Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Gear, New Digs, New Ideas, and New Beginnings

This week has been a week of changes. Sunday evening, my niece and I switched rooms, since she needs more space for doing her hair, and the easiest way to give it to her was to let her have the master bedroom. Then, I ordered/bought my three biggest gear needs (I will post pictures once all of them arrive)--my backpack, my hiking shoes, and my sleeping bag. I also got some of my small gear items, including my head-lamp, some merino wool hiking socks, and a hiking towel. I used the hiking towel this morning in order to test it out, and I was pretty impressed by it--the micro-fiber material doesn't move very well across the skin, but it definitely dries you off well!  It wasn't really even that wet even though I was dry, so I bet that it really does absorb 8x it's weight in water!  I'm also wearing the hiking socks today, as I was worried that I might react to the wool, and so far so good.

On top of that, I've come to realize that I just MIGHT have enough ideas in my little brain to make a career out of being an academic. I know it is probably stupid, but it has always been one of my concerns about getting a Ph.D....can I think of enough research products to continue to publish? The fact that there are so few full time faculty jobs also gives me pause, but I could also stick with some sort of staff position, so it is a thought, anyway. I have also been intimidated by the idea of writing such a long paper, but my boss gave me a great compliment earlier this month...He said that I wrote better than one of his dissertation advisees! I don't know if I will pursue a PhD or not, but I have time, since I can't begin until August of 2014 at this point, which means I don't have to apply until february of next year.

And, this week is the beginning of a new year for me. I don't really feel like I'm 37...In fact, I have to say that I feel much like I did at 25 or 30. Well, that isn't entirely true...my knees are creakier, and I have more grey hairs and wrinkles, but inside, there isn't much difference. Maybe a little more wisdom, and hopefully a better knowledge of who I am....fundamentally, the same core is there. I am also happier, more at peace than I was a year ago, but that is more a product of my divorce than a fundamental change in me.

What do I hope will happen this year? That is a really good question, and I'm not sure that I can answer. I do know that I want to continue healing from my divorce, as well as from some of the scars from childhood that I discovered as I was writing my annulment application. I also want to build my mental toughness through continuing to run, racing, and then finishing my Camino. I need to prove to myself that I am able to go the distance....both figuratively and literally! The demise of my marriage has shaken my confidence in myself to do so--even though I knew within 2 weeks of my wedding that I had married the wrong person, I never expected to be single again. My great uncle used to always say that one should wait to get married--if you married the right person, it would be that much sweeter, and if you married the wrong person, you would have less time to endure it! And that is what I expected to do--in many ways, I felt that my marriage was penance for my bad choices, and I sometimes feel guilty for being so happy and at peace now that I am single again.

I think that I will leave what happens in this coming year in the Lord's hands. More than likely, my plans will be changed by Him anyway, and it will keep me from fretting myself to death. Honestly, the way I feel about this year is the same feeling you get at the beginning of symphony concerts--you know that heartbeat of time when the Concert master has just finished making sure that everyone is in tune and the conductor has just raised his baton? We all tend to hold our breath, waiting for that first note to be played, or I do, at least! That is what this year feels like to me...a transition from cacophony to beautiful music, a pause before the main event. I have a feeling that anything that I plan will be paltry compared to what the Lord will give me anyway, so I am holding my breath for the first glorious note, even as I continue walking in the direction I know that I should.