Thumbs Up


For a Monday, today was pretty damn great.  A solid two thumbs up kind of day.  Here's why:

My proposal for an occasional 4-day work week was approved!  I can now take one extra day off per month, which frees up twelve days during the calender year that I would otherwise be behind a desk in a windowless office.  I am so stoked to have this extra time, and grateful to the powers-that-be at my organization for supporting the idea.  It's a small change, but one that will give me greater flexibility with my limited and sacred free time.  

Also, I applied for my passport today!  I thought I would have to go after work and that it would be a long nightmarish process riddled with bureaucratic BS, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I decided to scope out the scene over my lunch hour, and was prepared to have to call my supervisor from the long line, telling her that I would need to take two hours of personal time because I was stuck in some horrendous line.  But here's what actually happened: I hopped on the subway, went to the post office at 30th & Chestnut, waited in line for the application, applied, had my passport photo taken, hopped on the bus, picked up a salad at the Liberty Place food court, and walked back to my office, all within the span of 55 minutes.  I've waited longer to mail a package free of liquids, perishables and explosives.  Getting a passport was like the Jiffy Lube of all government-related experiences.  I challenge you to interface with the government, take two modes of public transit, pick up lunch and return to the office in less than an hour.   

Next, when I got back to work, I received official notification that an abstract (paper) with my name on it had been submitted to a national Social Work conference happening in January 2013!  This actually starting unfolding over the weekend.  When I was in grad school, I was a research assistant for two professors who were conducting different research studies.  Well, one of them is ready to publish the findings of his study, and is including my name as an author because of my role in the study!  He is submitting the abstract to possibly be selected for a paper presentation at this conference next winter, so today, I received official notification that 1) it was submitted for review, and 2) it has my name on it.  I am so floored by this news, and so filled with gratitude for everything from the initial experience of working on this study to the latest development of being included as an author.  I just didn't see it coming, at all. 

Then when I got home, I saw that I had a piece of mail.  Not a bill or piece of junk mail, but a card from my mom.  I quickly scanned my mind as to why she would be sending a card.  Birthday? No. Anniversary? No. Holiday? No. Just because? Maybe.  I opened it and was so surprised to see that it was a donation towards our Costa Rica trip!  The only caveat is that I have to have a drink in her honor while in Costa Rica.  Damn, I don't know how we're gonna make that happen, given our rigorous itinerary filled with ass-in-the-sand sessions followed by floating-in-pristine-waters sessions.  It was an awesome and totally unexpected surprise, and once again, left my heart so grateful.  Thanks, Mom!

Finally, the last piece of goodness for today is that I turned the last page of a book that has held my imagination captive over these past few days.  Not that I love ending a great story - I don't, I'm actually quite sad - but I do love loving a book in its entirety and feeling like I've come full circle with the characters.  I've been reading 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World, which is the true life story of a family (parents John and September, and kids Katrina [11] and Jordan [8]) who dropped out of everyday life (school, work; you know, the things that typically define us) for 52 weeks to travel the globe.  It's been an inspiring read, and has opened my eyes to the incredible experiences awaiting those who have the courage to dream, and save.  Not that I currently have dreams of funds for taking an Around-the-World trip, but reading this book has challenged my perceptions of what it can mean to raise a family in the world.  It was one of the best stories I've read in a long time, and tonight it came to an end.  Happy tears :)

So all in all, today was pretty thumbs up.  In fact, I kind of wish I had a third thumb to raise.  Actually, based on today's wish success rate, I better exercise caution and rethink that one.  I'll settle for two thumbs up - way UP!