On this final day of 2013 I’ve been thinking about the past year. It all began with adjusting to the West Coast and starting a new job. In the transition and new routines were many hours of work, all-encompassing work. One principle to which I desire to adhere is to avoid seeking escape  from reality, especially emotional and spiritual reality. In the past two years I’ve marveled how I managed to live so long before facing real desire to escape. This year work served as an escape more often than it should have.
With time comes balance. I’m working hard to reach a place where the infrastructure is in place to allow me to give work a healthy place in my life. I’m of the opinion that a tenure track job requires seasons of sacrifice, particularly early in the process.
As this year comes to a close I am far happier than I was when it started. And that makes me smile.
 I am not referring to suicide, but rather masking things by allowing a serious reality to be overshadowed by something else. It could be a bottle of wine, a hobby, physical activity, a book, television, or anything used to distract and placate. (I can attest to the effectiveness of red wine, running long distances, and teaching classes.)