From the moment Matty left Ann Arbor for Seoul in August 2006, it seems that someone pressed the 10x fast forward button on my life. First a desperate rush to finish the dissertation before my funding dried up, then the job search, house hunting, leaving AA for Korea, the botched closing, settling into Appleton, getting to know the neighbors, hosting housewarmings, visiting family, etc. Just as I started to catch my breath, I began faculty orientation, which lasted all day, every day of last week. By Friday evening, I was totally exhausted, but felt a million times less anxious about joining the Lawrence community. I could not have imagined a more welcoming, unpretentious, supportive, and dedicated group of colleagues. To top off the week, new faculty and their families were invited on a biking trip with the provost at Björklunden, a beautiful 400-acre retreat in Door County that serves as Lawrence’s “northern campus” (one that faculty members are allowed to use with students and family free of charge on a space-available basis — what a fabulous job perk!).
Sometime between my second glass of wine last night with everyone in the cozy great room and our gorgeous bike ride today along Lake Michigan, I was finally, finally able to take a deep breath, truly relax, and realize how incredibly lucky I feel. I’m sure things will get hectic and stressful again in a week after classes begin and I take up the manuscript again, but for now, shhhh… I’m enjoying the moment.