Checking In: June

I haven't written here in a while, but I have been doing some writing. I'm working on a piece to be published in August in a new journal through University of North Carolina Charlotte. My paper will describe a new model to better understand the support systems student veterans have. It also gave me a wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by brilliant people during a writing retreat.

I really can't say enough about the retreat. I felt like I was the dumbest one there. Half of the brilliant conversations I couldn't contribute to. I just soaked it all in. I met some amazing people doing even more amazing work. I learned about new best practices, tools, theories, data, and other work being done for student veterans. I love learning and it was like being in grad school again. I also decided on my next degree and even had a few programs suggested.

The retreat was early June. Two days after I returned home, after spending one day at work, I had surgery on my left arm. Actually on my left ulnar nerve. I was out of work for four days, then took another day off. Worked for three more days, and took two off. This past week was my first full week of work since before Memorial Day. And I learned a few things, especially things about myself. I need to take more vacation days. I need to be firmer about boundaries. I need to talk about and face the problems I see at work. My job is to serve students, that is my "why". We should be evaluating everything we do against that why.

The past week I've been working on the semi-annual Veterans Knowledge Community's newsletter. That is also going to be packed (I can't fit anything else into it without adding more pages). It is going to contribute even more for those working with student veterans. I'm really proud of the things I'm able to do for the community.

Construction in my office suite to create a new office for me has started. It's also causing some confusion. I hope that we now have a timeline and a brief plan things will start to settle down.

One of the projects the Veterans Club had been working on has not received funding. Of all the things that happened in June, this one hit me in the gut. I called my husband at 7:30am, he was working nights that week, and was almost in tears talking to him about it. It was rough concentrating that day, or days after that.

June set a lot of things in motion for me. Things at work I can't talk about. Things in my personal life I'd rather not talk about. But it also brought me calmness. A focus I haven't had in a bit. A clarity and reminders of why I do what I do, why I chose this field, and why I'm not settling for the status quo.

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