Distally Located Social Support / The Best Birthday Gift Ever

18 Sep

Instead of reading a meta-analysis of research on role ambiguity and role conflict (Jackson & Schuler, 1985), I figured I’d write a little bit. This particular topic has been floating around in my head for a little while and I finally have some substance to fill in the skeleton of my thought.

Today marks the 7-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years already. On the other hand, I absolutely can. He passed a few weeks after my 17th birthday, while I was a senior in high school. I miss him from time-to-time, but I know he’d be proud of me. That’s what keeps me going.

Appropriately, this week’s readings for seminar deal with work-family conflict and job stress. If there’s one thing you experience in a PhD program, it’s job stress. However, according to Zellers and Perrewe (2001), certain personality characteristics can mitigate job burnout and strain. Also, they discuss how emotional social support can really be beneficial to those who exhibit extraversion (a dimension of the Big 5). I happen to be one of those people.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who really care about me – even if they’re not in the same time zone as I am. From my sister in Rhode Island who sends me hilarious and sometimes vulgar text messages, to Blian in New Jersey who sends me funny and punny Reddit-worthy stuff, to Sophie in Philly who listens to my bullsh*t and sent me a birthday card with googly eyes, to GSL in Nebraska who shares bitchin’ music and advice about getting through a PhD, to Jake in Cali who never fails to make me laugh hysterically and sent me the most amazing birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. (Note: this list is not all encompassing. There are so many people in my life who are loved and make me feel loved!)

I’ve known Jake for about 5 years now. Holy cow – it’s strange trying to remember how long you’ve known people. About a fortnight after my birthday, I received a package from Jake. I had been out studying and came back to a white package in my mailbox. He said he would be sending me something, but I didn’t expect an actual, full-on birthday gift! I opened the box to find a handwritten note, 7 pictures, and the cutest stuffed owl I’d ever seen. Here’s the most amazing thing: the owl was in all the pictures! Jake had gone around San Francisco and taken pictures of the owl in his favorite locations! I can’t believe how blue the West Coast is.

Of course, this owl needed a proper name. Through the magic of Reddit and some slight modification, my owl’s name is Sir Hooty McOwlface. A noble and fitting name for such an adorable creature. Thank you for making me smile, Jake 🙂

Sir Hooty McOwlface!

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2 Responses to “Distally Located Social Support / The Best Birthday Gift Ever”

  1. jbuckley528 September 18, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    I told you I would tell you all about my adventures. 🙂

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