I am not a Type A Personality…

Am not! Am not! AM NOT!!!!

Type A

The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitiousaggressivebusiness-likecontrolling, highly competitiveimpatientpreoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, arrogant and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.

In his 1996 book, Type A Behavior: Its Diagnosis and TreatmentFriedman suggests that Type A behavior is expressed in three major symptoms: free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation usually described as being “short-fused”; and a competitivedrive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality. The first of these symptoms is believed to be covert and therefore less observable, while the other two are more overt. [1] –Source: Wikipedia

I’ve always maintained that I’m not a Type A person.  I don’t consider myself to be a workaholic, or ambitious, or competitive, and I certainly hope I’m not arrogant, preoccupied with my status, and tightly-wound.  All I want to do is come home and put on fuzzy socks, have a glass of wine, and relax.  I want, NEED, my sleep every night, and I get bitchy if I don’t have it. It’s my blog.  I can use whatever language I want.

This last week, I brought research-work home TWICE.  I’ve worked late nights and weekends on time when I already have precious little for myself.  I’m burning out fast, but I met ALL my deadlines.  I honuored my commitments.

I do not exactly work as as much as I do because I want to…

However, if I’m being honest with myself, I might be more “driven” than I thought.  I do find myself irritated and exasperated a lot more than I would like.  I do have a free-floating hostility, though I’ve never quite heard it described that way.  I’m certainly not laid-back.  Though I wanna be…

So how does a non-type-A find themselves living a Type A lifestyle?  Simple.   It started when I agreed to teach part-time, and then got offered a full-time research position.  I tend to honour my commitments.  I couldn’t back out of teaching, and I love it.  I needed the full-time job (teaching wouldn’t pay the bills alone).  I therefore did both.  My responsibilities in both have grown to the point where I can’t juggle them without cost to myself… but my loyalty produces conflicts.  I don’t feel like I can leave either job–for more than just financial reasons.  Leaving either job leaves a hole in their workforce that won’t be as easy to fill–they both rely on me.  I need both, in some aspects, to feel like I have some sort of balance in what I’m doing.  Both research and teaching are important to me.  So, I’m trapped.

Tutoring is something I agreed to in exchange for services (repair of my Grandmother’s breakfront).  It takes only a couple of hours a week.

Working out is part of my New Year’s Resolutions (new post on that momentarily).

So… that’s how it happens.  I would LOVE to have ONE job where I could do some research, do some teaching, and have health insurance.  I’d love to have my nights and weekends to play  Skyrim.  I’d love to go out and have a HOBBY that isn’t WORK.   I also don’t cut corners–my students have to write papers (which I then have to grade) and answer essay questions on exams (which I also have to read and grade).  Sure, I could omit those and just give multiple-choice tests, but the University requires substantive writing for each course–and I consider them important, integral parts of learning.  If you cannot explain your answer, you do not understand the material.  I myself cannot shortcut that.  Even to save myself.

 

My deep, dark secret is that there are occasionally days where I think I love my life.  I have both research and teaching.  I feel fulfilled, if totally overworked.  In some strange way, I enjoy it.  I think I need psychiatric help.

 

 

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