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The Holidays

Well the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. My wife, the vegetarian, makes a mean brined turkey that is to die for. I think next year though to assist her, maybe I will find a place where I can hunt a free range turkey.
I won't be dishonest and say that I completely loved the last year of life. This has been some of the hardest times that we have faced as the little Livingston clan. About a year ago today, I left for New Haven Connecticut. We took this opportunity feeling that it would lead us to a new tomorrow. Well, it was difficult being away from family, my precious wife and awesome young son...Living alone with a roommate while being married in a very healthy and strong marital situation is just odd. I found myself surrounded by good people in the New Haven First Ward in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. Mostly, without their support for me, I don't know how I would have made it so long without Liz. I had an opportunity to advance my career and found myself in a very humbling situation. In retrospect, it seems that in higher Education, the more assertive a person is at a certain level, the more difficult things become or that individual. I often times felt demeaned and without voice even when I was asked to provide real and honest feedback. The people I worked at were interesting. I do miss my office mates that took me in and were kind enough to accept this cali/utah resident and enjoyed meeting my wife and son. I wasn't often completely honest after the first month. Each time I felt I was making an impact on the community I was asked to serve, I'd find my self recoiling due to expectations never explained openly to me. I remember once being told that I should anticipate questions from a certain population on order to assist them in the decision making process. I provided a data set that was able to be interpolated and aggregated in several fashions only to find that this was too flexible and offered too much access to information. Looking back, I guess that next time I should do better at what I do best in my world of process management. I should better define the specification, if allowed, so that I might leverage this information to my advantage.

Regardless, after 8 months, my wife and I decided that this position was tearing us apart, and more pointedly causing me to lose my assertiveness and creativity in the realms I normally excel in. So we found an opportunity in Farmville Virginia, and thus we landed here. I am not sure why I felt it necessary to provide my employer in New Haven two minutes notice, assuring that my immediate supervisor that I reported to made their family trip on another continent. IN some respects it was not my most favorite display of my character, but at least I made sure that this supervisor's trip was not interrupted until after they arrived....Maybe that is selfish of me but for me the redeeming lining is that I ensured that this person's family adventure was not injured by the choices and actions I felt I had to make for my family.

Since arriving, we have been scrapping and straining to try to make ends meet and become comfortable with our new scenario. The people here a generally quite pleasant. The members in our branch are really buoying us up. It has been a pleasant surprise to find such good people in the middle of nowhere Virginia. At work, It is a bag of frustrations. I feel like I have left the major leagues in Higher Education (Utah State University) and then found myself in the 'farm' leagues (Bull Durham-esque). This small community is attached to it's methods of doing things and even though it's method is passe, it clings to what it knows and tries to not embrace what could facilitate a wonderful transition into the wave of the future for its institution and constituents it serves.

Liz, Dennis and I are plugging along. Dennis just turned 4. I keep hearing Bill Cosby's voice from his Bill Cosby Himself video over and over again -- 'four years ol' --Jeffrey. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs0cYJUqJys]

It was great to see his smiling face with his compadres and being able to watch things be well with him was wonderful. Sometimes he is a ball of ultimate frustration, but those times are 'washed' away by these sweet times. He was grateful to have his little friends around and the cake and presents he received.

This rambling has gone on too long and I am now listening to Bill Cosby himself...'Chocolate cake, Dad is great!'

Nite World.

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