Okay, so I have officially hit "mid-life," I think. The winning of tenure, while not all that tangible, has brought about a thoughtful moment of "where do I go from here?" And for me, that question is compounded by a larger question, "And how fast do I have to get there?"
The gf and I did some math last week, looking at a proposed age of retirement and the corresponding length of my career. I know I want to move on into higher administrative posts. If, let's say, I want to retire at 63, then I should be in my final leadership position by my late 50's or early 60's. (For those of you laughing at the thought of retiring so early, let me point out that it reads "childless" above, so there are no pesky college tuitions to pay for. And the gf is older than me, and I want some time to be retired together...) That "final position" timetable seems closer than ever, since I have a step or two (or three) to take before I reach that position. If each step takes 3-5 years, and the awarding of full tenure along the way, that seems to require a little more focus on securing a bigger job in the next couple of years.
Okay, I will admit that I am a driven lesbian...I find that I do best when I have a goal. That said, I try to learn (and flourish) where I am. I am always looking for opportunities to try something new, take on a challenge, and just do better at my current job. I have plenty to accomplish in my current position, over the next year or so, and I am going to be participating in a leadership training program. But I am starting to think more long-term... to make more concrete plans, knowing that plans can be completely upended by family tragedies, health issues, changes on the job, etc.
On the lighter side, the gf talked me into asking the powers-that-be for new office furniture, and lo and behold, they said YES!! So, in celebration, I plan to paint some walls, hang a picture or two, and try to feel more settled in my office.
I am leaning toward an adobe-type color (the main color of the wall in http://www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself/paint_colors/color_trends/2006/). The gf thinks it is too much for a small space like mine with only one window. I am sensitive to light (and darkness), and can't stand too dark a space. However, I need to ditch the white walls for something a little warmer. I am up for suggestions...