Life goes on

Garmin personal GPS navigation device

When you go through difficult circumstances, it can feel like your world is ending. Ironically, though, life goes on, as it always has. Eventually, your own sense of daily life and patterns is restored, although whatever you’ve been through doesn’t fully heal and you will carry scars.

For me, a new normal is taking shape, one that isn’t so focused on our kids. I try to remember the good things and not to be sad about them being in the past.

The OW Factor at my work is at least an eight out of ten, possibly higher. I do my best to minimize having to deal with that dysfunction by focusing on things that are separate. One of those involves working with another faculty member in one of the disciplines I support who invited me to get involved with a very large systematic review. On Friday, I finally completed the initial review of over 27,000 citations. It has been very hard work and each of us needed to do that. The next stage is to find full text of studies we both agreed fit the criteria at the citation review stage and then affirm, again, based on a full text review, whether those studies meet our criteria.

At home, things are often quieter than I’d like, but I’m starting to see some of the benefits of having a smaller household. For example, amazingly, there is plenty of food to eat. Plenty of coffee to drink, even! I don’t have to fight with someone else over access to the washing machine and dryer to do our laundry. The shared bathroom stays pretty clutter free and clean. Not as many things disappear into others’ bedrooms never to be found again. Amazing stuff.

Recently an older brother invited my wife and me to join him on vacation in the Boundary Waters area of northern Minnesota—a favorite area of ours for many years. We are really looking forward to that. It will be our first real vacation sans kids. I can’t wait to take photos, to fish a lot, and to just chill while contemplating lake views from our cabin.

Then, too, I’ve been quite pleased with the purchase of a used GPS navigation device, a Garmin eTrex Touch 25, for $50. It is perfect for hiking and geocaching. I just need to get out there and use it more. It should also come in handy for our Minnesota trip.

The course I’m currently teaching (on bibliographic metadata) is going fairly well also. I decided to flip things around this time by recording all lectures for watching ahead of class, and then devoting class time to demos and Q&A. At this stage in the semester, students are hitting their stride in terms of feeling more comfortable with what they’re doing. Cataloging is such a complex undertaking and even a concentrated course like this one can only scratch the surface of learning. I liken it to learning a completely new language.

Whoever you are who reads this, and wherever you are, I hope for moments of joy, peace, and safety. Life is short. Treasure the everyday.

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