Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall back...Into Summer ?!

It's no secret that summer is my favorite season. what's not to love - it's warm outside, DC feels alive as people enjoy the city during these sunny weeks, ice cream / yogurt / sorbet is the perfect snack, weekends (and maybe some weekdays) spent lounging by the pool, and so much more! I love wearing summer sundresses and sandals. Things seem a bit more relaxed from May to September as memories of days below 32 degrees fade away into the back of our closets, along with bulky sweaters, scarves, and coats.

This summer was no different, except that I really got to enjoy it all - my funemployment gave me the opportunity to travel, enjoy the pool during the week, and explore DC just as tourists tend to do (and of course continue to figure out what's next). While it wasn't all fun and games (let me be very clear and honest about this!), it was nice to take a break from the networking, job applications, and interviews to get out of the humidity...I mean DC, to travel to various places. Since I stopped working 90 days ago, I've been traveling for 47 of them. The list of destinations includes: Israel, Dallas (x3), New York, Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, and Las Vegas.

That mid-August trip to Vegas / Dallas really plucked me out of a bout of idleness and a bit of depression and catapulted me into a few crazy weeks. My days were quickly filled with meetings, informational interviews, tons of networking, and job interviews for a few opportunities. That would definitely explain my lack of blog posts!

The first week of September was packed with those interviews and has given me some optimism that my funemployment will come to an end soon (I hope / pray / beg). I'm not ready to talk about the opportunities I've been exploring, but they would put me on track to be connected to student affairs and leadership development which really excites me! Please keep your fingers crossed, offer up a prayer, and / or channel any positive thoughts towards this!

I've also launched the application process for the leadership program that I am running for SDT - the Collegiate Leadership Team. It's nice to have something constructive to do during my free time and to design a strategy and the curriculum to train this group of amazing women! I haven't even minded tracking applications in Excel, etc. It almost feels like work, except I can do it while watching TV on my couch or from a coffee shop :-) I'm excited for this program to launch this year and look forward to seeing the work come to fruition in June at our convention!

On the Thursday before Labor Day I made my way south once again to meet my family in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the holiday weekend. The weather was good for a few hours on Friday and then again on Sunday and Monday but there was also some rain! It definitely wasn't part of our itinerary but gave us the opportunity to have quality time in different ways - board games, the start of college football, and relaxing. A family friend and fraternity brother of my dad's joined us on Sunday with his kids which we all enjoyed. We played in the sand, dug a big hole the size of a spa, and my brother and I had the opportunity to act like kids again.

The family at the beach

Since I returned to DC a couple of weeks ago, I've been continuing to interview and schedule more, including one that I had last Thursday before flying home for Rosh haShana. One thing that I appreciate having the time to do this year is to reflect on this past year and really give myself a chance to prepare for the High Holidays. For the last couple of years, it seemed like having a chance to reflect on the past year and look towards the future happened on the plane heading home, as I was walking into shul, or during some other transient time. This year, I carved out time which was invaluable in thinking about my hopes for the coming year and appreciating the events of this past year, as tough of a year as it was. I made 3 lists to jumpstart this process:
  • Big moments that defined 5769
  • People in my life that I appreciate
  • My hopes for 5770
While these items might seem mundane, they've helped me begin the process of bringing this year to a close and thinking about the growth I've had, what I've learned, and what I hope to continue to strive for, appreciate, and experience in the coming year I definitely feel every bit of my 24 years (and at times, a bit more) and I am actually in a place of considering this to be a good thing. Once one item has been addressed, I hope that I continue to grow even more in the coming year!

I want to wish you all a shana tova u'metukah (a good and sweet year) and a happy (ok, maybe a bit bittersweet as we officially say farewell to summer) first day of Fall! As my rabbi shared on Friday night, I hope that we all have the chance to "close the loop" on things left undone from last year. I hope that these days of Awe (yamim noraim) help us to really welcome a new year filled with health, happiness, and many sweet, good things!

Fall veggies from the DC Farmers Market

My brother, cousins, and me in Dallas

Shana tova from our family!