Today at work was nonstop: a meeting about a new grant, followed by my 100-level class, followed by an office hour trying to find answers for a student planning to study abroad next semester, followed by an upper-division colloquium, followed by a department meeting, followed by work on the train. All "free" moments were spent checking on, answering, and organizing emails. Somewhere in there I ate soup.
Until 6:30, when I moved my laptop off the dining room table and put on Julia Nunes while throwing together my part of "leftovers for dinner" and waited for my son to get back from karate. We settled down to a candle-lit, un-fussy meal and I heard about the kids' days. At one point, I leaned on my husband and soaked in the goodness of life--this family that I come home to at the end of a long day, meeting together around the table my brother made with his own hands.
I am fortunate to have (mostly) interesting and meaningful work. But in October--that most beautiful of months in New England--that work gets really busy, really fast. It's this crazy little family that keeps me from losing it altogether. They sustain me.
And so tonight I will relax with them. Tomorrow, again, I will put forth my best effort to make our little corner of public higher ed meaningful for both students and faculty alike.
There are worse ways I could spend my time at 50.