If We Were Having Coffee: A House Divided

10246575_237262193144357_4338164945583312658_nIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that:

This post isn’t really about a house divided as much as my time being divided between two houses. Monday to Wednesday in one place, Thursday to Sunday at my parents’ place.

This arrangement has been in the works for a while, but this past week is the first time I actually did it. It went quite smoothly overall, so I’m in pretty good shape for the transfer to my Monday schedule.

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of fotographic1980 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’d tell you that my long-time friend, Dan, is in the midst of getting a state-wide choir off the ground. He holds rehearsals in three different locations–on Monday and Tuesday evenings and the third on Saturday mornings. How does this affect me? I’m the rehearsal accompanist for the Tuesday night group. I could do Monday evening too, except my classes don’t finish early enough to get to his place to make the trip to the western part of the state. I also do some grant-writing and fund-raising for the group.

If we were having coffee, I would give you a run-down of how my schedule is divided between Dan’s and my parents”. I leave my parents’ house on Monday morning (last week, before either of them were awake), and drive about 20 miles to teach my two classes at the local university. After classes are finished, I drive another 30 miles south to spend the next two nights in the guest room at Dan’s place. When I arrived last week, Dan was at rehearsal, but I got in on the early stages of a Star Wars Trilogy with a couple of the other people who live there.

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Tuesday, I worked on grant-writing, class prep, and upcoming summer programs for international students (more on that in a much later post). I have a desk to work in the attached office which is a combination travel office and music studio. OK, it’s weird, but it works. It also means, that I can rehearse the music I’m going to be playing parts for that evening. When it’s time for rehearsal, Dan and I head over to the rehearsal site, and I totally enjoy the fast-paced rehearsal.

I would tell you that I love how I can focus bit by bit on getting my piano skills built back up while helping the group learn their parts. And of course, hearing the results is awesome. It’s a win-win. And we can have coffee on break!

Dan fixed food for the two of us when we got back (since we couldn’t really make up our minds about food before we went.) We got in on the last part of the Star Wars Trilogy before heading off to bed. I got up early the next morning, Wednesday, to head back to the University to teach my classes, before returning to the semi-routine that is living at my parents’ house. Now it’s Sunday evening, and it’s time to finish packing and change gears for my parallel life.

If we were having coffee, you’d probably also be curious about my teaching, and I’d surprise you (like it surprises most people) and tell you that I’m an adjunct for the criminal justice department. And I’d probably need to tell you (or remind you) that criminal justice really is one of the many subjects within the discipline of sociology. I teach two courses this semester: one in research methods for criminal justice majors and the other an introductory course that anyone (who has completed English 111) can take as a general education requirement. The courses are going well, and I’ve already had both classes renewed for next semester–just on different days.

So there you have a basic idea of what my work week looks like at the moment. I still have to fill in a few gaps to make sure I have enough income, especially once Dave and I are back in the same place and getting a home of our own, but for now, this is how things stand.

I feel a bit like a nomad with no real place to call my own, even though I have lots of places where I spend time. And while it’s only the beginning of week two of the crazy schedule, at least I’ve kept track of where I’m supposed to be at any given time–so far.Β  πŸ™‚

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15 comments on “If We Were Having Coffee: A House Divided

  1. I’m tired just reading about your week! Fascinating classes you teach. .. I majored in psychology so they are right up my alley . I’m glad you are getting to play music more in your “spare” time πŸ™‚

    • It’s actually not that bad, although this is only the second week. It helps that I am comfortable in both of my living spaces. And since I like teaching and music, it largely works out. Knowing you majored in psychology helps explain your interesting range of writing. πŸ™‚

  2. I wish I’d taken more sociology classes at university. The one I did take was ace though. Your life sounds very busy, but it also sounds as if you’ve got a good routine going on. Hope you have a great week.

