Today I found out that the senior faculty in my department voted unanimously to recommend me for tenure. This of course does not mean I got tenure, there are still layers of university committees and administrators that my case needs to go through, but it is a very important first step. It tells you that your colleagues feel you and your work are valuable and that they would like to keep you around.
I also found out, after receiving results from my blood tests, that my immune system is starting to come back after being suppressed for weeks, sufficiently so that I can once again pucker up with my very lovely Supercool wife! And kissing her lovely lips this morning was by far the highlight of my day/month. Far more than the tenure thing.
It's funny how your perspective can shift so radically such that you really learn to appreciate specific instances that turn out to be so significant. My life recently has been so moment to moment that its nice to have moments like the one this morning with my sweetie. Normally I would have been freaking out all last week knowing that The Tenure Vote was today, and upon hearing the news I would have been running down the hallways with a bottle of tequila celebrating. But honestly, I did not give it a second thought last week. And I have been working my ass off for the last six years, so I'm obviously thrilled with the news, but then again perspectives shift.
I've been told that having a major illness makes you appreciate what's really important. But it's not that I didn't appreciate my family before, I've always given my family priority and I've known that they are the most important thing. That hasn't changed. I think what changes, is that you learn to appreciate specific instances. Little things that are positive, and you learn to become aware of them while they are happening, so you can enjoy them and not let them pass by. There's still a long road to go on my recovery and on my tenure process, and it's little things like today's respite on a dusty crossroad, that make things bearable. Hopefully the roads will be less bumpy from now on, and full of more good things ahead.
Meanwhile, here's some travelling blues: