Thankful

The Kona MinUte contemplates its sad future.

The good news about having a bike stolen by means of someone sawing through the frame is that there isn’t much debate about whether it’s worth trying to get it back. It’s not. Our bike shop put together an estimate of how much the MinUte cost and sent it to our insurance company. The bike was stolen Friday, and our claim was approved Monday afternoon. Our insurance company says the check is in the mail. So far, this has been the easiest insurance claim ever (knock on wood). Although I suppose our “have never made a claim” discount has gone the way of all things.

If it weren’t for the wind, our cheap umbrella-based rain cover would be just fine.

I feel lucky. Yesterday I rode by a man sitting on a park bench whittling a stick. Today on the same route, I saw the small pile of shavings he’d left behind. I like that over the next week, I’ll watch them drift away. I like the scale of our daily lives. I like noticing these things. I like that this morning I saw a blue Bullitt heading toward me and suddenly realized it was our blue Bullitt. Hi, Matt!

Last weekend we visited the Academy of Sciences: Let it snow!

I have a million things I want to say. In the last few weeks we have ridden the Yuba Boda Boda and the Xtracycle EdgeRunner, and both deserve a full report. I still mean to write about how much fun we had riding in Seattle and Portland in August and all the amazing people there. I’ll get to it eventually.

In the meantime, as if to offer a giant apology from the universe, our professional lives have had an amazing run even in this short week before Thanksgiving. On Monday, Matt was interviewed about clean energy on NPR’s California Report. On Tuesday, my university offered me tenure. I said yes.

We have a lot to be thankful for, and I hope you do too.

6 Comments

Filed under San Francisco

6 responses to “Thankful

  1. Congrats. ;) I thought it would be back. It’s wonderful.

  2. Did your insurance write a check for replacement value or current (depreciated) value of the bike?

  3. Congratulations!! I have been contemplating my career choices a lot lately and feeling somewhat discouraged about the prospects of finding a good balance of career and family. And then I read your blog and especially the news of your tenure and I’m encouraged to think that there are ways to make it work.

    I’m sorry of your loss of the MinUte but how wonderful to have so many things to still be thankful for this Thanksgivig!

    • There is so much I could say to this. Getting here did not feel easy along the way. After I filed my dissertation I had a very discouraging couple of years on the job market, and although I ended up in a postdoc (not typical in my field, and it raised a lot of eyebrows) instead of a tenure track job, I was very happy with it. I kept publishing and got promoted to an adjunct faculty position. But I was in a very supportive department–my department chair at the time, who is now our dean, adores children and still urges all faculty to have four kids like he did and take as much parental leave as desired–and my situation kept improving. And here I am now.

      My biggest issue with career-family balance has been this frustration I feel with wanting to be two people at once, the person who stays home with my children and the person who continues to do research. I don’t think there’s any good resolution to this. The best advice I’ve gotten is that it’s not something that’s balanced on a daily or monthly basis, but over the course of years. There will be years when it’s all family and years when it’s all career.

      In hindsight I definitely think it can work and I am sorry that so many women, especially, give up fearing that it can’t. I am really happy with my career and although I still wish I could be two people at once I am so happy to have work that I love and the flexibility to spend time with my children. My colleagues sometimes joke that academic life means “work any 50 hours of the week you want!” but the truth is that having to work in the evenings sometimes is balanced by being able to volunteer at my kids’ schools in the middle of the day. It is priceless. I hope you find a path that ends just as happily.

      • Thanks for this reply! I like the idea of balance being something that plays out over years rather than months or days. Right now I’m definitely in the family centric years of my life but my daughter is one and I know that will soon change as she gets older.

        The advice I keep getting from everyone is to keep publishing as a way to keep active in my field. So I will try to do that even though I’m not even sure that its what I want. But it’s just so hard to close a door for sure.

        I also like hearing of such a supportive and family friendly department! It seems like these stories are rare but maybe that’s also because people love sharing horror stories better.

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