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Winter Break

December 23, 2014
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The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in snow. March 2007. Photo by author.

The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in snow. March 2007. Photo by author.

I just completed the busiest semester I’ve had for several years, perhaps ever. Thus, the dearth of blogging.

In June, I achieved my first full-time job in ten years. In a way, it felt anticlimactic. After all, I have always worked, except for the nine months just after I moved to California. Even then, I rebuilt a student government to keep myself busy. My full-time position is simply an upgrade of the 30-hour per week position I already held, so the transition was seamless. But it was now a stronger draw on my time.

The university where I work is growing and the single undergraduate class I teach needed two sections this fall instead of one. In compensation for the larger work and teaching load, I only enrolled in two classes instead of three, but that’s still two doctorate-level classes, with all the work that entails.

Finally, in addition, my clinical pastoral education unit started meeting in October. Functionally, this is a third class, including homework in the form of periodic clinical case presentations and reading assignments.

Essentially, I was working full time, attending school full time, and teaching two classes on the side. Something had to give. Mostly that was blogging, exercise, and, to my partner’s patient dismay, time together as a couple, particularly in the evenings. I would frequently be away from home for 11 hours a day or longer during the week.

Next semester will be easier, but not by much. I am taking one less class and teaching one less class. My partner and I will get our weekly date night back. I will restart my morning routine of yoga and meditation. And, hopefully, there will be one or two posts per month here on the blog.

In the meantime, everyone is looking forward to the holidays, winter break, and some vacation travel. We will with my partner’s family for a few days, then home a few days while the university is closed, then flying off to Florida to spend ten days at Walt Disney World.

My partner and his mother, for whom this is a regular family trip, are looking forward to visiting one of their favorite places. I am a bit more reluctant. Theme parks were sometimes (not always) fun when I was a child, but as an adult, I find them somewhat overwhelming. Nevertheless, things will be fine overall. I’m sure a lot of it will be fun, and when I do get overwhelmed, I have been promised a lovely hotel room with a jacuzzi tub to retreat to whenever I like. The food will be good and company outstanding.

I hope all of you have a similarly lovely holiday. For those who do not, I wish you the compassion and equanimity of the Buddha. Take care of each other, stay safe and warm. Cheers!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda S. permalink
    December 23, 2014 11:59 am

    I can understand your trepidation about theme parks; I have never understood the appeal, especially now that I live near them. But if the whole Disney thing really gets to you, never fear! You’ve got Vajrapani Kadampa Center and the Guang Ming Temple in Orlando proper, Wat Florida Dharmmaran in Kissimmee and the White Sands Buddhist Center in Mims. And there’s a weekly Mindfulness Meditation in Winter Park. So there are plenty of places to literally retreat to when the whole “ears” thing get too much.

  2. December 23, 2014 12:54 pm

    You’ve been busy, and all great actions and life events, so happy for you. Happy Holidays to you and your family and partner all the way from Guam. We’ve been on Guam for a little over a year now. We miss Japan, and I’m looking for a GS-12 job in the near future. Take care and don’t work too hard. :)

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