Monday, September 29, 2014

Simplified Community

Over the last two months my community -who I do life with - has changed pretty comprehensively. 

Some of it has to do with having a new job. I had 15-20 coworkers that I was with ~60 hours a week. Now I have one  coworker that I see ~35 hours a week.

I left three small group bible studies through my church this summer. 

The group from my department that I had prayed with every week in grad school had disbanded since we have ( nearly!) all graduated.

My weekly lunches with my best girl friends aren't happening (like they used to) since we work in different cities now.

I can go days without seeing my roommates because marathon training has me early to bed and early to rise.

I am way down on numbers of friends, but the friends that I do have are really  good friends. It's always been quality over quantity, but this is yet somehow a little different.

I'm not lonely.
I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

I don't really understand this. And I wouldn't have chosen it. Yet there is a decided sense of rightness about how things are.

I like simple. And a simpler community is working for what Life is right now.

I don't know why it is what it is, but Im leaning into this blessed, full life one day at a time.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

transition in three movements


Transition is one part adventure.

The new Open Space as I leave Old Things creates space for adventure as I move into something different. I don't know who I'll eat lunch with; could be anyone! Or maybe I'll write the great American novel, or work on a fun knitting project. I could take up a completely new hobby (after marathon training ends). I get to figure out what I want to do with not in lab. I get to play with now quirky, nerdy, involved, and open I want to be as I continue to grow and change.I'm kinda excited for the adventure.

Transition is one part grief.

I'm grieving the loss of Old Things which have run their course, or are changing in some substantial way. Friends I used to see regularly but now will have to make an effort to keep up with. Not being a student for the first time in 26 years. Not wearing jeans and sneakers (the grad student uniform) daily. Okay, so I'm not grieving that last one, but still. While grad school sucked on so many levels, I had a lot of good (comfortable?) things embedded in that ... identity, stage, place, and transitioning those places, people, and routines isn't a single, positive shift.

Transition is one part thankfulness.

I'm thankful for the New Things;  that they exist and in my life and at this time. I'm thankful to get to do something new and different professionally. I'm thankful for a season where I get to develop new professional and personal networks. Sometimes a restart is a gift, and I'm not going to begrudge the one I've been given.

I think I mostly want to BE thankful, PROCESS the grief, and EMBRACE the adventure.

What does transition feel like to you?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Developing Community - two thoughts


1. Grey works better in my wardrobe than my relationships. 

I value clarity, clarity in ideas, goals, and relationships.

Why doesn't this outfit work? Too many things going on.
Why does this relationship bother me? I don't know where I stand.

I've learned that it is okay to ask for the clarity that I want: Is that a goal or a deadline? Are these firm plans or should I follow-up again later? 

2. I'm better in community.

Apparently I do like to be followed-up with. I learned this when I was out of town and my host texted me to make sure I was okay and offer assistance in getting home. It really touches me when my roommates text a quick "Thinking about and praying for you today!" I've loved that my Pastor seeks me out to see how I'm doing. These interactions don't make me feel like a burden.

I've intentionally sought out all sorts of community this year. I've intentionally deepened friendships with my coworkers which has made for a much safer and more supportive work place.While I am developing my independent streak, I am fiercely committed to interdependence.

I've sought inter-generational communities, both in a professional and personal contexts. I've done half a dozen informational interviews with people a step or two ahead of me professionally. I've continued to run with people who are old enough to be my parents.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Practice. Process. Resolutions.

I can hear Roommate1 practice the piano downstairs. (It'd be near impossible to *not* hear her!) Initially I feel annoyed with the repetitions of phrases as she works through the music, but boy does she have stamina to keep at it! It isn't pretty (yet!) but she's doing what she needs to do to get the pieces together and that impresses me.

I keep wondering how she gets herself to set down and start practicing, especially when it starts like this. One of the hardest things for me to do is to **start** hard projects.

Once I'm in the middle of a project or task, I find it less challenging to keep at it. Once my running clothes are on and I'm out the door, I'm unlikely to give up. Once my

Maybe that's what I need to practice: starting.

Anne wrote recently about working towards a process, not towards a specific goal. She had greater success trying to walk 10,000 steps a day than with going one full pull-up.

This focus on process reminded me of what I like about running: the process. I don't train so that I can race. I race so that I can train. It's the process and while the goal is nice it's not the point. I like small, iterative tasks (hello, crochet!) because it's nice to see something done and is often mindless, two things I greatly appreciate in my line of work.

I haven't written any New Year's Resolutions for 2014.

Partly out of fear of failure.
Partly because I don't want to shift my focus from completing my dissertation.
Partly because I'm not sure what I want to work on.

My savings goals are automated and I've built an ongoing community around running, so those two will continue until I can re-evaluate post-grad school. Other things I want to do/begin are slated for my summer of intentional unemployment.

2013 seemed to be a lot about becoming aware of what I want and learning to ask for what I want. This also meant a lot of moving away from what I didn't want.

2014 could be about focus, or practice, or celebration, or hope. Stay tuned?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving (366-370)

Here are some thing I'm thankful for today:

366. A new bus friend

367. Warm, generous friends who love me well and in ways unique to this crazy season of life

368. Cool, crisp, wind-less, sunny morning

369. Laughter. Oh, it feels good to laugh.

370. Ideas, inspiration, and options in my research. It isn't always good to have new breadth when trying to finish projects, but right now I'm thankful that this breadth is moving towards a necessary deeper understanding of my work.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Too distracted

The bane of my productivity is "checking things." You'd think the level of productivity I need to hit would make it impossible to do anything deleterious. Nope. Jorge Cham might talk about the Power of Procrastination, but it's not feeling very powerful in my life right now.

Boundaries:
No facebook
No feed reader
No NPR.org
No small tasks//"other productive"
No podcasts
No fiction

I hope that my narrowing down what I give attention to that I will
If this means that there are moments where I just breathe...and then go back to what I should be doing, that's okay. Not taking in so much content should be beneficial, too.

I am eliminating these distractions until mid-December. Three/four weeks. Almost sounds refreshing.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving (361-365)

Here are some thing I'm thankful for today:

361. A new 10k PR (personal record) on Sunday

362. Good communication with the roommates. We do live in a home of grace.

363. A well planned and well executed 2 hours of multi-tasking: shower, laundry, food prep for the week, grocery shopping, gathering stuff for evening travel/event

364. No loss of life, property, or electricity in my life/community from yesterday's high winds

365. Great quality time with friends