Friday, February 24, 2012
Kind of a big deal.
Well hello interweb friends. My goodness I've been scarce around this space this week. The new pup has me walking 6 miles before 12pm most days and my poor veal-like muscles are struggling to adjust to our new schedule. I'm completely wiped out by the end of the day which is actually a blessing--it's that kind of bone-tired that leaves no room for extra worrying. I keep telling friends and family that "A tired dog is a happy dog!" but really I'm talking about myself.
Today Ruthie-pup and I enjoyed a very windy walk around a local lake with a former student/friend, getting caught up on university gossip. As we walked we passed a man jogging and I said out loud, "Who does that? What kind of life allows you to run at 10:30am?" before I realized, oh right: I do that now. I live that kind of life.
It's been on my mind a lot this week.
I received a message from an old friend asking about my decision process in making this work/life transition. My friend had recently scaled back her work responsibilities as well, in order to spend more time with her family. She asked me how my transition was going and how did I feel about missing out on the challenges/professional benefits that no longer come my way?
The truth is, I feel bummed. It would be a lie to say that I don't think about the professional conferences I used to attend. Conferences where I saw my colleagues from around the country. Where I presented sessions and participated in professional knowledge groups. It would be a lie to say that I don't miss the annual international travel, or the feeling of pride and accomplishment when my students receive prestigious scholarships and grants. I miss the respect from my colleagues; respect that I worked for over a decade to establish.
And it sucks that for my friend and I making the choice to focus more on our young children necessitated that we take ourselves out of the "fast-track" to higher education administration glory. (Such that it is).
At the same time it is amazing to be able to walk my kids to school each morning. To volunteer in my son's classroom every Friday. To meet friends for "walkies and talkies" around a beautiful lake on a Spring morning. To sit and express myself creatively. To have no excuse not to take care of myself.
In the past I worked hard to make sure everyone in my field knew I was kind of a big deal.
Now I work hard to make sure that *I* know the blessings of this life are kind of a big deal.
Who gets to walk the dog for three miles on a weekday morning at 10 o'clock?