Over my dead body.

I’m nearing the end of another one of those crazy periods in life, full of stress and errands and little sleep. Which, with the dust storm and the new job and some unexpected medical issues of Oliver’s, is probably understandable. (Oh, how quickly I forgot those fleeting days of retirement.) And last weekend was the culmination, the prime reason I had cleaned for weeks and shopped and chewed all my fingernails off.  I graduated from business school.

My family descended on my barely-cleaned home to witness my walking across a stage in a cap and gown one more time and to celebrate such an accomplishment. It was three and a half long, yet still quick, years in the making, and during the weekend I reflected often on the friends I’d made, the classes and people who made me want to pull my hair out, the lessons I’d learned, those stressful times where I’d barely known my own name, my South Africa trip, and ultimately all the fun I’d had. It’s the end of an era, which is always bittersweet.

The best news is that, while it was unnaturally hot in early May, it was my first graduation ceremony ever that wasn’t affected by rain. At my high school graduation, the downpour on the coliseum’s tin roof completely drowned out all the speakers. And the douse of big, fat rain over the outdoor stadium before college graduation just made everyone mad and uncomfortable. So, it was a miracle that we had a clear, if a bit steamy, day this time. And all the scheduling went smoothly — everyone arrived on time and was able to secure decent seating, I didn’t trip over my robe or otherwise embarrass myself and dinner was a big hit.
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Living the high life.

My friend Melanie once told me that, being a Gemini, I can easily find myself bored. That I constantly need stimulation — people to see, places to go, projects to do. Now, I am a person who relishes laying around watching TV for 15 hours, but it’s true that I thrive with structure and purpose and fall into slovenly behavior when those are absent.

Well, it’s officially been 7 weeks since the layoff and I haven’t been bored once. I’ve actually been enjoying my mini-retirement, keeping a schedule and even tiring myself out with all that I need to accomplish. It makes me wonder how I survived when 40+ hours of my week were claimed elsewhere — did I sleep? Did I have a social life? Did I ever carry through on anything? And let’s not even think about the MBA I somehow completed.

The past few weeks have been incredibly full — I’ve had uproarious dinners/lunches/brunches out with friends, I’ve volunteered my time to good causes, I’ve stayed in touch with my b-school folks and prepared for graduation in a few weeks. Keep reading »

A sense of self.

I am not a morning person.

So this weekend I had to peel myself out of bed early on Saturday, sleepily stumble into Starbucks for a grande latte and cram down some breakfast-on-the-run, all in the name of education. As you can imagine, I was not looking forward to it.

Luckily, though, I didn’t have to double fist the caffeine like I thought I would. It was actually really interesting.

Leadership is the focus of my business school program, so we all have to take this year-long seminar that meets all day on four Saturdays throughout the year. They’ll put us through just about every personality test and assessment that exists, and I’ve been told by other students that I will learn more about myself than I ever wanted to know. But I’m looking forward to embracing that knowledge — this class was the key seller to me when I was researching the program, and I’m hoping the self-actualization will tell me what I really should be doing with my life. I know this can’t be it. Keep reading »