Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheers, Mate!

Today at work we had a farewell tea party for a much-beloved coworker before she embarks upon graduate work at another Ivy League institution. Thankfully, the rain held off, and it was overcast and breezy so we didn't fry to death.

The garden was beautiful behind an historic house on campus, ripe for photography opportunities! There were vintage hats for wearing, cucumber water for sipping, tea sandwiches for eating. Imagine the tourists walking by, looking at us in our fancy getup in a setting that could easily pass for time-accurate if only with the help of a sepia finish. It was awesome. Here are some pictures from the event:

Garden setting.

The noms.

The guest of honor shows off her gloves.

Lovely ladies. : )

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thinking on a Beautiful Friday

Today many thoughts crossed my mind on my trek up to my building. I realized, as I do every day, how incredibly happy I am at Princeton: I feel it is where I am meant to be. I am taken aback by the beauty of the campus every single day. I often wonder how long it takes people there to take it for granted. I work with amazing people who welcomed me like family, and it already feels like I've been there for years. My job is fulfilling, something I had been lacking since tutoring. The people I work with are also incredibly gracious and appreciative. As someone who thrives on (for better or worse) outside reinforcement, it is wonderful to be told I am doing a great job, that I am the perfect addition to the team, that as soon as they finished my interview they all got together and said, "She's it--we don't want anyone else." After leaving a job where employee morale was low and few people felt important and appreciated, it's just refreshing.

I am constantly aware of how lucky I am to have found the job that I have. I had decided, just after I applied for the position back in March, that higher education was where I wanted to be. I know it's rare to find what we want, and to find a job where you feel genuinely valued. I know it was a long road to get here, and I just need all those who helped me to know I will not forget your help, I will not forget that struggle, and I will not take for granted what I have.

I also realized a few things on my way home from yoga last night. One, yoga makes everything in life better. I may not have a ripped bod, but there two asanas in which I always feel strong, balanced, and fearless: Warrior two and Triangle. When I need a boost, I will practice these asanas and instantly feel more centered. And I always, always feel good about myself when I am practicing regularly. Yoga is the only place I can officially turn off the worries of the world and go inside. I can reconnect with myself, and let my body lead and my head follow. By the time savasana comes, I am totally at ease and at peace.

The yoga "studio" I attend is in town, in the old fire house. I love that I can walk there, I love the walk itself, I love that as I'm arriving, the bell atop historic City Hall is chiming as its new hammer clangs against the bell (no longer just a recording). I love that when I walk home, I am ushered by a bagpipe corp practicing behind the community center. I love small town life. My own Stars Hollow at last, walking into town never feels old--there's always a new flower in bloom, or a new side street I haven't yet explored, or someone new to talk to.

I am in a really good place, mentally, after half a year of turmoil and questioning everything. I am engaged to a wonderful man who, though he has his flaws and I have mine, seems to understand me and supports me. I have a great cat who I'm sure I was destined to bring home. I have superb friends. And my family, of course, is super star amazing.

John just got accepted to the graduate program at Stockton. He will be accomplishing a lifelong goal of earning his master's degree. I hope this will instill in him some of the faith I have that he doesn't see in himself.

We have so much to be thankful for, and to be happy about, but I think all the stars really do have to align in order for all those things to also align and for us to be able to see them, to number them on our fingers (and toes if necessary).

That is all. I hope you take a minute to think about all the good things in your life, and then maybe help someone else find them in their life. For now, I am off to spend the evening with good friends in celebration of John's current and impending achievement of grad school.