    • Thanks! The week is good so far. Making good progress along with a few minutes to respond to comments here, so I consider that a win. It’s interesting about sociology. When I first went back to school to finish my BA, the only class that fit with my work schedule was a Friday morning soc class. I was not happy. But nothing else that would count for those general credits fit in, so I bit the bullet and took it. Within two weeks, I feel in love, changed my major, and never looked back. πŸ™‚

      • I love the way life turns out sometimes. Chance and circumstance combining to help you discover something or someone you love. I met my husband this way, I had a serious illness while at uni and while taking a break worked in a pub to pay the bills, my husband was one of my customers and now we have two wonderful kids πŸ™‚ Love the way life turns out.
        Finding time to respond to comments while making progress definitely counts as a win!

  3. Wow! That is a LOT to keep track of!

    I’m wondering if there’s some comfort item or items you could keep with you – a blanket, or a little pillow, or a candle with a favorite scent – something that says ‘home’ wherever you are?

    Your classes sound intriguing and your schedule rigorous. May you find time to breathe, and joy in the music (I don’t play piano, but I LOVE to sing!) and the imparting of knowledge.

    I hope the time until you are back with your beloved flies by, and that there will be just enough friendship, inspiration, music, and Star Wars to make the time between bearable.

    And I’ll keep supplying Vulcans, for when you need them! =)

    • Thanks for the Vulcan infusion. Most of my other friends supply a more Klingon perspective. πŸ˜‰

      I hadn’t thought too much about the comfort item idea, but in a way, just being able to stay in touch with the computer and with my cell phone (the usual method of communicating with my husband these days — 9 pm every evening, except rehearsal night). πŸ™‚ But I did pick up a sudoku book at the dollar store to have in the bag that travels here each week. Because that is one of my bedtime rituals. So the large book stays at my parents’ house, and I have the smaller one that I keep in my travel bag to use when I’m in my southern satellite office.

  4. Sounds like you have a very hectic schedule! I can see how it is going to be hard to remember where you should be and when, but the good thing about being busy is that usually the time flies! I hope that you manage to get the work that you need to get to your financial goal so that you and Dave can get back together as quickly as possible 😊.

    • HAHA! I’m ok with time not flying though. I want to at least enjoy the things I am doing. Not going through in a blur, that’s when I get really crazy. But I should probably clear something up. Dave and I being separated has nothing to do with finances. We aren’t apart because of money, we agreed that his sister needed him as she deals with her cancer tests and possible repeated treatment. He’s also helping her take care of things at the house, including helping her get it ready for sale and moving her to a smaller place if that’s what she decides. We knew going in that separation wouldn’t be easy, but we also knew that it was important for him to be there for her if we could arrange it. And since I can be here to help my parents (and this is where I have the best work situation), it meant several months (up to a year) that we might be apart. But we knew that going in, and even now–as hard as it is, we wouldn’t change a thing. πŸ™‚

  5. I’m getting dizzy. It sounds like you need to look at a GPS in the morning to know where you are. I hope this works out so that you can settle down at some point. Until then, it does seem to be working, so…

    • I’ve always been a bit dizzy, Dan, so this is nothing new. πŸ™‚ The cool thing is that once I work through this academic year, I’ll have a better idea which part of the state I want to actually settle in. Dave is leaving that totally up to me. The current situation lets me try things out and see what I most want to be doing, and what works the best. Today’s project is ordering business cards for piano lessons. haha

    • You know, Willow! There really is something to that. I have always been able to settle in wherever life takes me–with only a few exceptions. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am usually able to be fairly adaptable in most situations. Now I just need to borrow one of my mother’s hats to carry with me. πŸ˜‰

    • There’s a lot of truth to that; however, I found that it just manifested differently during the busiest times. Luckily, I’ve been successful in appeasing it for the time being, and I’m finding lots of ways to incorporate self-care in spite of this schedule. It turns out that this first part of the week feels amazingly comfortable. As much as I want to be with my parents, and as much as I know I am helping, it’s good for me not to be there all week. I wouldn’t have discovered that without this current situation.

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