Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Opportunity to Start Fresh

I am not one to rely on new year's resolutions as anything all that helpful, but I do find the time to be a bit re-charging especially after a long winter break as we tend to have in higher education. I emerge from the break a bit tired from mental and physical atrophy brought on by too much food and plenty of family celebrations. But that tiredness usually gets to a peak around New Year's Eve, and I'm ready to get back to work soon thereafter.

That brings me to this post. I need to view this new position as an opportunity to start it off right. There are so many opportunities here, I hardly know where to start and where to leave off. With so much information to gather into my head, it's getting a bit overwhelming. It's not a bad problem to have (far better than being bored!), but it's a problem nevertheless.

I may rely more on writing out my thoughts a bit more up here with the hope of mapping out the starting-over journey. Could become an interesting administrative article someday for how to take a whole bunch of new information in quickly and use it to do something new.

Or perhaps I'm just spinning plates too darn much.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

On the Move Again

We're off on yet another professional and personal adventure. Next month we will move to BAC (Big-@ss City) so I can start a job at PRU (Prestigious Research University). I'll do similar work to what I have been doing in institutional research, and I just can't wait to get started. The icing on the cake is that BAC is my home town, and I still have family and many friends in the area. It's a great opportunity for me professionally and also personally for my family.

Beyond excited! Anyone want to buy a house in VSLSC?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

On Turning 45

Last Tuesday I turned 45. As I mentioned before, birthdays ending with a 5 have been tough for me. However, at this birthday that was not nearly the case. I'm feeling more empowered by this particular milestone birthday. Wife told me she felt empowered with her age 40 milestone. For me, I felt a bit of that but not nearly as much as turning 45 has been. I think I know solidly how to "do" the 40s. I don't care nearly as much about what others think of my actions. I'm confident in my decision-making abilities and taking action on various aspects of my life.

Yeah, usually.

I mentioned the "acting on" stuff in my last post, too. I've started losing a bit of weight and dealing with some other health issues that have come up. None of these things are scary or otherwise setting me back. I am aware, however, that my time for taking this type of action will only be limited the longer I wait. So I'm not waiting anymore.

It's been a good week thus far. Empowerment by age is a nice thing.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Taking Action on Stuff

Well. It's been a while. Need to start exercising my writing habits, again.

No house updates at this time, though we're gearing up for some help with landscaping for the spring (today!) and have a few other projects on the wait list for now (flooring, some interior painting). We're still grateful to be living in a newer home that's already been updated in the last 25 years by the prior owner! A few photos forthcoming, so I can keep a good history of things.

Job front still is going very well. I am continuing to learn nuances about this particular institution every day, and that keeps it interesting and challenging. Better than being bored, that's for certain. I'm fortunate to work with great people all around.

Am needing to get going on a few writing projects. I realize that writing and publishing will be one of the better uses of my time in this job, albeit an administrative position. If I can work on a few pieces and also help others find time to write, it will only benefit this center both on and off campus. The trick will be finding the time to balance it all along with other unexpected demands that arise.

Another thing I'm working on is my health. I have a milestone birthday ending with a 5 this year. These milestones are always the ones that stress me out a bit, much more than those ending with a 0. Interesting. I need to eat better and exercise more. I've needed to do this on a more regular basis since I was in my late 20s. Hahahaha. It's nothing new. Just need to act on it...much like I need to act on writing. I wish "acting" wasn't viewed as a passive term when relating to movies or theater. It's more closely related to TAKING ACTION, so that's a better frame.

Rambling to myself in my public blog...again...

Friday, November 06, 2015

Mid-Career and Liking It

It occurred to me I a) haven't written in my blog in just over a year, and b) I do really enjoy and miss regular writing. I may take it up again to exercise my writing muscles by providing a few updates here and there.

This post is a brief reflection on my career. I consider myself to be in the beginning of my "middle aged" time, and I am also definitely mid-career. I like it. It's a good realization to actually enjoy one's career. I've been in higher education in some capacity for over 20 years now. That 20-year mark will be made official next summer when I will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of my master's degree in higher education. Earlier this week I celebrated the 5-year anniversary of earning my PhD in higher education. Time marches forward, and at the moment I feel I've usually used my time very well. Sometimes I felt it took a long while to complete my education, but if I look at it as an overall process, it's not like I'm "done" learning in my life. It's all one big ole process anyhow.

I enjoy directing the small research center here at LFU. It's been a good 15 months thus far, and I'm just beginning to get my grounding. That transition has taken quite a while, but here we are...transitioned in and moving ahead. I still have plenty to learn, but I'm certainly no longer "new" in this role anymore. Am at the time where I'm bringing about my own vision for the future of this center. That is both exciting and a little daunting at the same time, however, I definitely feel comfortable making these sorts of decisions based on my years of experience and steeped knowledge in this sort of assessment-y / research-y role. I look forward to working with the others in my department to help determine steps toward reaching that vision. If you had told me I'd be in this decision-making role at a LFU just a few years ago, I would have told you were you nuts. It's really cool to finally be at this point in my career.

It's also nice not to feel a huge push to consider what my next steps will be. And yet, I can visualize them pretty well. I will likely assume a role of AVP or VP for institutional effectiveness or something else in the long-range planning end of things to advise a president or a chancellor. I like the advisory, behind-the-scenes role. I think it suits me well to have some decision-making responsibilities but also to be supporting those who are on the front lines of our work. Sometimes I wonder if I want to be in a senior leadership role someday or whether or not I'd prefer the advisor-on-the-side sort of role I'm in now. Not sure yet, but fortunately there still is room for me to consider all sides and grow. And it seems that growth could occur here at LFU, so we may not be moving to Chesterley IV anytime soon, which is GOOD.

That's all for now. Next up will be some sort of a house update or two.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RIP our beloved Chester: March 15, 1999 - October 20, 2014. We will always miss you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ten Months, Many Changes

It's been over ten months since I've written up here. Since then, we've gone through a pretty major renovation of our lives. We left Large State Capital after 7 years for a new job in Very Similar Large State Capital (VSLSC), in a different state, so I can work at Large Flagship University (LFU) helping to run a research center that studies college students. I love the new job thus far. While we were reluctant to even consider moving to a new destination at this point in our lives, the move has been quite worth the experience. Moose is settling into a new school very well, and Wife and I are adjusting to our new digs just fine.

Speaking of the new digs, the house itself (Chesterley III) is about half the age of Chesterley II, and yet it's already been renovated in terms of its kitchen, HVAC, carpet, and many fixtures in the bathrooms. Overall it's a great place that we hope to stay many years. Pictures forthcoming. In addition the place has a really swell garden and an irrigation system; already we're de-stressing in the garden and plan to keep it just as beautiful as it was when we first saw it.

Bad news is that our beloved Chester is not doing very well. He's reached the grand old age of 15 1/2, so he's lived a long life. He's slowing down and is no longer eating regularly. It's only a matter of time, I suppose, and it's really alright. I'll be very sad when he goes - after all we've had him in our family longer than our own son, so life will be very different without him. I don't look forward to that adjustment one bit.