Tomorrow the ex gets back. The time he’s been gone has flown by. I’m proud of myself for all I accomplished while he was gone. The more you have to do, the more you get done. At least, that’s the way it seems lately here in…

My Glass House