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November 2019
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Reflecting on 2011

We’re back from our Midwestern holiday tour, which seems to pass faster every year.  Because we now live farther west, we avoided the “woogie hours” at each end, making the trip in under 12 hours each way.  In this in-between day before the festivities of New Year’s Eve, I unpacked, washed, cleaned, napped, ran, and generally puttered, and took some time to reflect on the year and think about 2012.

Following Kristin Armstrong’s advice, I’ve been enjoying the natural break of the holidays.  I ran a few times during our trip, mostly to revisit favorite routes and regulate my energy, but I tried to not be overly concerned about the distance or frequency.  I’m definitely ready to get back to training for Boston and also focus on regaining core and upper body strength next year.  Visiting family and participating in their routine, trying on their pace, and enjoying their favorite foods is fun and helps me to connect with them.  It also makes returning home feel like putting on your favorite slippers, well-worn and comfortable.

Work has been thoroughly enjoyable this year, rewarding, and more successful than I expected.  I took on a new position in April leading the ISR, Mission Management and Fusion technical group.  I have had the luxury of a new boss who was clearly dedicated to his team, the guidance and assistance of my former boss who became his deputy, a terrific group of peers who genuinely value collaboration, the mentorship of a good friend who first hired me to the company 8 years ago, and the benefit of having the VP of Finance as my formal mentor.  My group’s leadership team is experienced and engaged.  We have grown in numbers this year, not as fast as we’d hoped, but the new crew positions us well for an even better 2012.  I’ve particularly enjoyed being part of the company’s Women’s Forum and recruiting at the Society of Women Engineers convention, resulting in 3 promising hires for our Burlington site and great networking opportunities.

Though we have loved and dedicated many hours to People’s United Methodist Church in Newburyport over the past 10 years, it’s time to move on and find a local church near our new home in Chelmsford.  I’m looking forward to attending church with friends for the next few months, which I’ve not done since college, and eventually getting involved in a new church.

We learned a valuable lesson in 2011 about taking advantage of local opportunities.  We went kayaking for the first time with some friends from work, walking 2 blocks to the kayak rental company and another short distance to put in our kayaks in the Merrimack.  After living in Newburyport 10 years, this was the first time we took advantage of a great natural resource in this way, and we had a fantastic time, wondering why hadn’t done it sooner!  We vowed to avoid the same error when we moved to Chelmsford.  We live just behind a state park that has groomed cross country ski trails in the winter.  So, we pooled Christmas money from Dad and Grandma to purchase skis so we are ready to enjoy the park when we finally get snow.

2011 was a pretty good year, overall.  I’m excited to see what 2012 has in store.

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