Unpacking…thoughts more so than boxes

I’m about 3 weeks into my professional transition from more than two decades researching, teaching, and leading at research-intensive institutions to a new post at a small liberal arts college.

I must say that I’ve been diligently unpacking, but I’d be less than honest if I said that the diligence was focused on unpacking boxes. I’m focused on unpacking my transition and reflecting on new opportunities.

As a part of this unpacking focus, I’ve been finding and getting accustomed to new rivers and lakes so that I can stick to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to…if you know you know…for periods of reflection and writing.

Left: A picture with grass, trees, sky, and a lake ; Right: A picture containing sky, grass, and an arched bridge over a river.

I’m enjoying all I’m learning about a new community and institution, as well as about new colleagues and neighbors.

I’m also thrilled to have selectively spent time unpacking and setting up my new writing studio. While the other unpacking can wait, I’m re-establishing my writing practice after moving-related (and anticipated and planned for) gaps in my regular writing process.

I’m finding new “pre-writing” contemplation walking trails and paths.

I’m forgoing new place-based writing rituals and routines

I’m settling in at work, home, and play…and focused on possibilities.

Even as I walk by unpacked and/or tucked away boxes, I’m thrilled to be unpacking new thoughts and plans for opportunities in writing, leading, contributing in new spaces and places.

As always, if you have thoughts on this or other posts, you can find me on Twitter at @BerondaM…even when I should be unpacking!!

Summer success = plans + time + space + grace

Although the cool temperatures remind me that it’s technically spring…and inconsistently so…in mid-Michigan, it’s officially summer according to the university’s academic calendar.

Like so many academics, summer holds great promise as a fertile—and hopefully productive—playground for me to develop &/or advance a bevy of ideas, plans, goals and quite frankly to have some fun!

For years (like so many others), I’ve transitioned into summer with a requisite list of things I plan to do. Yet, I learned years ago that such a list is only a “wish” list unless I actively plan what I hope to do AND accommodate time to do so actively through coordinating my calendar to hold time and space for all the things I planned.

I also plan to extend exceeding kindness and grace to myself during these weeks to ensure that the plans and associated scheduled space and time don’t begin to feel stressful. This is critical as I unapologetically live a stress-limited life and that means that I have to hold myself and others accountable for extending as much (or more) grace to me as the named and unnamed expectations.

Whatever you have planned for the summer, I wish you great success! I also wish you an abundance of grace for the summer journey, whether it’s already upon you or still a ways ahead.

As always, if you have thoughts on this or other posts, find me on Twitter at @BerondaM