Last week was so busy that I worried I wouldn’t have time to love anything. I’m on the search committee for a new hire in my department, and we plan a whirlwind of events for these on-campus interviews. On Wednesday, I worked a 13-hour day–and that was minus my commute time of two hours round-trip. But it’s been more invigorating than exhausting, and that’s certainly something to celebrate!
1. Leisurely Saturday mornings spent reading a good book and providing a comfortable napping spot for the world’s most perfect cat:
2. Cats squishing into too-small spaces:
3. It’s spring! In South Dakota, that means 80 degrees one day and 35 degrees and snowing the next. I complain about the zany unpredictability of spring weather in South Dakota just to be social, but secretly I enjoy it. How can you not appreciate a place that makes it so difficult to dress appropriately? I wore a wool jacket on the 80-degree day and nearly roasted. On the snowy 35-degree day, I wore sandals and had to wrap my coat around my legs for warmth.
4. Good conversations with colleagues. Search committee work took up most of my time this week. We had two candidates visit campus, and we have four social events planned per day with each candidate, plus an hour-long interview, which puts me well over my threshold for sociability for, like, the entire year, but it’s been surprisingly fun. I love the people I work with and rarely make the time to socialize outside of work. We decided we should do a monthly early a.m. breakfast together at our excellent local coffee shop. I hope we follow through!
5. And best of all, getting together for coffee with one of my students who graduated in 2004. Blaine and I figured out that we haven’t seen each other since 2007. I had been expecting small talk and a certain amount of awkwardness–isn’t that what happens with people you haven’t seen for 7 years and knew in a limited context to begin with? But not with Blaine. He’s an ambulance driver and a college student and one of the wisest and most thoughtful people I know. We covered the challenge of identity for contemporary Native Americans, social justice, racial inequality, spirituality, loss and grief, and the formative work experiences of our lives in just two hours. (Plus, we laughed a lot. Even though those topics probably don’t sound very funny.)
I often avoid extra social experiences outside of work because I think of myself as an anti-social person who has an incredibly social job and needs lots of quiet time at home when I’m not working. I think of socializing as somehow energy-draining, but what I loved about this week is making me seriously question that. I was dreading this week because of the extra hours I would be spending being social, when I already felt drained and burnt out (the usual end of the semester crazies, but also lots of parenting intensity over the past few weeks). But it turns out that I end the week feeling re-energized and rejuvenated from all the good conversation I had this week. Huh. Who knew?