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October 28, 2013

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, October

October is normally one of my favorite months of the year, but the past month has really kicked my ass. It started at the end of September, when I received word that my grandfather had died. While I was out of state for a conference. I had to give a presentation the following morning.

That was a miserable few days - I was trying to make plans to go up to Utah for the funeral while attending sessions and preparing for my presentation. I arrived back in Phoenix Friday night at 9:30, and we turned around and started driving Saturday morning. I believe it was worth it to go to the funeral - we needed to be there to grieve with our family, and we actually had a great time visiting with cousins, some of whom I haven't seen in 20 years. It was a much-needed trip.

However, it was also an unexpected absence from work at a critical time of planning for Open Access Week 2 weeks later. This is one of the few timed events for which I'm responsible, and while I'd had a great idea for activities to present, I think that week out of town really threw me off my game. I was exhausted when we got back and had a difficult time focusing on the marketing and planning that I needed to do. As a result, my workshops last week were poorly attended - actually, no one attended 2 of them. So that was really discouraging and I felt like I'd wasted a lot of my time. I've been mentally, physically, and emotionally depleted pretty much for the the last 4 weeks, and I'm tired of that.

But, Open Access Week is over, and I am at a point now where I have no event planning to do, no presentations to give, no special tasks to accomplish (at least, not right now) for the rest of the year. The only thing hanging over my head is preparing to go on maternity leave in January, and that is a joyful thought.

And October wasn't all bad. As I said, we had a really nice visit with family - it was great to reconnect with so many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we've already got some nice ideas for our visit next summer. We went to the Arizona State Fair and took a picture at the Star Trek Exhibition. We saw Lang Lang play with the Phoenix Symphony for a fantastic concert. The weather is getting so nice, and Elmer has rediscovered how fun it is to go for bike rides in his trailer. Elmer himself is a daily joy - growing so fast, learning new words every day, becoming such a little boy (he deserves a post of his own!). My pregnancy is going great - Peanut is kicking and squirming and growing just as a baby should. And we've been having fun playing games and visiting friends. Elmer will be a pirate for Halloween and we'll go Trick or Treating for the first time and hand out candy!

I'm putting the last month behind me - letting it go and closing the door. Today, I'm going to work on some things I've let slide for the past several weeks. I have some tea and I'm listening to this week's Sunday Baroque broadcast. I'm looking forward to the good things ahead - just attending the AzLA Conference this year (no presentations or committees!), Thanksgiving, Christmas, beautiful Phoenix winter weather, family, friends, and fun. And a new little Perry in the New Year!

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