First of all, I want to wish everyone reading this – friends, family, bloggers, etc. – a very happy Thanksgiving. Of course some of you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I still wish you a happy holidays, warmish weather, and a chance to think about what you’re thankful for.
So instead of writing about books, even though I’m always thankful for those, here’s what’s on my mind.
I’m thankful for family. I’m especially thankful that my sisters are all talking to each other, which in my family is a pretty big deal. I’m thankful for the weekend I got to share with two of my sisters and their families. I’m lucky that my sisters are my closest friends. I’m thankful for the time I get to share with my five nieces and one nephew (and then I’m also thankful I get to go home again).
I’m thankful for the health of my parents and parents-in-law. Lately I’m taking this much less for granted. The last few years have brought lots of unwanted health issues, but of course that’s the aging process. As my parents and parents-in-law go into their seventies and eighties, I do my best to be there for them, or at least to be prepared for a time I might be needed — even though that scares me to pieces.
I’m thankful for my husband; more thankful than I can tell you. But you’ve probably picked up on that.
I’m thankful for the life we’ve built together in DC. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years wishing I lived someplace sunny and beautiful like Hawaii or California, or that my husband would get transferred to some glamorous UK or Europe job where I could ditch my office job and live the traveling life. None of those things came to fruition, although maybe they could have. Ultimately, we love our life here, and when faced with a choice we’ve always chosen to stay. We have friends we care about; a city that never gets boring; and a house and cats that comfort us at the end of a long day and remind us of how much we like to come home together.
I’m also thankful for blogging. I’m used to being the person who disappears into the crowd. Blogging makes me feel like someone’s listening. I’m thankful for the community and friends I’ve found blogging. I’m grateful for every new reader that signs up. I also love hearing from the writers out there – I can’t accept most of the requests I get but I love getting them and I consider each one. I so admire your dedication and courage. For me, it’s much easier to talk about books than to create one.
And this year, I’m thankful for a job opportunity that wasn’t the dream job I’d been searching for, but still lets me accomplish one important goal. Starting in January, I will no longer be anyone’s supervisor. I can still do the same education work that I care about (well, most of the time) only I can concentrate on what I’m good at rather than what I’m horrible at, which is managing people. I can stop spending half my time collecting people’s leave requests and approving them to work from home when I don’t get to. I won’t have to spend hours each week in training to become a better supervisor, when I only want desperately not to be a supervisor.
To get to this I had to take something of a demotion, but I have to tell you I couldn’t be happier. Maybe I should feel like I’ve failed — I just know it’s a great big light at the end of the tunnel for me, a weight lifted. Use whatever cliché you want, at least I come home from work in a better mood. I still expect plenty of stress and extra hours from my work; but now I’ll be responsible for my work, not someone else’s.
And – not supervising is going to allow me to pursue a graduate degree, one I’ve been thinking about for a few years. It’s a masters in Educational Psychology, with a focus on assessment and evaluation. Today I signed up for my first course this spring, Intro to Education Research.
I haven’t taken a graduate class in sixteen years, and I’m excited but nervous. One, I’ll be the old person in my class. Two, I can barely figure out how to register for the class (some kind of online portal system that makes me feel about a hundred years old). And three, what kind of student will I be, now that I’m forty-one and used to having my nights free and let’s be honest, I have a lot less attention span than I did when I was last a student. But at least this time there’s no Bar Exam waiting for me at the end.
I’m thankful to have Thanksgiving dinner with my dad, his partner and her family. I’m happy he has so many people that love and care about him, and I’m glad I can be one of those people.
And while I won’t be with my mom or my sisters or my in-laws on Turkey Day, I’ll be thinking about them and I’m glad they all have family to share the day with.
That’s my Thanksgiving. I hope yours is as happy. Thank you for reading, and for occasionally letting me know you’re listening.