October 8, 2011


Yesterday I had to attend a mandatory orientation for new full-time university employees. The meeting opened with a history of our university system and the proposed future plans for our campus. The newest branch of the university, opened less than a decade ago, there's a lot of talk about growth. The educational budget in California was cut by hundreds of millions of dollars, half of which was cut specifically from our university system - the exception to which is our campus. Because it's so new and they want to make sure it develops into a successful research institution, they're pumping money into it. They're making cuts everywhere except here, which is a pretty interesting situation to be in.

One thing they mentioned is the idea that within a decade or so, this little school will be one of the biggest universities - if not the biggest - in the state. And California, for my foreign readers, is a huge state. There's so much space around for growth, especially surrounding the current campus.

We saw sketches and 3D models of the intended expansion, and it was mindblowing. It felt really wonderful to be sitting in that room, hearing about the future of something really big. Someday my kids and grandkids will be able to say that their mother/grandmother was there, helping with the success of developing the first American research university built in the 21st century.

Of course, expansion comes at a cost, and not only financially. The area we're in is largely agricultural, and one of the biggest concerns with development is how to minimize negative impact on the surrounding environment. Because all the university buildings are new within the past decade or so, they're all "green." We have a field of solar panels adjacent to the campus that provides over half our campus' energy. There's a 2020 goal of having zero carbon footprint. And with all the expansion, there are conservation methods being put into place for the habitats of the many endangered species found locally.

Like most things lately, the orientation had me thinking about my weight loss journey. About how to grow but still maintain a sense of balance with my environment. About how to change but still preserve my integrity. About how to stay positive and work through the current situations, no matter how stressful or tough they may seem, because there's a long-term goal I've set that I want to reach, and the benefits will most certainly be worth the wait.

I don't always make the best decisions with food, or with exercise, or with my relationships, but I make more good decisions than bad ones. I slip up sometimes, but less often than I used to. I'm moving in the right direction. I'm on track to meet my goals, and it feels so good to be my own growing and changing system.

Our university is doing a lot to take care of our community through job creation, environmental technology, and most importantly, education - and it's so great to be part of that.

And I'm doing a lot to take care of myself through proper nourishment, clean hydration, physical activity, and most importantly, mental/emotional guidance - and it's so great to be part of that, too. To be here, marveling with joy as I transform and become exactly what I envisioned. The day-to-day isn't always perfect, but that's okay. I just focus on my goals, and know that I will overcome whatever obstacles arise on the path it takes for me to get there.


Hyla said...

Awesome! I would love to be a part of that!

downsizers said...

It is such a benefit, I think, to realize that you are making more good decisions that bad ones and as time passes the balance will lean more and more to the good side. That is what I realized with binge eating. The binges gradually became farther apart and not as bad and now I don't binge. When we have a lot to overcome I think that's how it just has to happen - gradually, learning along the way. Getting back up and back on the horse.

Bluezy said...

Job security is important these days. I love the versatility of Cali. Lived there for years.

timothy said...

fabulous it sounds like you're a part of something wonderful! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I suspect you'd enjoy this blog which focuses on the current state UC, among other compelling crises in public education:

Tim said...

Exciting times ahead! It will be a wonderful experience being part of the huge change to the University.