about bliss

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

new year, new beginnings

my favorite vintage pink cake carrier and canisters

Hello! I've been a negligent blogger lately, enjoying my two week respite from work and words, both of which I love, both of which are entwined, and both of which I delight in all the more after a long vacation.

First, I'd like to thank Mary, The Food Librarian, for the Trader Joe's tote bag filled with goodies--candies and cookies and fruits--for my holiday Elfster surprise. What a delicious and thoughtful treat to find sitting on my doorstep when I returned after my sojourn in Michigan.

And I'd also like to thank Christine, of Happy Tummy, for all of her kind words about me. What fun it was to send off a package of goodies to my secret Elf!

I look forward to chatting more with these two amazing bloggers and the rest of the TWD kitchen crew in 2009. I've already found a community of kindred spirits, passionately baking and writing all over the world. I love how the sweetness in life has brought us together, and I know the act of baking and writing has sustained my spirit many a time this fall.

I first began baking in earnest while I was writing my Doctoral Dissertation--a long and tortuous process of never-ending writing and research, revision and questioning. Baking allowed me to start AND finish a project in one short period of time, and provided me with sustenance for the long, lonely hours of writing.

Now that I'm on the tenure track--a six year probationary period in which I prove--through teaching, service, and research-- that I'm worthy of the job security and academic freedom that tenure guarantees--I feel many of the same pressures as I did when I was a lowly graduate student. My work, it seems, is never done, and I can easily lose myself and my balance in my endless pursuit of if not perfection, then at least excellence. As you can guess, this pursuit often feels impossible, and becomes all consuming, and at times discouraging.

Joining TWD in August forced me to set aside time to bake AND to write for myself at least once a week, and though sometimes it feels like one more requirement, I love the routine, the deadline, the camaraderie, and the time for myself.

This year I vow to carve out more time for myself, separate from my career. Time to read just for the fun of it. Time to linger over coffee with friends. Time for a quick visit with family on the weekends. Time to date and find Mr. Almost-Wonderful (as my dear Dissertation advisor calls him). Time for an hour of vinyasa yoga, a long walk along the lakeshore with my new digital camera (yay!), and time to pursue my non-academic writing goals.

Thank you for reading, and for choosing to spend a little bit of your time with me:)


  1. A fellow professor. You starting and me retiring. It gets more fun every year. Good luck.

  2. Happy New Year! I'm glad you liked the goodies as I couldn't imagine life without Trader Joe's. :)