How to get through the end of semester without hardly noticing: get caught up in major life decisions instead.

I bought my new Toyota on Thursday, in what the internet made a totally painless and easy process. I'd already done the research and knew exactly what I wanted to get, so on Wednesday I requested quotes via one of the independent auto sites. Instead of driving around to a bunch of different Toyota dealers and talking with annoying salespeople, I got email bids from their internet sales offices, which are a very different thing. I picked the one with the best quote and the most professional communication, went in Thursday afternoon and got my car. Turns out that (at this dealership anyway) the internet sales is supposed to turn over cars, to increase the dealer's volume, so they sell them at extremely low prices. The floor salesmen are the ones supposed to push extra options and fancier models to increase profit. So the guy I worked with wasn't trying to sell me anything extra, he wasn't unpleasant to deal with -- we basically had the whole deal worked out before I came to the dealership.

So I have a new car, which is very exciting but also a momentous thing. I still go and look out the window just to see it. And it's especially nervewracking to figure out how to keep it clean & nice for a while, now that I'm a dog mom (I'm ordering washable covers for the back seat). So basically for all of Wednesday and Thursday I was pretty distracted by car stuff.

And then on Saturday, we decide that it really is time to start looking around for a new place to live. We don't have to move out -- we haven't said anything to our landlord, but we aren't on a lease anymore, so we have the flexibility to leave any time. And a variety of things have been going on that are starting to make us consider moving: our rent went up $200; 3 houses across the street are going to be torn down and new construction put up; the house next door is up for sale; the shack (I'm hardly exaggerating) 2 houses down is going to be rented out to a family with a zillion kids. Plus, our landlords, who are a couple who are friends of ours, are on the verge of splitting up and so the future seems really uncertain. It might be time to remove ourselves from the business part of our relation with them and just have whatever friendship is left.

So then over the weekend, when I was reviewing job candidates' writing samples and grading papers, I was also calling about rental houses and driving around to look at some. Haven't found anything great yet (and it has to be really great to get us to move: either significantly cheaper or better than where we are now) but it's really only been a couple of days.

But once you open that door it's really hard NOT to be thinking about possible neighborhoods to go drive through looking for signs, about things to clear out and give away, about the exhausting labor of moving, and about the possible good things at the end of it all.

Those papers to grade? they're just fitting in around the edges of all my major life distractions.