Thursday, November 23, 2006

giving thanks

It occurred to me yesterday as I pulled into my pleasant little driveway under a brilliantly blue sky: "This may be as happy as I ever am." All things considered, I have a very good life at the moment, with lots to be thankful for, so rather than fixate on what isn't, let me take a minute to consider what is.
  • New friends. I couldn't have asked for a better group of friends than I have here. We're an eclectic bunch, to say the least, but we're a good bunch. I've laughed more in the last four months than I have in the last year. I have a social outlet, but just as importantly, I have the support that comes from all of us being in the same situation and understanding the ups and downs that entails.
  • Old friends. I miss my friends back in Home State but we talk regularly, we email sporadically, and we know we're still around. I've been very lucky in the friendships I've formed and I have no intention of letting them go, regardless of where I live.
  • Blog friends. You know, I'm rather fond of a number of you. I love reading your blogs; I enjoy your comments; and I look forward to meeting the some of you in the future. I like the little community that's formed through my wireless network and it's nice that people continue to come in.
  • Family. Admittedly, they're a little crazy but not in a bad way. All families have their moments and we've certainly had ours but we love each other, for better and worse.
  • Career. I finally have a career - not a job, not a stop-gap, not a way to pay the rent (although, yes, it does take care of the latter). I feel very lucky to finally know what I want to do and, more importantly, that I want to do it.
  • PRU City. It's not a metropolis or a cultural center or a hot spot of vacationing Europeans. I like it, though. It's pleasant; it's pretty; it suits me, despite my avowed love of big cities.
  • PRU. I couldn't have asked for a better first position. The issues that pop up would do so at any research university, and I'm developing a network of support to help me deal with those issues. Looking into the foreseeable future, I have no reason to look elsewhere.
  • My house. I like my little place; it's perfect for one person, with room for visitors when they pop in. I know I'm lucky to own my own home as a first-year assistant professor and that it's a nice place in a pretty neighborhood.
  • The little things. There are lots of little things that make each day a little better - spending half an hour playing the piano; having a student tell me it finally makes sense; getting an email from a friend; reading a good book; curling up on the sofa with a mug of hot tea to watch a favorite TV show; waking up to a clear blue sky; making headway on a writing project. Those little things, the quiet and often overlooked things, are a good reason to pause and give thanks on this particular day, too.

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