Friday, July 22, 2011

Back at work

For the last month, things at my office have been a bit unsettled -- a mite up in the air.  We've all been waiting, in some respects, for an answer.  We've been hanging on until the future became clearer before committing ourselves to it.

That's not just because of the summer.  One of our colleagues, a key member of our team, was a candidate for another job.  A few years ago events like this could, and did, send us into tailspins.  This time we knew we could weather the worst.  Still, we held our breath.  What version of normal would we be settling into for the upcoming academic year?

It was a long month.  Our colleague was traveling the entire time.  We waited through weeks with no news, parsing the occasional status update and running over contingency plans among ourselves, as much as we could bear to contemplate.

Just this week, our colleague is back, and back for good (or until the next candidacy -- but isn't it that way for us all?).  We were at last returned to full strength.  How unexpectedly energizing it was to gather in an office with all of us present, or to go out to lunch together and lend all of our views to the problems ahead!  It felt as if we had started again after an unofficial hiatus -- as if we had all finally been able to draw breath.  And for better of for worse, it was clearly time to go to work on all those things that were put on hold while we waited.

Whenever there is a situation out of our control, we might feel as if our choices have been taken away.  But in truth, there is always a choice.  In everything that is uncertain, in every crisis, in every forecast of impending doom or uncontrollable change, I want to choose hope over fear, trust over blame, the long view over the next step.  My dad ends his blog every day with a prayer for help walking the walk he believes to be right.  Tonight, I do the same.

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