I returned home from my grand adventure across the United Kingdom slightly more than a week ago to begin the process of un-vacationing – that thing one does when one returns to the real world and has to somehow determine how to restart their grey matter after a significant period of sleeping in, and drinking cider and eating pastries for breakfast because I’m a god damn adult on vacation and I deserve it, that’s why. 

Since my return, I have managed to survive my first full week back to work. To be honest, it was a far more productive and pleasant return to the office than I was expecting. My first week back to work was also full of several of those moments where you stop and think my life is weird, but I’ll save those stories for other posts – mainly because the stories haven’t completely found resolutions yet. They’re all half-stories that hopefully, soon, I’ll be able to tell you about.

For now, I’m just happy that I survived my first week back at work. I was worried that the shock of returning to a life of calendaring and email, of schedules and meetings about meetings to prepare for meetings, and of reading and editing papers and theses and assignments, lather, rinse, repeat, might be too much of a shock to my system. I mean, I had spent three weeks wandering the United Kingdom where one might argue that my most significant contribution involved assembling a thousand piece circular guinea-pig puzzle with Corey.

Fortunately, my week began with only a few meetings. This meant that I was able to set aside time to begin reading and editing three theses and several papers and continue my work on a couple of grant applications. It also meant that I was able to put together a few reference letters, conference abstract submissions, and an award nomination package, all while sorting and filing my email. While I would have liked to have crossed all of the reading and editing off my list, I knew that it was a bit of a stretch.

Most importantly, however, is that I was able to begin plotting out the first of several academic adventures. In particular, I am already booked for a trip to Boston in March to give an invited talk at Dartmouth College. This will be my first trip to Boston, and my first trip to the United States in quite some time. I’m pretty excited because I’ve had Boston on my list of cities to explore for some time. Additionally, it seems both exciting and weird that I’ve been invited to speak at an Ivy League college. For those curious, I’ll be chatting about transdisciplinary education and the ICON project.

Of course, I won’t have to wait until March to board my next glorified metal lawn dart; that will occur at the end of this month when Jason, Nic, Sherilee, and I head to Goose Bay for a few days of meetings. This will likely be the first of many trips to Labrador this year.

While the un-vacationing has begun, I’m going to do my best to hold on to some of that fresh vacation feel. Particularly, I’m going to try to make sure I take time to turn off work by stretching in the morning, building in weekly coffee and/or movie dates with friends, cooking a meal or two, and maybe even reading a novel. And of course, I’m going to allow myself to wanderlust just a little.


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