Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Not as expected

The past two weeks have been one of ends and beginnings. At the beginning of the month my students submitted their final assignment for the project I've been guiding them through. The document is currently being uploaded today to be sent to collaborators with the subject heading of "Future Directions?" All the professors have commented again and again how impressed they are with what these students produced (and I'm also insanely proud of them for all they've done). With this final assignments comes my official end to my time at this institution. Materials from my postdoc are still being handed off and I'm taking with me things that I've helped create.

In addition, I was formally offered a position as a program manager for a local science education initiative. It's part-time to start with reassessment happening in the fall seeing as the commute is on the extreme end. But all involved are excited as it gives us a chance to lay some groundwork that originally wasn't anticipated.

All while I'm exploring other opportunities and keeping doors open.

I was thinking about all of this this morning when She-Beat surprised Grey and me by waking up on her own at 6:15 am. For the past 2 years, getting her out of bed in the morning has been a huge struggle, usually with her being too groggy to even eat breakfast. Calling to Daisy to follow her, she beat He-Beat downstairs to feed the cats and then sat at the table and finished her breakfast. No complaints or negotiations required. Staring at her, Grey marveled that already we are seeing results from the surgery: she's no longer snoring at night and seems to be sleeping a lot more peacefully. The idea that all of the struggles we had were sleep related is once again on our minds, even though two months ago the physicians back East were assuring us that couldn't be the case.

In other words, none of this is playing out as planned or expected. Not She-Beat's recovery nor how my last teaching assignment went (let alone what was produced) or even this current position that I will be starting in less than 2 weeks. None of it was anything that I ever would have considered.

Yet now, looking at what is laid out ahead, it all makes sense. The path forward is becoming more clear and it's more promising than I ever could have planned or dreamed of.

None of this is due to lucky. Quite the opposite actually as it's taken a lot of pain and failure, trying option after option and pushing forward when it seemed pointless to. Even now, with an offer letter in hand, I'm still waiting to hear on two other interviews that I worked my butt off to secure and am fully expecting not to hear a single thing about the outcome. In short, a lot of frustration from dead-ends.

But what is true is that sometimes when we focus too much on the one path forward, we fail to see the alternatives. That it takes failing and beating ourselves up a bit to become open to those alternatives we initially would not have considered. And that it's only when we find those open windows and figure out how to crawl through them that the possibilities start becoming clear, working out better than we could have ever imagined.

She-Beat has her post-operation appointment on Thursday. We've been warned she'll likely only be 60% healed by then (at best) and likely won't see the real benefits of the surgery for another 3 months. But all of this has energized me to push for meeting with her IEP team as soon as possible so we can lay out a plan of action for the summer into the fall. And this new position has made me start to explore whether I can integrate in this new curriculum into the outreach I will be helping develop, allowing for all the work my students did to be put into action (and to start collecting data for a publication).

Not as expected when all of this began. But oh so promising.


  1. Yay for good news! You are very resilient.

  2. Congrats on the new position! That's great that you are already seeing a difference in She-Beat!

  3. I'm thinking maybe it's a positive (for now) that your new position is part-time, as you get settled in your new home? So glad you are already seeing some positive changes in She-Beat, post-surgery -- I hope the good news continues! <3

  4. I love seeing that all of the hard work and endless pushing is starting to produce results. I'll be hoping you keep getting better news as She-beat recovers completely, and my fingers are crossed that one of those interviews turns into a great job with a not-so-extreme commute. Change on such a massive scale is really hard and you're doing an amazing job with it.

  5. All your news so matches the season. Lots of things coming up from seeds you planted way back when.

    So promising!

  6. Hi Cristy! I’m back! I can’t wait to catch up on your blog and the Beats and what’s new in your world!

  7. This post is awesome! I’ve spent the past few days catching up on your posts and this is such a hopeful, happy post. You guys have come so far ... my hope for you and your family is that the path ahead is clear and that these big decisions and changes provide you with the happiness you so deserve.

  8. Amazing news, and so hopeful! It is wonderful to hear so many great things, between your students' work (which you cultivated), your new job opportunity, She-Beat's success so far with the surgery, and looking forward to the Fall, it's all so good. So much love to you!


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