First week back at work after the Christmas break and already I can feel my mood’s a bit down and the enthusiasm is not quite there. It’s partly the heat but there’s also the looming deadline of finding more work by the end of April when my community service ends. I’m also due to write the Psychology Board Exam in four weeks’ time and I haven’t started studying yet. I told P that this is the Year of the House and the Job. As soon as I can find another job and can guarantee some steady income, we can think of finding our own house and moving in together.
I’m feeling hopeful but also rather anxious about the job story. At the moment I’m resisting the idea of staying on in the military because of the mandatory deployment for about 6 months to an African hotspot. I also can’t see myself staying in a military environment for more than a couple of years. The house is another headache, and I’m hoping that my tenants in Joburg will be able to buy my house there in a few months, which will allow me to buy something down here.
The reading and writing goals are much less anxiety-inducing and should be quite fun. I’ve mentioned my to-be-read books here already but I’ve since added a few. The list as is currently stands (and in no particular order):
1000 Books to change your life (TimeOut)
The Black Book (Pamuk)
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (Freud)
Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Jung)
Sexing the Cherry
Three Letter Plague
The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch)
Digging to America
Close to the Wind (Pete Goss)
The last one should be the lightest of the lot and is about a heroic Brit who sacrificed his own hopes of winning the solo round-the-world yacht race to save another competitor. It’s not my usual read but was recommended by a friend who refused to take it back until I’d read it! The Freud and Jung should be interesting and will give me a chance to revisist where I stand in relation to two of the ‘greats’. I was trying to think of a book that had changed my life, and I remembered reading Jung when I was in my post-matric year and getting ready to study a BA and then Law. I like to think that Jung sowed the seeds of a return to psychology, and I’m looking forward to reading it again almost 21 years later.
On the writing side, everything’s on hold until I write (and pass) the Board exam. I’ll probably post some reviews in the meantime, and I really want to write some psychology articles this year. My “violence project” is totally becalmed, and I think it’s really difficult to sustain a focus on a topic like that for an extended period of time. It’s a bit like looking at trauma. My mind keeps drifting away to more comfortable topics. Fun! Diversion! Making a Psychology Mix. Anything not so very serious. After my board exam I’ll maybe have another look at it or shelve it altogether.
Speaking of fun, the drama at the Sydney Cricket Ground swelled our little SA hearts. There’s nothing like a wounded captain (Graeme Smith) soldiering on in the face of a losing effort and almost saving the game to bring a tear to the eye. Reminds me of a story about the Aussie cricketing legends Alan Border and Dean Jones. Or maybe it was Jones and Steve Waugh. Anyway, the Aussies had their backs to the wall and were batting to save the test match. Jones had bad gastro and was sick as a dog. After batting for about half an hour, he walked down the pitch and told his captain (Border) that he just couldn’t carry on and would need to retire hurt. “That’s fine, mate” said Border tersely. ‘When you get to the changing-room, ask them to send out an Australian.” Ouch! Poor Jones batted on and made a hundred. I suppose it’s all about tenacity and true grit. But another part of me thinks that’s just foolish, and typical male stubborness and lack of empathy. I like to think there’s a middle ground between soldiering on blindly (and foolishly) and persevering when the going’s tough. Any thoughts?